It was J.K. Rowling that said she would "defend the importance of bedtime stories until my last gasp," and I completely agree. We, as parents, are our children's first step to becoming readers. We are their first experience of books, fiction and imagination. Bedtime stories are one of the best traditions you can start with your little ones, and you can start this tradition anytime! If you have not began already, here are a few reasons to start making the time for bedtime stories.
1. Bonding Time
What better way to end the day that snuggling up together with a Gruffalo tricking mouse or joining a bear hunt through swishy swashy grass! Laugh together, explore together, share a new world together.
2. Vocabulary Building
Reading aloud to children is the magic wand for beginning their inner dictionaries and word banks. It will introduce them to a wider range of vocabulary that may not otherwise be in their daily surroundings and environment.
3. Predicting Skills
In our house, there are some stories that are more popular than others, and if I dare to 'accidentally' skip a page I am very quickly reminded. This is because it does not take children long to learn and recall patterns and sequences. They also learn the skill of predicting what comes next by using their prior knowledge and imagination, thus developing their comprehension and ability to make inferences.
4. Bedtime State of Mind
Bedtime stories as a genre are soothing, relaxing and rhythmic. They often are about the world slowing down and almost rock you into a tranquil state of mind, ready for sleep. Anything that makes sleeping easier and longer is always good in my books!
5. Dream Fuel
I recently read something online which ignited my own imagination, as well as summing up what J.K. Rowling is defending -
Bedtime stories are important - how else would our dreams know where to begin?
If you would like some suggestions, I have previously shared some of our bedtime favourites here.
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