7 steps to fun and enriching bedtime storytelling with the kids
Bedtime storytelling is a great way to bond with the kids. Follow these 7 steps to make this enjoyable, learning-filled activity part of your family's nightly routine.
Reading to your children just before they go to bed has been the definition of good parenting – at least according to Hollywood movies. Yet there is no denying that making bedtime storytelling a part of the household routine has its benefits, from strengthening the bond between kids and parents to further developing a child's reading, listening and critical thinking skills.
No need for any voice coaching or lessons on acting to successfully incorporate bedtime storytelling into your family’s nightly routine. Just follow our 7 seven steps and you'll be on your way to a fun and enriching storytelling experience with the kids.
Step 1: Always come prepared
You should always have three to five books on hand for your child to choose from. Include their favorite books as well as other stories that might interest them. Also be open to suggestions from your child, especially if you’re new at bedtime reading.
Step 2: Keep it cozy
For the reading experience to be enjoyable, both you and your child should be comfortable. Make sure that your child is tucked in nicely into bed and ready to sleep -- meaning your child has gone to the bathroom, brushed his teeth, changed into pajamas, etc. Create a relaxing environment as well by dimming the lights and closing the curtains.
Step 3: Introduce the book
Before you start the bedtime storytelling, explain what the story is about, sharing a few plot highlights and other things your child can expect. Say, for instance, "The monster will kidnap the princess! Let's read to find out who saves her." This is especially important for kids who have not learned to read and it will help pique their interest if it is a story they haven't heard before.
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Step 4: Make it short and sweet.
The books should not be too long or complicated. You want your child to relax, enjoy the story and not be confused by it.
Step 5: Picture this!
Make an effort to get books that are rich in pictures. This is especially helpful for early readers or children aged six and below who might not be able read yet. The pictures provide a good point for them to visualize and anchor the story.
Step 6: Voice it out
Children's books are oftentimes filled with great adventures and interesting characters, so bring the story to life with your voice. Cry like a baby or coo like a dove at the appropriate moments, so even when your child cannot read with you, he can still embark on the story just by listening to your animated voice. Adding that extra drama in you voice will definitely improve any bedtime reading with kids.
Step 7: Ask questions
At the end of the reading, ask your child if he has any questions. If he is not too tired, you can pose a few questions to him as well, such as, "What did you think of the prince in the story?" or "Which was your favorite part?" These questions help you get to know your child better as well as encourage him to think critically about a story.
Whatever your bedtime storytelling routine encompasses, all parents should try to make it a point to incorporate bedtime reading with kids into it. Not only does it encourage good reading habits, it also fosters a healthy parent child bond.
Let us know if you have any other bedtime storytelling tips in the Comments box below!
Article originally written by Wafa Marican.