Calming your kids down and preparing them for bedtime can be a challenge some nights. Some parents also have a hard time getting their kids to sleep throughout the night. If you want to make your little one’s bedtime routine more efficient and pleasant, you can try reading a story to them.
Books To Help Children Sleep
Your children are likely to remember the bedtime stories for years to come and reading to your child will serve as a pleasant memory for you as well. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when reading books to help your children sleep soundly at night.
Making the Most of Bedtime Stories
To make sure storytime is enjoyable for you and your child, remember these suggestions:
- Take your time when reading. This helps your child retain the words in the story and take in the beauty of the illustrations. Pointing to the words with your finger while reading will increase the chances that your little one will remember the words since they are hearing and seeing them at the same time.
- Add a little drama to the story. You can give each character in the story their own voice or take pauses to build up the excitement for certain parts of the story. Change the dynamics of your voice as well to indicate to your child which parts of the story are calm or exciting.
- Set the mood for storytime by ensuring that your little one is cozy and comfortable before you begin. This will help them drift off to sleep after or even during the story. Turn off the lights and plug a nightlight in or use a projector to display shapes on the wall. Make sure your child’s twin mattress is comfortable as well. Children often need softer mattresses so they’ll feel more of a sense of comfort during sleep.
- Read stories often to help your child memorize the stories. You’ll likely have to read your child’s favorite stories each night for a few months and this will help to make bedtime stories more memorable for the both of you.
Now that you know how to make the most of storytime, here are some book recommendations for children based on age.
Babies (0-3 years)
If your little one is still an infant, they can still benefit from a bedtime story. Parents should read to their children as early as possible to encourage early literacy development and prepare the baby’s mind for language learning.
Recommended books such as Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown utilizes repetition as the rabbit, the main character in the story, says goodnight to the items in his room, as well as the stars and moon repeatedly. The book has a tranquil effect and shows dimming light in the illustrations to send the message that the rabbit is preparing for bedtime.
Hush Little Ones by John Butler is another great bedtime book for infants. The story features baby animals such as rabbits, whales, and birds being tucked into bed by their mothers and fathers. The vocabulary is simple and rhythmic, and your child will likely enjoy looking at the pictures.
Toddlers and Kids (4-6)
At this age, you can start reading stories to your children with advanced vocabulary and characters. Rosemary Wells’ Sleep My Bunny tells the story of a bunny completing his bedtime routine. This story can motivate your child to get excited about their nighttime routine and have a positive attitude about putting on their pajamas and calming down to prepare for sleep.
You may also want to read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff as well. This is a classic bedtime story that you may remember from your childhood about a mouse who asks a little boy for a cookie. The request for cookies turns into more and more requests. This silly bedtime story is entertaining and boosts your child’s mood before they fall asleep.
Once your child is in/about to leave elementary school, they will start learning to read and be ready to move on to more advanced books. Stories for older children will captivate your child’s attention and make them more excited about reading with you.
Astronaut Annie by Suzanne Slade is a book that will teach your child to go after their dreams by teaching them about career options. The story features Annie, who has dreams about different jobs while preparing for career day at school. The book also offers interesting facts about female astronauts and the moon so you can incorporate some academic concepts into bedtime.
The Dragon’s Eggs by Jade Matre is a fantasy book for kids that will teach your child the importance of determination. The story’s main character, Luca, goes through an abandoned castle looking for dragon eggs. The story has elements of mysticism and magic so it’s perfect for sparking your child’s imagination.