Tag Archives: reading

The Importance of Reading to your Child at Bedtime and Bedtime Reading Tips

The benefits of reading to your child are well-researched and new benefits are being found as studies continue.  Reading to your child can be one of the most important things you do for your child to help with their development.  I have two children, 12 years old and 5 years old, and every night either my husband or I read to our 5-year-old at bedtime and when my husband is home, he still reads to our 12-year-old.  My 12-year-old loves it when my husband lays down and reads to him because he knows that is his uninterrupted time with his dad and I can tell that after a stressful day, they both appreciate and enjoy that quiet time together.

Here are a few reasons why bedtime reading is important for children:

  • Reading to your preschooler increases their reading ability and language skills later on. These are two skills that your child will need throughout their school years and beyond.
  • Reading to your child encourages a love of reading and learning new things because they will see it as fun and not just a requirement when they start school.

Sebastian helping Madelyn read a book

  • Allowing your preschooler to help turn the pages improves their motor skills.  My daughter has always loved turning the pages.  When she was younger, around 2, she went through a time when she would NOT let me turn the pages.. I guess turning the pages made her feel very special.
  • Reading the same books multiple times improves a child’s memory skills. Your child will remember what happened the last time you read the book to them. This will help them with memorization on tests and quizzes in school.
  • Reading stimulates a child’s imagination and curiosity. Your child will be interested in learning new things because of the stories they read. As your child encounters new situations and new environments in the stories, they will learn about things they may never experience on their own.
  • Reading improves a child’s attention span. Children are drawn into a story and want to know how it ends, which makes it easier for them to sit still longer and continuing reading. This will be beneficial when your child has to focus on a subject in school or study for a test.
  • Reading helps preschoolers bond with their parents. It becomes a special time that you spend together; It will create memories that will last.  This has proven to be true even with my 12-year-old son.  He still enjoys bedtime reading with my husband.

Tips for bedtime reading:

  • Have a set bedtime ritual and stick to it!  We have dinner, then bath time, brush teeth, then snuggle up in bed and read 3 or 4 stories.
  • Read to your child even when you are stressed or have other things you feel like you should be doing during that time.  I often find myself thinking that I could be emptying the dishwasher, answering emails, starting laundry, vacuuming the living room, or taking a shower, instead of reading to my daughter but for me it is a fact that reading to my 5-year-old calms me down just as much as it does her.  I benefit from the quiet, relaxing time just as much as she does and I get more done after she’s asleep since I’ve had a few minutes to relax and read.
  • Have an older sibling to read to their younger sibling every once in a while.  My 12-year-old son will occasionally read to my 5-year-old which is a miracle considering they usually don’t speak to each other as if they are related.  Once my 12-year-old gets into the book he’s reading to her, this time becomes fun, and reminds them (and me) that they can get along and learn from each other.
Reading to your child at bedtime will foster many positive behaviors for now and in the future. You will not have to struggle as much to get your child to study because they will love learning. Begin a bedtime reading ritual when your child is a baby and you will see the benefits when they are older!
What reading tips do you have to share with other parents?  Please share in the comments below.
Alicia Hagan, Editor

Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program and Giveaway

Cheerios Spoonful of Stories

I just put Madelyn down for her nap (she’s not sleeping yet by the way) and thanks to Cheerios we read two new books today. The first book from the Spoonful of Stories gift pack is about a little girl named Ruby who has a little issue with manners and must straighten up before she has tea with the Queen who ends up being her Grandma. The second book we read, Sleepyhead, and is a great bedtime story about a little teddy bear that always wants another story, another kiss, another cuddle. Sound farmiliar? The books are written in english and spanish but I’m not brave enough to read them in spanish yet.

About the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program:

Over the past eight years, Cheerios has given away more than 40 million children´s books by distributing them free inside cereal boxes and has donated $3.2 million to First Book, their non-profit partner, which provides books to children from low-income families. The program is part of Cheerios´ ongoing commitment to helping parents provide their children with a healthy, nutritional and educational foundation.

CheeriosBeginning this month, Cheerios is again bringing books to the breakfast table, by providing six million children´s books free inside Cheerios boxes. The books are for children ages 3 to 8 years old, and include a brand new book in the popular “Trucktown” series, available only inside Cheerios boxes. And for the first time, all five books have been specially printed in both English and Spanish.

This year´s book offerings from Cheerios – all by Simon & Schuster Children´s Publishing – are:

Junkyard Fort, written by Jon Scieszka, and illustrated by David Shannon, Loren Long and Dave Gordon: Join Gabriella, Jack, Melvin, Ted, Lucy and the other Trucktown characters as they make their own fort, using things found in the junkyard. Ages 4-8.

Tea for Ruby, written by The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser: Wherever Ruby goes, a bit of disaster seems to follow. But one sunny morning, things change when the postman brings Ruby an amazing invitation: would she like to have tea with the Queen? Ruby needs to polish her manners, and quickly. Ages 4-8.

Sleepyhead, written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by John Segal: In this rhythmic bedtime story, a cat is the parent and a teddy bear is the child who doesn’t want to go to bed. All ready for bed with teeth brushed and story read, Sleepyhead teddy tries anything to prolong his bedtime; books and his quilt provide ample fodder for his imagination. Ages 3-7.

Ballyhoo Bay, written by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Derek Anderson: Mira Bella, an artist who teaches painting and sculpture, loves Ballyhoo Bay and what it offers: sun, sea, sand, and sky. But one gray day a billboard arrives, announcing an impending development that would take all the fun out of the place. Read along to see if Mira Bella and her art can save the day and Ballyhoo Bay! Ages 4-8.

What´s Under the Bed?, written and illustrated by Joe Fenton: Young Fred cannot stop worrying about the scary creature that might be hiding beneath his bed. Finally summoning the courage to peer under his bed, Fred, with his cumbersome glasses, sees that the only thing there is Ted, his friendly Teddy Bear! Ages 3-7.

Learn more about the Spoonful of Stories program here.

Enter to win a Spoonfuls of Stories gift pack!
The gift pack includes a set of the five Spoonfuls of Stories books, a box of Cheerios, and a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble.
To enter just tell me in the comments below what book character your child is most like and for two entries tell me what your child’s favorite book is in a second comment. For four entries click here to Tweet this post then leave your Twitter user name in a third comment. For example, my son is most like Jack from Jack and Annie. He loves to explore and learn.
Entries accepted until October 27th.

A big thanks to Cheerios and MyBlogSpark for providing us with the free Cheerios Spoonful of Stories gift pack, information, and prize pack. Feel free to tell Cheerios how much you love them for their awesome cereal and Spoonful of Stories program below!