1 in 10 children get a story at bedtime

Are we saying ‘goodnight’ to bedtime stories?

Bedtime stories, are proven to boost academic achievement so not only are they a fun and bonding way to say goodnight to one another, they also aid a child’s development. It is a real shame then that this pass time a dwindling practice in many households.

Studies and a survey of 1,005 UK parents by Furniture123 have shown that just 1 in 10 say that they read a bedtime story to their child or children every night, while 6% said that they had never read a bedtime story to their little ones.

But why is reading a bedtime story an important thing to do, are there really benefits to dedicating some time each evening to reading together? 

We here at Settle stories certainly believe so and here is why:

A bedtime story isn’t only the chance to spend those extra minutes of quality time with a child, it is also a consistent way of helping to keep a routine, one that fosters an atmosphere of calm, happiness and closeness. Spending time sitting and reading with a child can benefit them in so many ways. A way to settle them down before bed, a chance to spark the seeds of imagination before they take to their bedtime slumber.

There are also the many educational benefits of reading a bedtime story and it may not always be in the most obvious ways. Stories activate our imagination - tales of mystery, fantasy and adventure are often the theme of tales for bedtime, specifically because they are a way to help make sense of the world, without being too factual.

There is also the importance of instilling elements of communication in children. We nearly all communicate through the written word, verbal methods, listening and body language. A child’s vocabulary can be strengthened with the help of listening to descriptive phrases, which they may then go on to use to describe how they feel and think.

Of the parents who do read a bedtime story, some stopped reading to their children once they became independent readers, but many children are not ready to move on from this night time routine. Sharing that time with each other each evening is not only a joy for the child either, sharing a story at bedtime with a child, whether you are a parent, grandparent, sibling or babysitter is a way to wind down from the day and create wonderful memories together through the act of reading.

Stories in their most basic form were created by us humans as a way of passing down history and information, they were used as a way of talking about things that matter to us, albeit it not being a personal account of what happened. We are not only reading together but passing down a sense of history and belonging.

A lack of time can often prevent parents from being able to read to their children each night. But parents need to remember the importance of sharing bedtime stories is more than just sharing cute stories. Take advantage of the time spent with your child, one day they will decide that they have moved passed the phase of wanting to hear them. The time to tell them is such a short window, surely we should all try and make the time to enjoy it whilst we can.

Wherever you are in the world we want you to enjoy storytelling with Settle Stories. We offer year round events and of course the iconic Settle Stories Festival. 

Written by volunteer writer Elizabeth Snell