Benefits of Bedtime Stories

Boy Reading Bedtime StoryNo need for expensive gadgets or technology. Apparently nothing quite beats the old-fashioned bedtime routine of a bedtime story — when it comes to early child development, learning and bonding.

Based on new research, bedtime stories can offer extraordinary benefits to children. Not only do bedtime stories prepare children for sleep and nourish parent-child bonds, they also boost brain development in children. This includes improving language mastery and logic skills, as well as lowering stress levels in children.

Indications are that the earlier parents start reading to their children, the better off they are. ~ Developmental psychologist Kathryn Fletcher and leader of a literacy study for the University of Miami

According to research from The National Literacy Trust, children are more likely to read above their expected age-level if they enjoy books for pleasure.

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. ~ G. Reid Lyon, Ph.D., National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Reading and discussing bedtime stories with children can create context for language. For example, if you’re reading a book with your child about dogs, you might comment, “That’s a Poodle, just like Aunt Mary’s puppy,” creating real-life associations. In addition, reading well-written stories can boost children’s school work, since they can’t help but emulate what they hear.

Repetition of Bedtime Stories

According to Development Psychologist Kathryn Fletcher, younger children will get more out of hearing the same bedtime stories repeated over and over again, rather than listening to an ongoing flow of new stories. The repetition allows young children to memorize the story. In fact, they will often start to tell parts of the story themselves. This participation in bedtime stories can improve children’s memory skills, motor skills, as well as their emotional and social development. Reading bedtime stories to babies can help them sound out words in the future.

Never Too Old for Bedtime Stories

Many experts believe parents stop reading bedtime stories to children too soon. Parents are advised to continue reading bedtime stories long after children are enrolled in school.

Between the ages of 7 and 9, parents can make a huge impact. This age provides an opportunity for them to support their child with developing a love of reading. ~ James Clements, a leading school adviser on reading

Whatever the child’s age, bedtime stories should be a loving and enjoyable part of every bedtime routine.