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6 ways to make bedtime reading magical for kids

A story before bedtime is the perfect opportunity to snuggle up, escape into a book and let your imaginations roam free. Here are some top tips on how to make reading together one of the most fun and enjoyable parts of your day...

Ladybird team
A photo of a woman and her daughter reading a book together
Image: iStock

1. It’s never too soon to start

From reading to baby bump to putting board books in their chubby little hands to explore and chew, the earlier babies become familiar with books the better. Reading aloud stimulates their brains and introduces them to bright colours, numbers, shapes and new vocabulary.

2. Create a magical storytelling space

Children love building and playing in nooks and dens, and they’re a perfect place for reading too! Whether it’s in a cosy corner with piles of blankets and cushions on a chilly night, or an old sheet and towels draped over a table, a new reading nook adds to the excitement and helps everyone get ready for sleepy time.

3. Put on a funny storytelling voice

There are so many wild and wonderful characters to introduce them to, so many mystical lands to explore, so many adventures to enjoy. And it’s completely up to you what these stories sound like when you’re reading aloud. Put on that big booming or small squeaking voice, vary your expressions, whisper, and shout. It all enhances your child’s reading experience with you.

4. Your story time, your stories...

You don’t need to rely on a book, comic, graphic novel, etc to share stories, you can simply make them up. It’s a wonderful chance to involve your child in some creative thinking and include their experiences in the story, featuring anecdotes from your lives, their friends, favourite toys, and more. You can both use your imaginations to create a story as long or short as you like, that can always be continued tomorrow. And the next day…

5. Anywhere, any time

Stories aren’t only for bedtime, it’s simply that a book before sleep is a lovely way to relax and unwind, immersed in make-believe. Taking 10 minutes a day from breakfast until bedtime to read together makes a real difference. So, whether it’s over a bowl of cereal, in the park, or before a nap – there’s always time to enjoy sharing stories together.

6. Last but not least...

The most important thing to remember is that your child just loves being with you; it’s the most magical part of reading together after all. Following a long and busy day, it can be hard to muster up the energy for bedtime reading, but it doesn’t need to be an elaborate story session every time. Simply curling up with a book you both enjoy for a few pages or chapters is perfect. Making time for reading with the little ones in your life creates memories to treasure forever.

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