Making Storytime Fun

You know how important it is to establish a routine at bedtime for your little one from a young age. Heading to bed at the same time each night, learning how to brush their teeth, and playing soothing music are good ways to help children fall asleep. Storytime is the perfect way to help your child to relax before it’s time to slip into pleasant dreams. It’s important to make this part of the evening so enjoyable, your child will look forward to it night after night. Reading and storytelling with babies and children promotes brain development and imagination, develops language and emotions, and strengthens relationships. So you can see why Storytime is important, and why it needs to be fun and engaging.

After your nighttime routine is established, you might find your child seeking out books during the day as a quiet time activity. Reading is a relaxing activity to have some down time. Even if your child cannot read yet, they will sit quietly and look at the pictures.

Storytime isn’t always about reading words in a book. Sometimes you can look at picture books, make up your own story to the pictures in a book, sing songs or tell stories about your family, your own childhood, your life, from your child’s life or from your culture.

Give Your Little One the Chance to Pick the Book

Let your child take ownership at storytime by choosing the book. Always have an assortment that includes all-time favorites and something new. You can borrow books from the library, ask friends for recommendations, and look for top picks online. Your local op-shop is a great place to pick up pre-loved books on a budget.  Be prepared to read certain stories so many times you know every word by heart. Children love repetition when they are little. They’ll chime in with you, thriving on the predictability of what is coming next. Don’t shy away from picture books as they are just as important as story books. Picture books allow children to develop crucial reading comprehension skills without spending their energy simply trying to understand the words on the page in the first place. The images tell the story just as much as the words do, which is perfect for helping struggling readers develop comprehension.

Enjoy Acting Out the Story

Storytime should never be boring. You need enthusiasm. Give your drama skills a chance to shine. You might discover talents you didn’t know you had. The best part is knowing your child will always be an appreciative audience for you, plus it’s a time for you to slow down, enjoy the moment and bond with your child. Imagine you are Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Kindergarten Cop” on Prime Video, putting your all into every book you share with your class even though you have no experience. By the end of the book, your child will be as big of a fan as John Kimble’s class in the classic comedy.

Tap into Your Child’s Imagination

Research shows that children who activate their imaginations through being read to or reading themselves develop higher activity in the left-sided parietal-temporal occipital association cortex — the area of the brain that is responsible for cultivating mental images, and deciphering and comprehending verbal cues. You can be creative every time you open a book with your child. Pretend you’re going on a great adventure. Ask your child where he or she wants to go as they set sail on the ship of dreams. As you read tried and true books that have made many appearances at bedtime, take the story in a new direction. Give your child prompts. This is your opportunity to sit back and see what kind of tales your young one can spin. Your child can draw pictures to decorate the walls as a reminder of every journey at bedtime.

Give Your Little One Uninterrupted Time to Snuggle

Storytime before bed should have no distractions. Leave the phone in another room. Set aside half hour that is devoted to your child and the treasures hidden inside the pages of a book. This is your chance to climb into bed, tuck your little one next to you, and cuddle. Your child will remember this precious time for the rest of his or her life.

Teach Your Child The Basics About Books

Storytime is more than a pleasure. Each time you and your child open a book, they’ll learn something or reinforce something they’ve learnt about the world around them. Talk about the parts of a book, like the cover, the title, the author, and the illustrator. Ask your child how to hold a book. Demonstrate which way the pages should be turned. You can also run your finger across the page to point out the print. As your child gets older, begin to pick out letters in your child’s name. Hunt for words. Encourage your little one say the words and point. Being familiar with written language and pretending to read sets the stage for success in literacy.

Choose Books that Match Your Child’s Attention Span

Be mindful of how long you can hold your child’s interest with a book. When your child is younger, you will need shorter books. You can also consider browsing through several books to make your child excited about each book. Your child will be ready for longer books in time. Eventually, you can make the leap to chapter books. Read a chapter a night while your child closes his or her eyes. It will light the fire of imagination as pictures are painted on the canvas of your little one’s mind.


Storytime can be magical. Your child will discover that it’s possible to go anywhere in a book without ever leaving the comforts of home or a cozy bed. Each book can be a stepping stone to the next. At the same time, your child will discover the joy of reading as the bookshelf becomes crammed with stories. It will be one of the most important gifts you could ever give your child.

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