Reading bedtime books with children before sleep is a great routine to set the stage for a restful night and good dreams. We all know how important sleep is especially for young children as they are rapidly growing and developing.
Bedtime books normally have a more calming rhythm many times using rhyming and a gentle flow. They can change a child's focus from a possible worrisome day or not wanting to go to sleep to the magic found in a story. Books can reset the stage for a good night's sleep.
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Bedtime routines are important; they set expectations of moving towards sleep. Many include bath time, putting on pajamas, brushing teeth and crawling into bed for a story.
Think about it...you sit still for a story. Whether it's bedtime, nap time or just a quiet time, bedtime books can help a child transition from the go, go, go to a more slow, slow, slow!
Be consistent and keep it short. Bedtime books will vary in length depending on the age of your child. As children grow older, they need more time to settle or can even enjoy parts of a book read over a period of several nights.
For young children -
Some of our favorite bedtime books for small children include the following.
There's an Alligator Under My Bed
Just in Case You Ever Wonder
As children reach preschool and elementary age, not only does their reading enjoyment and ability change, but also their need for a longer bedtime routine. More is going on in their lives; it takes longer to banish the thoughts from the day and worries of tomorrow and achieve a restful mind ready for sleep,
Bedtime books help with this! This sweet time before bed becomes more than a routine, it becomes a time together. Reading books and stories becomes a shared experience and expression of love.
Reading tips at this age:
Some of our favorites include:
Chapter books are great tools to add to your child's bedtime routine once they are at the age of listening well and imagining the story on their own without the aid of pictures. This is also a wonderful way to introduce the fun and adventure found in chapter books for emerging readers who may see them as daunting!
Here are a few of our favorite chapter books and series for bedtime stories for kids:
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