If you were read to as a child, the chances are that you’ll remember it.  The feeling of being tucked up in bed listening to your favourite book being read to you, with funny voices and maybe even actions.  Story time is so important and really helps with your child’s development.  

Bonding time  

Children have to read at school, whether to a teacher, a TA or another pupil.  They go through the processes and will be encouraged to read with expression, passion and humour.   It’s a lot of pressure for a little one.  However, being read to allows your child to relax, they don’t have to focus on the words, adding in accents or placing emphasis.  They can snuggle up and enjoy the sound of your voice and feel close to you.  It’s a great way to bond with your child, create a special period of time that’s just for you.  

It helps them to recognise words  

Hearing someone use a word they’ve been trying to spell is really helpful.  Hearing it in a story, in context with other words, also helps with working out the meaning and understanding why that word was used in that sentence.  Especially if you emphasise it with the emotion.   If you know your child’s spelling words of the week and you spot it in the book, point it out to them, let them see it and hear it.  Then, when it comes to practising their spelling, you can remind them the word was in the story last night.  

Make it up  

Some of the best stories are the ones that don’t come from a book.  There the ones right off the cuff, which feature family and friends, animals, pets and holiday destinations.   Your imagination is the limit – does Mum gets turned into a mermaid and can only be saved by Sammy the Sealion.  Or is your child the hero of the day taking on their fears or making that big jump, climbing a tree or swimming in the sea.   There’s no end to the story other than what you make it, so it can go on for days.  There’s no end to the imagination and this is a core skill that can be learnt easily through storytime 

It stretches their attention span 

We all know little ones like to fidget and sitting still for anything can be a challenge. A really good story, told with funny voices and gestures, helps them to engage in storytime This naturally encourages your child to stay more focused and pay attention for longer.  The older they get, the longer the story should be to encourage them to sit still and listen for longer.  Just make sure the story is interesting and fun.