Exchange Screen Time for Bedtime Stories

Are you one of those parents that still remember the moments when your parents read you bedtime stories before you fell asleep? They are so much more than just great memories. The question is, are you passing this on to your kids today? We will explain why bedtime stories have such a positive power for your little ones and why you should read bedtime stories to them, too.

Little girl waiting for her bedtime story

Regardless of your child's age, reading bedtime stories together is the perfect way to end the day, giving them some of your precious time and attention despite your busy schedule.

Why are bedtime stories so useful and recommended for kids?

Benefits of bedtime stories:

  • Bonding Time: This is the part of the day that gives your child the feeling that they have you all for themselves. It's cuddle time and, in case you didn't know, cuddling is good for children’s brains as it promotes a sense of safety and security. Reading a book will bring you together. In addition, while reading, you communicate and participate in conversation that you might not otherwise have and promotes learning.
  • Better Reading Skills: You can use bedtime stories as an opportunity to read together, where you and your child take turns reading a page or a paragraph, depending on their ability. With this, you practice and improve their reading.
  • Stimulate the Imagination: All the unicorns, wizards, fairies, gnomes that we meet in fairy tales open completely new worlds for them. Fairy tales take them to places they never dreamed of. When listening to stories and looking at pictures, they get so many ideas that they can imagine the continuation or the end of the story. This helps develop their imagination and creativity.
  • Improves Communication Skills: Encourage your child to participate in conversation while reading. Make reading books an interactive experience. Let them guess the continuation of the story and ask them why they think the story will evolve that way. They should know that all ideas are welcome. This will make it easier for them to express their thoughts and ideas in the future.
  • Creating a Reading Routine: We are aware that many tasks are overlooked in everyday life, but you should know that if reading becomes a part of a child's routine (same as brushing teeth), they will definitely not forget about it. Reading helps calm them down, relax and prepare for sleep after a long day of activities and playing. Reading bedtime stories every day can create a love for books, which is a lifelong benefit.
  • Expand Vocabulary: Reading bedtime stories aloud gives your child a whole bag of new words to expand their vocabulary with. Believe us, they remember stories, and consequently, the words that we read to them.

What makes the perfect bedtime story?

To relax and prepare your child for sleep, it is also important to choose the right bedtime story. Here are some characteristics of books that will slow down your kid's racing mind and body and prepare them for sleep.

  • Topic: The main feature of the book we choose to read our kid before going to bed definitely sets the tone for the last few minutes before bed. The best ones are the ones that talk about bedtime. They can talk about slowing down the outside world and getting ready for the night. It may be a fairy tale about the wonder of dreaming, or it may simply be about bedtime routines. Such bedtime stories help mentally prepare kids for sleep. Books about bedtime routines such as brushing teeth and kissing goodnight are especially recommended for little ones. Of course, there are other genres of books that will soothe and prepare the kids for the night.
  • Color Palette: As day turns to night, also the sky darkens and the world calms down. That is why the best bedtime stories are dominated by cool colors such as shades of blue and black. These are "heavy" colors that soothe and prepare children for sleep. Pastel colors can also work great and are just as effective. They offer a light and airy feel to the illustrations.
  • Rhythm: The illustrations are what break up the story when there aren't many words on the page. You can use the rhythm to give a fairy tale a dreamy feeling with long sentences, words or pauses. Or create excitement with many short and punchy sentences. There are so many factors that affect the rhythm of a book. In any case, the best bedtime stories are those with a swaying rhythm that relaxes and soothes. They simply lull kids to sleep.

Bedtime Story Ideas

Here are some great bedtime stories that your kid will be sure to love:

  • Llama Llama Red Pajama (Anna Dewdney): Effectively combined rhymes and colorful illustrations to capture your preschooler's attention. The fairy tale revolves around a little llama who learns patience and feels safe at night even when it’s parents are not in the room. This is a valuable lesson for our little ones as well.
  • Goodnight, Moon (Margaret Wise Brown): A timeless fairy tale for every baby, toddler, or preschooler. A bedtime story about a little bunny's routine relaxes your child with simple words and gentle illustrations.
  • Hans Christian Andersen's Complete Fairy Tales (Hans Christian Andersen): The favorite fairy tale classics of both kids and parents. The book combines all the well-known titles of timeless bedtime stories, including "The Ugly Duckling," "The Red Shoes," "Thumbelina,"... The book is great for reading aloud to our little ones or for kids who are already reading to themselves.
  • 365 Bedtime Stories & Rhymes: Fairy tales and rhymes from different authors, collected in one place. The book is suitable for kids from the age of 4, and of course, the whole family can enjoy it.
We believe that the love of reading is one of the most beautiful gifts with enormous benefits that you can give to your child during their childhood. Don't let the nights go by without a good bedtime story!