Learning to read is vital but perhaps of equal importance is instilling a love of reading in our children. At Ladybird, we focus on helping children learn to love reading and one simple way parents can encourage this is by reading with their child.
Most of us have fond memories of sharing a bedtime story with a parent or grandparent. Reading stories together is a fun, warm and loving experience and the perfect way to end a day. However, the feedback from some parents in a much publicised recent poll by Littlewoods, has suggested that the traditional bedtime story is dying out, with 36% of parents with children under seven, never picking up a book with their little ones and of those who do read to their children, only 1 in 5 making time for a story before bed every night. The main reasons given are lack of time, being too stressed or the fact that they feel their child would prefer to watch TV or play with toys or computer games.
In response to the survey, children’s author Francesca Simon rushed to the support of bedtime reading and speaking in The Guardian, said: “Reading to your kids is the absolute best time parents and children have together. I say this not only as a writer but as the parent of a now grown-up son. You snuggle up; it's calm and cosy. There is nothing that reduces stress more than 20 minutes of reading together.”
In today’s world, there is no doubt that parents are time poor, but according to the Books Beyond Bedtime Report from Oxford University, even 10 minutes bedtime reading a day with your child can really boost their development. Perhaps surprisingly – particularly for those of us who also have older children who are now enjoying reading to themselves – the report recommends that bedtime reading shouldn’t automatically stop once children are able to read independently, as sharing a bedtime story can benefit them too.
What to read? How to read?
If you want to read more with your children at bedtime and don’t know where to start or what they’ll enjoy, we’ve pulled together some useful links below. So whatever age or stage your child is you’ll find just the thing.
- You'll find lots of tips on reading with your children on the Age and Stage pages of Ladybird.com, plus you can browse our bookshop for some book ideas.
- World Book Day has some book suggestions from babies to teens.
- The National Literacy Trust has a huge selection of suggested reads for all ages.
- Bookstart has tips for reading with babies, toddlers and developing readers and some bedtime book suggestions.
- If you have a 6-11 year old, here are some top tips on bedtime reading from English adviser and former primary head school head, James Clements.
- In a recent Mumsnet survey on bedtime reading, some parents said they are using technology to read to their children, with iPads and Kindles offering new and interactive methods of bedtime storytelling. Take a look at our selection of Ladybird eBooks.
Win a bundle of bedtime reading books from Ladybird!
We’re giving away THREE bundles of Ladybird books, including this lovely new Ladybird Bedtime Tales for Children:
Ladybird Bedtime Tales for Children - Chicken Licken
We'd love to hear your tips for bedtime reading, whether it’s with a one year old or seven year old, whether it’s once a day or once a month, let us know what you do, by leaving a comment below and we’ll pull three winners out of the hat*!
*Terms and conditions: enter by midnight, 29.10.13 by leaving your comment below. Winners will be notified Tuesday 30.10.13. Three randomly selected winners will each receive a prize of four Ladybird books, which will include a copy of Ladybird Bedtime Tales for Children.