Explaining the Value of Reading Stories at Bedtime: 10 Reasons Why They’re So Important

No matter how old your child is, reading together before bed is the perfect way to bring each day to a warm and comforting close. Although some may argue that reading bedtime stories isn’t as important as is often made out, we’ve written today’s piece to delve into this topic in a little more depth to explain the value of bedtime stories and why they’re so beneficial for both you and your child.

11 Reasons Why Bedtime Stories are So Important

#1 – It’s The Perfect Time To Bond

Regardless of your child’s age, reading a bedtime together allows them to have you all to themselves, which is something that might not be possible at any other point during the day. Research has shown that over 60% of parents feel that reading a bedtime story to or with their child bring them closer together. Tucking your child into bed, snuggling them up under the duvet with their favourite teddies, and reading to them a story of their choice is the perfect way to bond and make memories.

#2 – It Boosts Your Child’s Reading Ability 

It’s easy to assume that just because you’re doing the reading means that your child isn’t learning; however, this isn’t actually the case. You’d be surprised how much children absorb when you’re reading to them – even at bedtime when they’re tired. They’ll still follow the words and begin or recognise them on the page. But bedtime reading doesn’t have to be solely about you reading to your child; it’s the perfect opportunity for shared reading. Why not take it turns, either reading a paragraph or a page each? This is the perfect way for your child to practise his or resign skills, as well as gaining the benefits of being read to. 

#3 – It Helps Your Child To Use Their Imagination

Monsters, fairies, unicorns, mythical creatures, wizards, witches… children’s books open up exciting new world’s to children, and reading a bedtime story will give your child the opportunity to visit places they’d have never even dreamt of. Books really do help to teach your children about the world while simultaneously opening their mind and imagination. When reading fictional books, children will typically fill in information gaps using their imagination using decision-making guesswork, which, in turn, stimulates mental patterns that are necessary for creativity. 

#4 – It Instigates Conversation and Discussion 

Reading a bedtime story to your child doesn’t just involve the words of the page. No matter what you read, your little one will be sure to ask questions and to explain things they don’t understand. Given the naturally inquisitive and curious of children, it’s inevitable that they’ll want to know everything, so reading bedtimes stories will no doubt turn into a discussion on what you’re reading! Always allow time for this to happen. It’s a natural process and will help your child to understand words and concepts they’re unfamiliar with.

#5 – It Broadens Your Child’s Vocabulary 

Here’s a little fun fact for you: Children need to hear a word as many as 12 times before they begin to use it themselves. This is why it is so crucial to read to your child on a regular basis. Reading a bedtime story each and every night is a perfect way to do this – particular if you’re reading the same books over and over again. By reading aloud to your child, you not only introduce them to new words, but you also educate them on how to describe the world around them in different ways. The more words you use, the more they will learn. 

It’s not just the words on the page that help to expand your child’s vocabulary; how they’re used is another crucial piece of their development. Rhythms, rhymes, and patterns help with language, writing, and writing skills. 

#6 – It Develops Their Emotional Intelligence

Books are a great tool to teach little people how to deal with big feelings and emotions, and a bedtime story can help to broach difficult situations and topics. Reading helps children to understand that they’re not alone and that lots of other people have come up against the same problems and felt similar feelings. Books give a pathway to discuss difficult subjects and issues, such as family issues or illness and making confronting challenging topics that little bit easier for both parent and child. Furthermore, bedtimes stories and reading to your child, in general, can also help to expand their emotional vocabulary, making it easier for them to describe how they’re feeling. This is extremely beneficial as many children struggle to put into words how they’re feeling, which can result in further emotional meltdowns. 

#7 – It Promotes Independent Reading

Contrary to popular belief, regularly reading to your child will not make them ‘lazy’ and decrease their desire to read. Research has shown that children are far more likely to pick up a book and read independently if their reading experience is enjoyable; therefore, making bedtime storytime as enjoyable as possible is a fantastic way to promote indecent reading. Moreover, children who are exposed to stories and books from a young age typically have a greater desire to read independently – something that can have a positive impact on their overall development. 

#8 – It Positively Impacts Mental Wellbeing

As we make our way into 2021, it’s evident that the mental health crisis amongst children is greater than it has ever been; something that has been well documented in the press and across all forms of media. Even children in primary school are suffering from exam-induced stress and anxiety. According to research, there is a correlation between reading and mental wellbeing; therefore, sharing storytime with your child before they head off to the land of nod could do wonder for their emotional health. Some experts suggest that characters in stories can be role models for children, helping to promote coping skills and boost confidence.

#9 – It Helps Parent and Child To Relax 

At the end of a hectic day, storytime before bed is a perfect way to leave a busy, stressful day behind, and help you and your child unwind and relax. As a parent, I know just how calming reading a bedtime sort my daughter can be, so if it’s not currently a daily occurrence in your household, I highly recommend doing it as often as you can. 

#10 – It’s Beneficial for Children Who Can Already Read By Themselves

Sure, it’s tempting to drop bedtimes stories once your child is able to read by themselves, but did you know there are a myriad of benefits by carrying it on? Once a child is able to read, it is critical that they stay engaged with reading material that interests them, which can often be books that are slightly about their reading level. Therefore, to give them access to such books, it might be necessary for you to read more advanced books to them. Even if they decide they’d like to try and read independently, you can still be there to help with challenging words and provide encouragement if they get stuck or lose motivation. Plus, you can help them to understand more complex concepts that they’ve not yet come across. 

Explaining the Value of Reading Stories at Bedtime: A Summary

Bedtime stories are one of those parenting traditions that have endured through generation after generation, and will no doubt continue for many generations to come. Many of us, myself included, have so many fond memories of our parents reading to us before and now we do the same for our little ones. But they are far more than just tradition. Bedtimes stories can play a hugely significant role in the development of your child, helping them to improve their grasp of the English language – something that is absolutely vital for development across all aspects of learning. In short, bedtime stories are special…but for more than one reason.