Whoever said reading is old-fashioned must have failed to experience what it feels like to escape reality by getting lost in the pages of a book. Indeed, the habit of reading never gets old. And this is why it’s something that parents should impress on their little ones early on even by simply reading bedtime stories to them.
Reading bedtime stories isn’t just a routine parents need to do to tuck their kids into bed at night and help them fall asleep. It’s a wonderful way to nurture their imagination. It’s also a perfect bonding activity for parents and children. If you haven’t gotten into the habit of reading bedtime stories to your kids yet, now is the best time to start and here’s why.
To stimulate imagination
Since the advent of the internet, most children consume information via television, smartphones, computers and other electronic devices. This gives them fewer chances to tap into their imaginations because the visuals are readily provided to them. However, when you start reading to your kids at a young age, you help boost their imagination because they are allowed to create images in their heads based on the story they hear.
To develop oral communication skills
Another important benefit of reading bedtime stories to kids is the boost in their language development. Regularly reading to your little one helps strengthen their oral communication skills, language recognition and listening abilities. It introduces new words that help enrich their vocabulary. It also makes them familiar with sentence structures at an early age. The more you read to your child, the more proficient they become with listening, speaking and expressing themselves.
To create a lasting bond
Spending quality time with children should always be part of every parent’s top priorities. One of the best ways to bond and connect with your little one is by storytelling. Include this activity as part of their bedtime routine so that they always have something to look forward to. Not only is this a good way to lull them until they doze off but it’s an excellent way to create a lasting bond between you and your child.
To nurture cognitive skills
Babies do not need to wait to be able to talk before they begin absorbing information. Long before they utter their first “mommy” or “daddy”, language development is already taking place by simply listening to your bedtime stories. It won’t be long before they learn new words little by little. And before you know it, they’d already understood the concept of reading and how it follows the left to right direction.
To encourage a love for reading
Reading is a good exercise for the brain and children who develop a love for reading are those who have better concentration skills and imagination. Reading also improves a child’s language skills and because it benefits children in several different ways, it’s important to encourage reading early on. When you make it a habit to read bedtime stories to your child, they’d grow up developing the same penchant for books and stories and it’s something that will stick with them as they grow older.
To make them relax and relieve anxiety
Kids are, most of the time, restless even when it’s almost time for bed. To help them relax from being overstimulated, you can read them bedtime stories. Not only will this help create a sleep-inducing mood but it will also help relieve their anxiety.
To instill in them valuable life lessons
Storytelling before bedtime is one of the activities parents can do to teach their kids valuable life lessons. Make the most of this time to instill in your little one the right values they can carry with them into adulthood. Use the characters and scenarios in the storybooks. Ask them questions and make them think about how they’d react to the situations in the story. Use these opportunities for them to learn about what’s right and wrong, about compassion, empathy and kindness.
We could go on all day about how beneficial bedtime stories are for children. If you haven’t started this habit yet, now is the best time to start.
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