I soon found out that this was the situation across the country, and I was horrified - if this pattern continues then bedtime stories could be in danger of becoming extinct. Eventually, after talking to colleagues and the author Jane Hissey, we settled on a simple message for our campaign: please read or tell stories to your children as often as you can, as early as you can! I really and truly believe that most parents are totally unaware of how important reading or telling a story is, and how it can relax both parties, create emotional bonds, stimulate a child's development, help children in developing empathy and so much more.
So we decided to hold a launch evening for carers to explain the benefits of bedtime stories for them and their children. We designed the evening so that the children could come back to school with PJs and teddies if they wanted, and then they would get to have stories and hot chocolate with their teachers while we spoke to the parents.
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I got the children involved in getting their parents to come, too. We made banners in class, and every evening before the event, we had children chanting at hometime:. My colleagues at school were fantastic on launch night, making the classrooms inviting with Smartboards replicating fires, starry night backgrounds, subdued lighting, torches, cushions and, of course, lots of hot chocolate. And when we spoke to the parents, we simply told them how important a bedtime story is - not just for the immense educational benefits, but also for the precious, magical and important family moments too.
We also made a school pledge that we would read to the children and share a book for pleasure every day. That's not all, though. We're running book swaps and story boxes where books can be borrowed each evening, and we're asking celebrities for quotes and videos on social media to help make bedtime reading cool. All of our hard work is worth it, because we're already getting fabulous feedback from parents who simply didn't realise how much of a difference reading and sharing stories can have.
So BBBS is already having a positive impact on our children and their parents' lives. Now I would love it if the campaign took off and families across the nation could reconnect with the magic of storytelling again - and make sure that bedtime stories never become extinct! Get useful tips and advice about how to read as a family, setting up a great bedtime routine, and how to encourage reading in your school. Search the site Search term is required. One school's campaign to get kids reading. Bring Back Bedtime Stories!
One school's campaign to get kids reading Published on: 24 April Author: Gillian Washington South Parade Primary School teacher Gillian Washington was shocked to discover how many of her students weren't getting a bedtime story every night - so she decided to do something about it.
How we got the parents involved I really and truly believe that most parents are totally unaware of how important reading or telling a story is, and how it can relax both parties, create emotional bonds, stimulate a child's development, help children in developing empathy and so much more. Age: Little Bear is afraid of the dark, even when Big Bear keeps getting him bigger and bigger night lights.
So Big Bear brings him to see the biggest light there is—the moon. As cozy and comforting as a cup of cocoa after dinner. The Going to Bed Book. Age: Extreme silliness, Sandra Boynton-style, and fun and short enough to be read every night, for years. The Quiet Book. Age: Mercer Mayer is known mostly for his Little Critter books and one of those is on this list, too , but this picture book is special, funny and tender. Age: Kitten mistakes the moon for a large bowl of milk and tries, in vain, to reach it.
Although not strictly a bedtime book, the theme of the beautiful moon that hangs over each page oozes cozy, cuddly sleepytime feelings. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Age: Jerry Pinkney has become deservedly famous for his many illustrated picture books, including The Lion and the Mouse , which won the Caldecott Medal. Twinkle Twinkle sets the classic lullaby to rich, gorgeous paintings of an idealized nighttime world.
Set sail for dreamland! Where the Wild Things Are. Touch the Brightest Star. Age: In this interactive bedtime book, children are invited to participate in the closing of the day. They press a firefly, blow a breeze, pat a deer, blink their eyes to fill the sky with stars and trace the Big Dipper on the page. Good Night, Gorilla.
Because all the text in the book consists of goodnight greetings, parents will need to narrate the story in their own words. Dinosaur vs. Age: Dinosaur has never lost a fight—but bedtime will be his biggest challenge ever.
Hush Little Baby. Age: Henry brings home a new puppy, and his first challenge will be figuring out how to get Charley to sleep in a strange, lonely house. The Berenstain Bears: In the Dark. Age: Like all Berenstain Bears books, this one is on the long side, is filled with dialogue, complex situations and offers a message. Marveling at the delightfully Anglo home scenes, follow the baby through his day until his mother places him, sleeping, into his crib. The cutout on each page will keep younger readers engaged. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.
