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6 Ways to Engage Your Kid During Bedtime Reading

Tips for the Making the Best Bedtime Reading

Many young children love to be read to before bed but others will find any excuse to disrupt the bedtime routine. Although some parents will struggle to get their little one to put down the book and go to sleep, others may find that it’s difficult to hold their children’s attention during story time. Learning to love reading is an important factor in creativity, imagination, and interest in school. There are a few ways parents can engage their kids in bedtime reading if it has become a struggle.

Let them choose the book
Many young children will choose the same book over and over again to have mom or dad read to them.  Additionally, kids may have different tastes than their parents. If bedtime reading has been a struggle lately, let the kid choose which story they want. When children get to choose what they are going to read or hear, they are usually more engaged. There will be plenty of time for required reading at school or during an at-home study session.

Choose a book with colorful pictures
It’s hard to say what learning style a child will have until they’ve been in the classroom for a while. Young students will let their imaginations run wild as they listen to interesting characters and exotic worlds within a story while other kids will want to see colorful and intricate drawings to spark their imagination. If your kid has been disengaged from bedtime reading lately, try choosing a couple of stories with bright, bold, and interesting drawings.

Let them identify with the protagonist
If a child doesn’t relate to a story’s characters their mind may begin to wander elsewhere or they may not want to listen to the story altogether. Perhaps a young kid will want to be the adventuresome hero in the tale or identify with the princess. If a young student can identify with the protagonist of the story, they are more likely to be excited and involved in bedtime reading.

Choose a story with a cliffhanger
Stories that have a cliffhanger at the end of the chapter can also be an exciting way to hold a child’s attention. Although these chapter books maybe too complicated for young children to read on their own, they can certainly listen to the stories. Many books have a climax or cliffhanger that can really capture a young student’s attention and encourage them to remain engaged for several days at a time.

Don’t make kids sound out words if they’re overly tired
Bedtime reading can also be a good time to let a child start to read to their mom and dad and sound out a few words here and there. However, if the child is feeling overly tired it may be too mentally taxing for them to attempt to be the reader during story time. If this is the case it may be better to do reading practice earlier in the day and simply enjoy the story together at bedtime.

Use good old fashioned paper books
Although many excellent stories are conveniently available in electronic form, many kids remain highly tactile and would benefit from a good old fashioned paper book. There’s a lot to benefit from turning the pages, looking at original artwork, and being able to point to different characters displayed within such pictures. It can be very easy for a child to disengage from an electronic book because the format does not provide the same multi sensory experience that a paper book does.

Robyn Scott is a private English tutor at TutorNerds. She attended the University of California, Irvine as an undergraduate and the University of Southampton in England as a graduate student. She has worked with students from the United States, Japan, South Korea, the European Union, and Africa.

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