One of my favourite memories is being read a bedtime story. I loved it so much I used to go to bed listening to story tapes every night. My own girls are the same. The declare that they can’t go to sleep without a story. It’s an important ritual for us and one I don’t see us giving up any time soon.
I think bedtime stories are so important. The main reason is that they promote a love of books and stories. I associate reading with cuddles and happiness. The perfect recipe to create a lifelong love of reading. I very rarely get the girls to read to me at bedtime. We are all too tired. Instead I let them just enjoy the story. Soak up all those new words and ideas. That vocabulary is all their in their heads. I aim to read books a couple of years above their reading age. All those wonderful words are absorbed until they are ready to come out in their own writing. If only there was such an easy way to learn spellings or times tables!
The good thing is a survey by Bettaliving has found that more people are reading to their children than ever. Apparently, 79% of parents now read to their children, as opposed to 55% by their parents. The majority read every night. There doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between mums and dads reading to their children. 82% or mums read to their children and 75% of dads.
The favourite books of the nation are not that surprising. Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo tops the list with The BFG coming in second. I think the reason they are so loved is that adults love to read them as much as children love to hear them. The language is poetic and fun to read. A lot of the popular series books for children are fun for them to read but a bit repetitive for a grown up. While Roald Dahl has increased in popularity, my old favourite Enid Blyton has declined in popularity. I think there are still books which modern children can enjoy and I remember someone telling me that their old-fashioned language was a good preparation for English classics like Austen and Dickens. We would still recommend The Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton.
I found the infographic really encouraging. It shows that we are still a book-loving nation. Long may that continue.
In association with Bettaliving