It is always one of the most difficult tasks to put your child to sleep.
You are completely drained out by night and obviously would want your kid to sleep early.
“Reading stories is perhaps the best food for the curious mind.”
You can make your child’s bed time really interesting by reading out stories to your little one.
Bed time is perhaps the best time to read out stories.
In this post, you would come across the tips and benefits of reading out stories at the bed time.
Importance of Reading: 10 Tips for reading to your child
1. Not preparing your kid for a U.N speech, are you? Keep it short & fun!
- Its bedtime reading after all. You don’t want your kid hiding under the blanket, when you tell him, its ‘story time’.
- Pick out books which have short stories, which take about 10 to 15 minutes, to finish reading. This way, he knows it’s going to get over soon & will give it all his attention, every night.
- You should read out little and then go on to explaining your child what you have just read. This would ensure that your child maintains interest in the story and understands it as well when it is being read.
2. Put on your acting hat Mommies! Time for you to have fun too.
- Yes, kids love being dramatic. They learn faster that way. Don’t read every line with the same emotion.
- Add commas, exclamations, surprise, anger and all kinds of emotions in your tone. While reading beauty & the beast, to your kid, don’t give a soft voice for both the princess & the beast. Sound scary, while reading the lines of the beast. Sound gentle, while reading the lines of the princess.
- Include actions. Cover your eyes when you are reading something scary. Laugh loudly, when there’s something funny.
3. It’s Family time. Don’t make it a one person ritual.
- If the book you pick has characters, choose a character for yourself, your kid & your husband. Read your own parts.
- That way, you not only bond well as a family, but you even teach your kid how to read. His vocabulary & pronunciation will improve.
- Correct your kid when he reads something wrong. Don’t just let it be, just because he sounds cute, while pronouncing sorry as shorry.
4. Be selfish. Teach him to respect you.
- Pick out stories which have morals. Read out a story to him, which shows a boy dint listen to his Mommy or respect her, & hence he didn’t have any friends.
- This is the age when you teach them good habits, & good manners. Things taught at this age will stay with them forever.
- Read out stories which teach them to be kind, not to lie, not to steal, give respect to elders etc.
5. Trick them. Making it educative doesn’t harm.
- They don’t know bedtime reading is just to put them to sleep.
- Pick out books which have images in different colours, shapes & sizes.
- Ask him to locate red in the page.
- Ask him to locate a square shaped box on the cover of the book.
- Teach him the difference between big & small.
- If the story is about a lion, don’t forget to mention that lion is the king of the jungle.
6. The worlds changing. Don’t stick to the ideas which your ancestors told you about.
- Don’t read only fairy-tales to a girl & only spider man stories to a boy. Let them choose their genre of interest.
- Pick out books without any gender bias.
- You don’t want your daughter to end up waiting for a Price Charming & your son to end up waiting for Phantom, to come and rescue him, when he’s in trouble.
7. It’s bedtime reading & not suspense time reading, unless you want their extra curious minds to stay awake all night.
- Make sure you start & end a story on the same night. Curiosity killed the cat. Here, curiosity will kill your sleep.
- If you leave a story unfinished, your kid might stay up all night, wondering what’s going to happen next. Will the Prince find Cinderella’s shoes? Will Shrek & Fiona escape from Fairy godmother’s prison? Don’t build up unnecessary suspense.
8. Go impromptu! Let his imagination run wild.
- If your kid is around the age of 5, you can ask him to come up with an impromptu story.
- You create an impromptu story, ask your kid to continue from there, ask your husband to come up with two more lines.
- This not only sounds fun, but will help widen his imagination.
9. Make it interesting. Use books with a lot of pictures.
- Story books with pictures will arouse interest in your child.
- He will love to see pictures of what is being narrated in the story book.
- Pictures help the kids in visualizing what is being narrated in words.
10. It’s not real life. It’s a STORY!
- Never read out stories which involve you and your child emotionally.
- Rather, choose to read simple stories with a happy ending and stories that are fun to read.
Finally, they are kids. If they don’t want to listen to a story on some days, don’t force them. You don’t have to read them every book under the Sun, by the time they are 2.
Take your time.
Let them take their time.
Let them enjoy it.
Let them sleep happily with beautiful dreams.
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