Tuesday, May 31st, 2022
Reading to your children a bedtime story on a daily basis is one of the best things you can do for them. Indeed, there is a wealth of research to show that bedtime stories are a proven way to foster a bond between parent and child, lower children’s stress levels and reinforce their literacy skills and mastery of language.
There are many benefits to be gained from reading a bed time story but here’s our top 5.
1.Brain imaging studies have shown there’s a difference in the reading and cognitive skills of children whose parents sit with them and read. The difference has nothing to do with things like family background, their home environment or socioeconomic status, but how frequently an adult sits and reads with the child. For children who are read to every day there’s a significant positive impact on their reading skills and cognitive skills, like numeracy. There are benefits in their development right up until about the age of 11, and those benefits last until later in life.
2.Children who are read to will see an increased ability in visual processing and imagination. This is because children get better at imagining things when they have to interpret a story when it’s read aloud. Children learn the power of their imagination which helps them become independent readers later on with books that don’t have pictures because their imaginations are developed enough to draw them in.
3.Because books typically use a greater diversity of vocabulary than we use in daily life, children who are regularly read to will develop better mastery of language and alongside that there will likely be an increase in their curiosity as they learn more about their world.
4.It helps improve emotional intelligence - books are an excellent way of helping little people deal with big issues. Reading an appropriate book provides the chance to talk about difficult subjects, such as the illness of a family member or divorce.
It gives both reader and listener the chance to unwind and settle into a ‘bedtime routine’, where the stresses of the day can be left behind and forgotten, before its time to sleep.
"Reading a regular bedtime story to children is a simple activity that encourages children to enjoy reading and gets them into good reading habits that will set them up for the future," says Judith Parke from the National Literacy Trust (NLT). "When parents encourage their children to read at home, it can make a big difference to their wellbeing and how successful they are at school, and beyond."