Celebrate International Children's Book Day with Smart pyjamas, which reads to your child via an iPad, meaning little ones can enjoy a bed-time story without mum or dad around.
However, enjoying some bedtime stories with your kids is not only a great way to bond but also improves your little one’s communication skills.
Research has shown that children who regularly enjoy bedtime stories perform better at school, have larger vocabularies and a better imagination.
So ditch the iPad and follow these top tips to enjoy a relaxing bedtime story tonight…
1. Make sure the books are age appropriate.
If they are too young or too old for your child, they will get bored and restless. Here are some of our favourites.
2. Involve your little one
Take time to look together at the words and pictures in the book. Ask your child if they can see certain things in the pictures or ask them questions to do with the story - 'What's your favourite colour?' or 'Do you prefer cats or dogs?' If they have started to read, ask them to spot certain words or letters. The more involved they are, the more engaged they will be with the story.
3. Unleash your inner actor!
Use your hands, face and voice – kids love people who are animated. Make sure you also use sounds where possible. All these actions and sounds will help bring any story to life and show them that reading is good fun.
4. Make it up
If you don’t feel like reading or don’t have a book to hand – create your own story as you go along! If you make your child the main character, they will love it even more. You can also ask them to get involved and add bits to the story to create a truly unique bedtime experience!
5. Repeat, repeat, repeat!
Make sure you regularly read the same story. This is particularly important for younger children, who are just learning to speak as they learn through repetition. Some children also find comfort in hearing a story they know and love, which helps them calm down in time for a restful night’s sleep.
6. Dad’s allowed
Reading is often seen as a bit girlie, however, if you have a boy, it’s really important to share the bedtime story ritual with dad - or another male he admires. This will show him that reading is in fact for everyone