Bedtime Stories & Lifelong Benefits:
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Bedtime stories are a long‑held tradition across many cultures. It's part of a familiar routine for many families and usually includes a cosy combination of bath time, a change into pyjamas, teeth brushing and then at last: story time.
Peter Gorski, MD, chair of the early childhood committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics says, “To best confer reading's cognitive benefits, a child's experiences with books should be enjoyable. More than anything, you want him to associate reading with emotional warmth and fun.”
The key is to maximise this rare quiet time at the end of the day by making it positive, fun and most of all enjoyable for both you and your child. The right bedtime story is key as well. You can click here to access our suggested bedtimes stories below.
Let's take a look at the positive benefits of bedtime stories for young children:
Benefits of bedtime stories
Bedtime stories carry a range of benefits for both children and their parents. From bonding and increasing reading skills to building an understanding of the world and nurturing a love for reading, they can also be used as a vehicle for conversation.
Reading to your child requires a certain amount of closeness. Many parents snuggle in tight with their little ones while reading a bedtime story, which helps to establish connection and allow for key bonding time.
Increases reading skills
Reading a bedtime story (or two or three!) to your child each night will help to develop their vocabulary as well as their reading comprehension and fluency. The more you read to your child the more they are able to improve upon all five components of reading: phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency and reading comprehension.
Helps build an understanding of the world
Bedtime stories can open your child up to a world that is completely different to their own. Through stories they can learn about faraway places, real or imagined, thus helping them to develop new perspectives that are beyond their own.
Can be used as a platform for conversation
Taking the time to read a bedtime story each night can provide a wonderful opportunity to discuss different topics with your child. You can talk about the characters in the story and use it as a segue to ask them questions about how they would handle the situation or how it makes them feel. Talking through the story is also a great way to improve their reading comprehension.
Nurtures a love for reading
Creating a bedtime story routine will help to create positive associations with reading. By establishing a safe and loving environment, your child will come to love story time and develop fond memories, making them more likely to continue reading for pleasure in the future.
Top bedtime story tips
Recommended bedtime stories
All of the children's books below can be found in the ABC Reading Eggs library. Sign up for your free trial here and enjoy instant access to over 2500 children's books that will make bedtime reading fun for years to come.
Bella Goes to Bed
It's time for bed, but Bella wants to play! This engaging book series follows the adventures of Bella the ginger kitten. She loves dress‑ups, making new friends and exploring the world. But at the end of the day, she wants to snuggle up at home. (Find this book in ABC Reading Eggs Junior)
Where is Bear?
It's been a busy day and Reggie is very sleepy. The only thing is, he can't find his favourite toy – Bear! This gorgeously illustrated series invites children into Reggie's world, promoting an interest in new experiences. (Find this book in ABC Reading Eggs Junior)
Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
You can find a range of Mother Goose stories in the ABC Reading Eggs Junior Library, perfect for toddlers! These classic stories are great for building rhythm and phonemic awareness, and the colourful pictures are a delight for young readers. (Find this book in ABC Reading Eggs Junior)
It's bedtime for Baby Bear. What's his routine before going to bed? Follow along with the bear‑y adventurous bears. What will they get up to next? The series fosters an early enjoyment of reading and builds early reading skills in young children. (Find this book in ABC Reading Eggs Junior)
Five Little Penguins
Five little penguins waddling down the hill. One toppled over and took a spill! These rhyming picture books tell stories of animals, people and places, helping to build connections between books and everyday activities while developing phonemic awareness. (Find this book in ABC Reading Eggs Junior)
Baby Koalas Bedtime
Baby Koala doesn't want to go to bed and gets up to a bit of mischief instead! Your child will love the colourful wildlife photographs accompanied by simple text and an easy‑to‑follow storyline. The repetition of sounds and actions encourage children to join in.
The Hare and the Tortoise
This timeless tale has been lovingly passed down through the generations. The speedy hare challenges the slow tortoise to a race. Who will win? Discover a range of classic children's stories in the ABC Reading Eggs library.
River and Pebble want something special to put in their tree house. Follow them on their hunt and enjoy the detailed, dreamlike paintings that bring this journey to life. The questions at the end of the book are perfect for sparking conversation.
The Dancing Tree
Sprig has one night to choose her forever spot in the Fairy Forest. There she'll grow big, strong and magical. Where will her forever spot be? This wonderful series features full‑colour illustrations and short chapters that show young readers the importance of perseverance, courage and the value of being a good friend.
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