National Storytelling Week. The benefits of a bedtime story.

31st January, 2024

In honour of National Storytelling Week, we reached out to our team to learn more about some of their favourite stories and to understand about why reading is so important to children.

The benefits of a bedtime story

Imagination. Reading a bedtime story to a child helps to develop their imagination, helping them to envision scenes and characters in their own head and better understanding the story.

Cognitive skills. Bedtime stories can help improve memory and retention of information. Often a child will develop a favourite story, and before they’re able to read themselves, will recall the words before they happen.

Important bonding time. Reading a bedtime story gives real quality one on one time. Even if it’s only fifteen minutes every night.

Gives routine and structure. A bedtime story can be a vital part of the evening routine. Not only is it relaxing downtime, but it helps the child know what to expect, plus it makes the last part of the day something to look forward too.

Develops language. Reading to a child consistently will improve their vocabulary. Giving the opportunity to discuss more complex words and their meaning together.

Establishes empathy. Reading can help children explore big feelings. Also, by reading a range of books to children it exposes them to people and places different to themselves.

Encourages further reading and creativity. Naturally, it follows that often children who have been read to consistently will be more likely to enjoy reading themselves. Being exposed to the imaginations of a range of authors helps to nurture their own creativity and self-expression.


Favourite bedtime stories

Capstone Foster Carers Claire and Mat enjoy the classic bedtime stories with their children, saying,

“The benefits are bonding time, relaxation and ending the day on a nice story to give their mind something nice to think about instead of a wandering mind.”

While foster carer Lisa told us that A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson was a firm favourite in their household.

“I think our young man just likes me changing my voice with each animal we bring in and out, never gets boring and it gives you that one to one time, even if its for only ten minutes a day.”

It may seem like a small thing, but those ten minutes can be part of a bigger whole, which makes a lot of difference to a child.

Other favourites our team told us were Each Peach Pear Plum by Allen & Janet Ahlberg, The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr and A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.

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