Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bedtime Stories and Routine

It’s Bedtime Story Month and if you don’t have a bedtime routine with story time included you should. I’m sure by now you have heard all the benefits to reading with your child, it teaches them about new things, builds language skills, improves their attention span, helps with grammar and sentence structure.  

It doesn’t matter if you have an older child or a baby it’s always a great time to read. I started reading to my kids when they were babies but never really had a routine, now I read every night to my kids. My husband and I take turns reading to each of the boys. 

My oldest son is 12 and still likes reading with us. We read big chapter books together and it’s normally something he can test on for school. It's been a great way to bond with him and learn about his day. 

We have a bedtime chart for our 5 year old and part of it includes reading 3 books. He loves to read and most of the books he has are short and don’t take a long time to read. He likes to read about space, animals, our bodies, ocean animals and so many other things. I have learned so much just by spending about 30 minutes reading. He has also learned a lot too and now is reading to me.

If you have a baby read to them. Find books that they can chew on or board books with colorful pictures. Babies love to look at pictures and feel different textures. It’s a wonderful way to teach them about numbers, letters and animals.

Start a bedtime routine if you don’t have one. It’s good for everyone. You and your child will know what to expect and it makes bedtime easier. Start by figuring out what you would like your child to do before bedtime. Brush teeth, take a bath, get clothes ready for the next day, read books, hugs and kisses and turn off the light. Once you decide what you would like your child to do make a chart or a list that your child can see. If you have a younger child who can’t read draw pictures of the activities, that way they can follow the chart. The routine helps my child because he knows what to expect and understands that after reading time it’s hugs and kisses and lights out.

It’s never to late to start something that makes a huge difference in your child’s life. It shows how much you care and gives you many opportunities to share with each other.