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The bountiful benefits of a bedtime story

Here at Warren Evans, we know how important it is to get children into good sleeping habits from a young age. So we’re delighted to be teaming up with a tuition company, Explore Learning, for an exciting partnership to get children thinking about their bedroom environment.

We’re also delighted to be talking to Carey Ann Dodah, Director of Curriculum Strategy at Explore Learning, which has dozens of centres across London and the south east. Carey Ann has the following advice on the benefits of bedtime reading...

After the excitement of a busy day, getting a child off to sleep can often be a mammoth task for any parent looking forward to some quiet time before they climb into their own bed! One of the best ways to encourage your little one to get some shut eye is bedtime reading. Not only is it relaxing but it’s a wonderful bonding experience – where you’re encouraging your child’s imagination to go wild.

  • Commit to the character

  • Enthusiasm and energy whilst reading to children helps to bring the characters to life. If your child sees you having fun reading – they will learn to associate reading with enjoyment and, most importantly, you’ll be making them laugh!

  • It’s never too early

  • Even children that are too young to read by themselves will benefit from being read to, from as early an age as possible. A bedtime story is the perfect way to introduce books to a child – and is a good habit to get in to for years to come.

  • Turn off and tune in to your child

  • Everyone knows that tech before bedtime is a bad idea and reading a book to your child is one of the best ways to ensure an iPad or phone is at the back of a child (or parent’s!) mind. When you’re reading – or listening – you need to give 100% attention so make sure everything is switched off – so that you and your child can fully tune in to the story you’re sharing together.

  • Books as rewards

  • Different families will use different incentives for their children as a way of rewarding good behaviour. If you use books – or a bedtime story - as rewards this will encourage children to see books as exciting and something they should feel proud to have.

  • Find what they love

  • As Frank Serafini, Professor of Literacy Education and Children’s Literature at Arizona State University says: “There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.” This is entirely true so work with your little one to find out what styles they like best – adventure, sci-fi, romance – there is bound to be a genre they love, it’s just a matter of finding it!

  • Love your library

  • Local libraries have been through a tough time of late but they are an essential port of call for parents looking for inspiration for their child. Not only do they offer a number of free workshops during the school holidays but they have an enormous variety of books to help you and your family find the ones you like - without you having to spend a penny!

  • Set their imaginations free

  • Don’t underestimate the benefits of bedtime reading - by helping your child to develop a passion for reading, you’re granting them access to worlds far, far away from their own – helping build their imagination and empathy – as well as their linguistic skills.

So good luck with your next bedtime reading to your child! It really is a wonderful, rewarding experience that your child will treasure forever – and will help you all get that little bit of extra sleep!

For any help supporting your child in reading visit Explore Learning .

Our sleep expert, Dave Gibson, shares his wisdom with the team at Explore Learning, you can read his blog about helping children get good quality sleep and learn good sleep habits here.

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