How Important is Story Time in the Evening?

Parents intuitively know that children benefit from being read to, but how important actually is story time?

Studies have proven that reading to children benefits them immediately and in the future! Children who are read to have:

  • Better language skills – Quality literature improves language understanding, grammar, and sentence structure
  • Increased vocabulary – Quality literature exposes children to a wide vocabulary and better understanding of words
  • Improved literacy – Research shows a strong connection between reading aloud to children and advanced literacy skills. 
  • Emotional bonding with parents – positive connections are made between a parent and the child during read-aloud

Here are a few suggestions for finding time slots for reading to your child. Be sure to read to the end to learn the best time of day to read to your child!

Early Morning Reading

If your child is an early-morning cuddler, take advantage of this time to read with your child! Cozy up with a blanket, some books, and something to drink or eat. This will quickly become one of your favorite parts of the day and cherished memories.

Even if your child is bouncing off the walls early in the morning, you can still have early morning reading. It can even be an excellent way to teach your child self-regulation. Children want to engage with you when they first wake up and may be willing to snuggle up with a good book. 

Mid-Morning Reading

By mid-morning, babies are ready for their first nap of the day. Taking just a few minutes to read to them before naptime signals that it’s time to sleep. 

Young children may have burned through their breakfast energy and are looking for something to do or eat. Children turn to their parents frequently for engagement, ideas for activities, and to regulate their emotions. If your child turns mischievous, so it can be easy to turn to technology or snacks to get over the mid-morning hump.

Taking a few minutes to read will give them the emotional regulation their bodies are craving, and you may be surprised that they aren’t as needy for technology or snacks as you previously thought. Often after reading, children are regulated and ready to choose their next activity with cheerfulness and independence. 

Before Nap Time

Babies, toddlers, and young children should have regular naps. Often, children of these ages will take a nap in the early afternoon. This is another perfect time to sneak in some reading!

As your child starts to slow down, choose quieter activities, or zone out, initiate some reading time. Take the child to a cozy spot such as their bed or a rocking chair, and read one to three books. This further relaxes your child, gives them a visual timeline of when it’s time to nap (“This is our last book!”), and helps them fall asleep faster. 

After Nap Time

If your kid is grouchy, sleepy, or whiney after waking up from a nap, cuddling with a book might be the perfect solution. A healthy snack or drink also helps gently raise blood sugar and mood so they are cheerful after reading together. 

Before Bed 

What’s the best time to read to your kids? Right before bed!

Science is now showing that reading before bed is the best time to read with your child. In one study, reading at bedtime significantly lengthened children’s total nighttime sleep duration. That’s music to every parent’s ears!

At bedtime, kids are sleepy enough to be relaxed but are still alert as they fight sleep. Reading with your child before bed establishes a routine that promotes bonding and gets them into a sleepy state of mind to fall asleep–and stay asleep!

Bright Start Louisville offers exceptional childcare to children six weeks to 12 years old. We’re proud to offer a fun and educational preschool program that prepares your child for kindergarten per state educational standards.

If you’re looking for excellent childcare that gives your child a head start in life, contact Bright Start Louisville today!

What’s Next

What Is Quality Literature in Kids Books? (Plus Age-Appropriate Book Guide)