Truck enthusiasts will ask for this one every night—and day, too.
50 Bedtime Stories by Miles Kelly Publishing
Hush Little Ones. Age: Soft illustrations of cuddly baby animals and a sing-songy rhyme on every page make for a sweet and simple bedtime book. Animals range from the expected—mice, birds—to the more exotic—penguins, whales, and kangaroos. Interrupting Chicken. Guess who ends up falling asleep first? Age: Every kid loves to hear stories about themselves, and Max and Ruby are no exceptions. Here, Grandma recalls their adventures making a restaurant, swimming at the lake, and refusing to go to school.
The combination of the elegant pen-and-ink pictures reminiscent of Winnie-the-Pooh , gentle brown and green palette and loving, ultra-simple storyline is exquisite. Goodnight Goodnight Sleepyhead.
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The soft illustrations have a lovely vintage vibe. In the Night Kitchen. Age: In perhaps the most unusual of our bedtime book suggestions, Mickey dreams a crazy dream in which he helps out the breakfast cake bakers in a most spectacular way. Another blast from the past which has held up nicely. Close Your Eyes. Age: Little Tiger is nervous about going to sleep, but his mother soothes his concerns with wisdom, whimsy, and reassurance. The vibrant paintings with bright swaths of primary colors will please young eyes as the loving text lulls them to sleep.
Rock-a-Bye Room. Age: Fanciful and whimsical pictures complement the musical text of a mother singing a child to sleep.
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Especially adorable is the scene of the snoozing trains and tractor covered by quilts. The House in the Night. Age: The unique look of this book, with its black-and-yellow scratchboard illustrations, is what will draw you to it first. In a Blue Room. Age: Alice, bouncing on her bed way past bedtime, wants blue, only blue.
But as her mother brings her one special sleep-inducing gift after another flowers, tea, an extra quilt, a wind chime , her room becomes beautifully suffused with all different colors. Finally, as she nods off to sleep, the moon comes in and makes everything blue.
Night Knight. A little boy demonstrates some magical thinking as he brushes his teeth, puts away his things, and says goodnight to his pet a dragon , all in a fantastical medieval setting. Bedtime for Bear. Age: A fun, graphic novel-style book multiple boxes per page, speech bubbles, sound effects gives new life to a familiar story of a bear who just wants to sleep. The festive snowy outdoor scenes will put kids in a holiday mood, so save this one for winter.
Goodnight Already! Age: Bear is so tired, he feels he could sleep for months. His neighbor Duck, on the other hand, has never felt so awake. A hilarious all-dialogue story, great fun to read aloud and reminiscent of Elephant and Piggie. Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey. Age: This sweet entry, perfect for right before the lights go off, shines with vintage-style illustrations that seem to step right out of a Little Golden Book.
How we got the parents involved
Gentle verse imagines a series of sleepy children, each holding a stuffed animal, on a special voyage with their stuffie come to life. Night Lights. Age: Every page here has just one word or phrase : streetlight, headlight, lantern light, firelight, candlelight, etc. No Go Sleep! Age: Any book starring porcupines is a contender right from the start!
A Bedtime for Bear. Age: Poor beleaguered Bear. First Mouse shows up unexpectedly on his doorstep Bear was sure his visit was scheduled for another night. Good Night, Sleep Tight. Age: Bonnie and Ben got the good babysitter tonight, and he entertains them with one silly Mother Goose rhyme after another. The simple refrain is addictive and you will find yourself chanting it as you go about your day.
The Napping House. The restful blue palette lightens as the book progresses and day approaches. Age: The Charlie and Lola books are wildly popular with kids of all ages—and with adults, too, because the stand-out voice and witty dialogue are truly a pleasure to read. Here, stubborn Lola refuses to go to bed, and her fabulously sympathetic big brother Charlie steps in to help. Just Go to Bed. In this installment, our hero is cranky about having to go to bed and trots out one creative, hopeful scenario after another to delay the inevitable.