Reading a story to your children at snooze time is not only a good way to set down sleep patterns and calm them down, it will also encourage your child's speech and language development. Listening to stories can also improve social skills and empathy, especially if you aks questions like "What would you do?". For school kids it will help to develop literacy skills in an enjoyable way.
Would you like to perfect your storytelling skills? Then follow these tips to read out the best bedtime stories ever.
Let them choose the story. Have your kids choose from three or four stories that are suitable for their age. This way, they will be even more interested in what's happening.
Get into character. Don't be afraid to use different voices for the various characters. Try to include movements in your story telling or carry out some of the actions of the characters and use intonation as means to transfer a certain atmosphere. Don't shy at going a little over the top, your kids will love it!
Read regularly. When your child is just learning to talk, I recommend regularly reading the same story. Traditional fairytales are a good way to start as they are short and all follow similar patterns. The first time a child hears a story they won't catch every detail — but hearing it over and over again helps them to become familiar with words and to establish speech patterns. This will help to develop their language skills and enhance their memory.
Include the pictures. Take time to look at the pictures that come with the story. I usually point out certain details and try to find similarities with my little listeners.
By the way, reading bedtime stories is not an activity reserved to mommies. Research showed that when dads read, kids are better at school. Dads should actively encourage their sons to read as reading is often thought of as a 'girly' thing to do, but if young boys see their main role model enjoying reading it'll encourage them too.