Even though your little one might not be able to read yet, you can start reading together from as early as three years old. It is important for kids to develop a love for reading at an early age because it helps build vocabulary and reduces anxiety when it comes to reading aloud in the future. Reading books to your child at bedtime will also help them fall asleep faster and relax more easily. The best children’s books for bedtime are shorter stories that they can finish within minutes or half an hour. They're perfect for calming little ones down and helping them transition into sleep. It is also important to find age-appropriate books that help develop your child’s literacy skills. Children learn better by seeing than hearing, so choose books with softly coloured illustrations, large text, simple words, and short sentences that they can process quickly. Read on to learn about our top picks of kids' bedtime storybooks by age:
Newborns And Infants:
Many parents are hesitant to read books to their newborns and infants because they worry that their children won’t be able to understand what they read. Even though your baby might not be able to comprehend the words on the page yet, reading aloud to them will help them develop brain activity and learn how to interact with others. Reading bedtime stories to your newborn can be especially fun because they are so young and respond to your voice the same way they respond to your touch. Try reading books with repetitive words and sounds such as animal noises, lullabies, and easy words such as mama or dada. Your child might also be interested in books that have bright colors and patterns on the pages. Infants might not be able to focus on the words right away, but they can enjoy the feel of the book in their hands and the sound of your voice while they explore the world through their senses. Reading to your infant is an important skill to cultivate at an early age.
There is no better time than the early years to get kids reading than when they are toddlers. By the age of two, most children are able to understand simple sentences. They are also able to memorize their first few words and are eager to immerse themselves in reading. Bedtime storybooks for toddlers can range from rhyming books that use short rhyming phrases and short sentences to longer stories with simple words. You may find that reading from a book that your toddler has outgrown is a better way to get him to read to himself than reading from an old bedtime book. If you have an aspiring reader in your home, encourage him to read out loud to himself. This will help him develop a love for reading that will last a lifetime. Pick books like: The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, Green Eggs And Ham by Dr. Seuss, The Monster At The End Of This Book by Jon Stone, Baby Beluga by Raffi and It’s Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr.
Pre-schoolers are in a transitional phase between the young reader and the teenage reader. They want to read bedtime books that are more difficult than what they read to toddlers and they want books with more complex words. Pre-school reading levels are set by the age and vocabulary levels of the books that are allowed in schools, so make sure you choose reading levels appropriate for your child. Reading with a pre-schooler can be a great way to introduce vocabulary words and complex sentences into their vocabulary. You can also read books with a theme that sparks an interest in your child such as books about animals or about different cultures. Invest in books like - Soccer Time by Terry Pierce, It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny by Marilyn Sadler, Fish Are Not Doctors by J.E Morris, I Will Race You To The End Of This Book by Jonathan E Fenske, Peppa Pig books and I Love My Grandma by Frances Gilbert.
Children in the early elementary years are eager to read books with more detailed illustrations and complicated words. You can find age-appropriate chapter books at your local library, or you can choose books that have been made into movies and TV shows such as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson so that your child can see a story come to life on the screen. Reading to kids in elementary school can help them develop a love for reading and learn how to create their own stories with words. Reading to your child can also be a great way to encourage creativity in your child. Ask your child to tell you the story behind the illustrations or work with your child to create a book together out of recycled materials. Choose books like - Willow Finds A Way by Lana Button, Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr Seuss, The Story Of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, Bridge To Terabithia by Katherine Paterson and Wonder by R.J Palacio.
A tween’s love for reading can be intense, so it’s important to find age-appropriate books that spark their interest. Choose books with topics that your child is interested in such as sports and pop culture, or choose books based on your child’s interests such as art and music. Tweens also want to read books that let them experience life through the eyes of an adventure hero. You can find age-appropriate books that span a range of topics from fiction and nonfiction books. Reading to a tween can be a fun adventure because they want to talk about their favorite books and share their opinions about what characters and books are good and bad. You can also use this time to talk about social issues that tweens are facing such as bullying and cyberbullying. Add books like - The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, Divergent by Veronica Roth and The Outsiders by S.E Hinton
Teenagers And Young Adults:
Your younger teens are eager to read books that help them explore their own identities as readers and writers. You can choose books based on topics that are important to your teens such as race, sexuality, or mental health. You can also choose books with a style that your teen enjoys such as contemporary, mystery, or fantasy. The Fault in Our Stars, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and the Hunger Games series are a great way to begin.
Books For Special Need Kids:
Reading is a great way to help kids with special needs develop social skills, learn to read, and build confidence. Many libraries offer book clubs for kids with special needs that allow members to discuss the books and vote on which ones they want to read next. You can also find online discussion groups and meet-up groups for children with special needs to talk about their favorite reads. You can find many resources that offer reviews of books for kids with special needs. Choose age-appropriate books that are easy enough for your child to read, but challenging enough to make them feel successful.
Wrapping Up: Should You Read To Your Child Before Bed?
Reading to your child before bed can be a relaxing way to wind down and fall asleep. Find books that are short, with words that are simple to read and illustrations that are calming. Remember to keep reading books that are too easy for your child and try to keep reading times short enough that your child doesn't have time to distract themselves or fall asleep in between reads. You can also use reading as a way to build vocabulary and help your child learn how to decode words. Reading to your child before bed can be a great way to encourage literacy skills that will last a lifetime.