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bedtime reading

Every parent out there knows just how difficult bedtime can be. No kid ever seems to want to go to bed, but a set routine can make things easier. Putting on jammies, brushing teeth, turning out the light… all are part of every good – and every effective – bedtime routine. Most parents will notice one thing missing from that lineup – storytime. Establishing a bedtime reading session should be a part of every child’s nightly routine, and incorporating storytime can not only help with cognitive development and other skills, it can also make the challenge of getting your little one to sleep a little less daunting.

Bedtime reading benefits

It is common knowledge that reading to children often makes a huge difference in how they develop and their ease in learning and mastery over the English bedtime readinglanguage. Reading and writing come much easier to children who have been read to since an early age, and bedtime reading is a perfect way to incorporate daily reading sessions into the overall routine. According to new research, though, a reading routine can affect – for the better – all areas of cognitive development in children. “Neural research shows that when parents and caregivers interact verbally with children — which includes reading to them — kids learn a great deal more than we ever thought possible,” says G. Reid Lyon, Ph.D., chief of the child development and behavior branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, MD. “There’s a clear indication of a neurological difference between kids who have been regularly read to and kids who have not.”

Love of reading in a distracting world

But even at the basest levels, children who are read to tend to appreciate and love reading and writing more than children who do not get the early exposure. Fostering a love of reading, along with added benefits like increased vocabulary and ease of expression, brings about something even more important in today’s tech and screen-centered world, an appreciation of books and stories. It’s extremely easy to let kids get pulled into the world of iPads and flashy television programming, but nothing beats a good story shared between a parent and child. And bedtime readingthose memories and early experiences tend to create lifelong readers – something every parent should shoot for.

Calming and creating interest

And let’s not forget about the benefits that come from a bedtime reading routine when viewed through the lens of making bedtime easier. Getting a little one to calm down enough to fall asleep – especially during summer when the sun sets later – can be a challenge. But any hectic routine can be calmed with 20-30 minutes of quiet storytime. Letting a child choose the book you plan to read helps give ownership of the process, and longer books, – even for small children – can help keep interest if read on a night-to-night basis, possibly with a chapter per bedtime reading routine. The calming effect at bedtime is invaluable, and if a child’s interest is sparked by a particular story or book, a bedtime reading routine can become a part of the day that is highly anticipated – by both you and your child.


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