Ladybird Marketing Executive Fiona has fond memories of being read to as a child and her experience backs up all of the research on the importance of bedtime reading.
Reading bedtime stories with your child is the ideal way to encourage a love of reading. I can vividly remember snuggling up in my Grandma’s big double bed surrounded by cushions as we shared a story every night. We would read books about all sorts of places and people, everything from Charlotte’s Web to The Wind in the Willows. My absolute favourite stories were the picture books my Grandma had read to her children: The Little Girl and the Tiny Doll and The Bedspread .
No matter how many times I heard the stories I’d always insist we hear again about the little doll in the deep freeze or the two sisters who beautifully embroidered their huge bedspread. There’s no doubt that the hours spent reading before bed contributed to my love of reading, even now I always have at least one book on the go (in case you’re interested it’s currently The Postmistress). So I’m a firm believer in bedtime reading, not just so that your child comes to love books but also because reading to your own child or listening to them read to you at bedtime is a great way to spend quality time together at the end of a chaotic day.
Bedtime reading is also hugely important for your child’s development as it improves a child’s motor skills and memory as well as the development of their social skills, emotions and speech. This importance cannot be underestimated and these articles from The Guardian and The Daily Mail discuss how the decline of the routine of reading together at bedtime is having an impact on today’s children.
Even though most parents know the benefits of bedtime reading a staggering number of parents don’t read with their child due to a lack of time. A recent study by TalkTalk polled 2000 parents and found that only 52% of them read with their child at bedtime, even though 8 out of 10 of these parents agreed that their child’s development can be boosted by bedtime reading. It can be tricky to find time to read with your child at the end of the day but, as Michael Rosen discusses in this clip from BBC news, it is so important that even if it’s only for a minute each day it’s still beneficial for your child.
Whether you read with your child for 10 minutes or an hour, every day, or once a month choosing the right book is important, as you want to ensure your child is engaged with the book you are reading together.
To settle your young baby at bedtime there is no better book than Ladybird's Snuggle Cot Book, the bright colours, simple pictures and interesting textures will stimulate their developing senses. For older babies and toddlers the sweet, rhyming text of the Peekaboo series is perfect for sharing together. They will also enjoy lifting the flaps throughout and discovering what is hidden underneath.
Fairytales are the perfect bedtime read for kids of all ages, introduce your preschooler to favourite tales like The Gingerbread Man and The Three Little Pigs with the titles in the Ladybird First Favourite Tales range. The funny rhyme and rhythm in each book and beautiful pictures will delight your child at bedtime. You can also use traditional fairytale stories when helping your child develop as a reader with the Read it yourself series. Each book in the series is written in a simple way and aims to build confidence, so the books are perfect for your child to read to you at bedtime.
If you have a daughter who is now reading independently, then the Puddle the Naughtiest Puppy and upcoming Cuddle the Cutest Kitten series are ideal for her to read at bedtime. Not only do the books contain exciting stories that are fun to read, but the text is fairly large and interspersed with lots of illustrations, making these books ideal first chapter books for children aged 5-7.
For more suggestions on what to read with your child at bedtime and for some tips on getting the most out of a bedtime story visit the Advice & Resources section of Ladybird.com