Tucking your child into bed might be a nightly challenge, but there’s nothing a good bedtime story cannot solve. Bedtime stories can sometimes feel mundane, but it’s one of the most important things you can do for your little one.
Known to foster parent-child bonds, this cosy ritual does more than preparing your tot for sleep. Hone your storytelling skills and make stories at snooze time fun for your child with these handy tips:
Keep it simple
Coming up with a story after a long might not be an easy feat, but it’s also nowhere as difficult as you think. Bear this in mind - this is a bedtime story, so there’s no need to plan out an elaborate story. Keep things simple and plan your story as such; this will only take five minutes tops!
Start with this step-by-step guide:
Voilà - you’ve got a story right there, as you go from A to B to C. On cheat days, you may wish to pick out an easy read for a quick bedtime story.
Let your child pick a book
Pique your child's interest by letting them pick their own books. By doing so, they will feel more invested in the storytelling process, which makes them more compelled to hear about what goes on in the story.
With a range of books from easy-to-read picture books to fictional reads for older readers, there is no lack of options for your little one to choose from.
Get into character
As much as bedtime stories should be fun for your child, you should also enjoy the process. Immerse yourself in the character - do a funny voice or opt for an accent. Remember to lighten up and not give yourself too much pressure - it doesn’t matter even if you’re terrible at impressions. In fact, the worse you are, the more amusing your tot will find it. Mix things up to make the story even funnier; make your King sound like the Joker and your fairy godmother like Maleficent. Take storytelling up a notch and bring your story to life with stuffed toys.
Make up a story together with your child
Opt for some impromptu fun. Invent your own characters, and rope your little one in the tale by letting them tell parts of the story too. Make your story personal - name the protagonist after your child and watch their eyes light up. Include your child’s favourite stuffed toys or pets in the story and let them go on an adventure together.
Alternatively, put your own spin on an existing story so you still have a story structure to fall back on, but get your kid to come up with alterations and additions. For a special touch, add funny family in-jokes only the both of you are privy to.
Take turns to read with your child
Rather than reading a whole narrative on your own, take turns to read with your little one. It can be reading alternate pages, or assuming different characters. Practising in the comfort of their own bedroom helps to improve their reading skills, and can create an entertaining back-and-forth between you and your tot.
For a short bedtime story, go for picture books that are visually enticing to sustain your child’s attention span.
Read your little one’s school books
It’s perfectly normal for your little learner to baulk at the thought of school. Let them know that learning can be enjoyable. For a start, turn their school books into a light-hearted bedtime story for them to associate school with positive thoughts. In this way, your tot also gets to reap the benefits of their school’s required learning.
Cultivate the habit of telling your child story at snooze time every night, for they help children learn literacy in an enjoyable manner while encouraging speech and language development. Additionally, this opportunity also allows you to have some bonding time with your little one. If nothing else, a bedtime story helps set healthy sleep patterns.
Go forth and have fun in your storytelling!
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