For parents, sharing a bedtime story with your little one can make you feel close, connected and present.
In a time where modern lives are becoming increasingly busy, uninterrupted, quality time cosying up with your child sounds pretty idyllic…
Until they pick up the same book for you to read as they have done for what feels like the last 500 nights!
Don’t panic, The Stem Club are here to rescue you from another night of enthusiastically reading a story you could recite in your sleep, by giving you 5 simple ways to engage your child in bedtime reading with a difference.
With each suggestion we will share tips on how to throw in some additional sneaky learning without your child being any wiser.
1. Shadows and Lighting
Shadow puppets, a simple timeless activity that children (and adults!) of all ages marvel at. Use the low lighting at bedtime to your advantage and introduce shadows puppets to bring the story to life. Remember to keep things calm, this would also be a great time to introduce them to the topic of light and dark, how shadows are formed, as well as introducing discussion around night and day and which animals are nocturnal or diurnal.
With our Storybook Projector, you can take your light show one step further. Insert the story disc and watch as your child becomes fascinated by the images projected onto their bedroom wall.
2. Encourage Active Listening
Listening to an adult without visual prompts such as pictures in a story book, can be a particularly tricky skill to master. Practise developing this skill by using your imagination to create your own bedtime story tailored to your child’s interests or the people they might know.
Struggling to use your imagination? My Fabulous Storyteller could just be your saving grace! With the interactive audio player, children create their own stories by choosing a hero, an object, a location, and more using the big yellow toggle that they simply turn to make their choices. Then a fun and engaging adventure begins!
3. Get Them To Generate Ideas
Want to give your child the creative freedom to choose the plot of their own story then tell it yourself? Our Story Starter Cubes are the perfect compromise for collaborations. To get a story started, roll the cubes, then mix and match characters, settings and situations. Encouraging your child to listen to your voice as you tell the story is a great way to develop their active listening skills and get them school-ready.
4. Make Sure They Understand The Story
Sometimes, one of the trickiest parts of home reading with your child isn’t making sure they know their sounds or recognise words, but knowing which questions to ask to develop their comprehension skills. Questioning checks that your child understands the text that has been read - the key reason for learning to read.
Our set of six Reading Comprehension Cubes feature a wide range of questions linked to events, characters, and predictions of the story, as well as many more - this takes away the tricky aspect of trying to generate your own relevant questions on the spot. A great accompaniment to the bedtime story, the dice are soft and quiet, encouraging calm use.
5. Retelling and Pretend Play
Pretend play is a key way in which children choose to act out their experiences, both from their real lives and from the stories they read and hear. By retelling the events of a story, children begin to understand how to structure their own, helping them when it comes to writing their own.
Perhaps a little too exciting for bedtime, engaging your child in pretend play is something you could bear in mind for the next day when selecting the bedtime story. For days when you don’t feel like planning ahead, book and play sets do all of the hard work for you. Each set contains a story book and a 3D easy-to-assemble set in a portable carry-case.
There we have it, five simple ways to change up your bedtime story routine. Remember, these are not the type of activities that you need to be doing every bedtime, but are hopefully a helping hand when you find yourself beginning to lose that spark a little.
Have any great ideas that work for you? Already tried some of the ones listed above? We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment or click the icons below to connect with us on social media, or sign up for The Newsletter.