5 Ways to Make the Most of Bedtime Reading

Parent and child reading at bedtime - image from childrensbooksdaily.com
Category: Bookbug

This year, our theme for Bookbug Week is Bookbug's Big Bedtime Story. Bedtime reading is a great way to enjoy some quiet, calming time together and introduce your little ones to stories and books from a young age.

But family life is very busy and it can be difficult to pick up the habit. Even if a bedtime story is already part of your routine, it can get a bit stale or forgotten alongside all the other things you're juggling. How can you make the most out of bedtime reading? Read our top 5 tips below!

1.    Make it part of your daily routine

you don’t have to stick to the traditional idea of a bedtime story all tucked up neatly in bed, fit in a story around your bedtime routine

By sharing a story for just a few minutes a day at nap time or bedtime, you’ll find it easy to fit a story into your normal routine. Your little one will soon love that regular time spent together, and they'll enjoy the soothing sound of your voice as they get ready for sleep. But you don’t have to stick to the traditional idea of a bedtime story all tucked up neatly in bed. You could also fit in a story around your bedtime routine, such as telling a story during bath time (with the aid of bath toys!) or when you’re getting your little ones dressed for bed. 

2.    Don’t just stick with books

A book is the most obvious way to share a story but you can also mix it up by sharing a song, rhyme or lullaby with your little ones. Sometimes, you both may feel too tired to make it through a whole story, so this is a lovely way to bring something new into your routine. We’ve got lots of songs and rhymes and calmer pieces of music featured on our website which are ideal for bedtime.

 3.    Involve the whole family

Make bedtime reading even more special by getting the whole family involved; forget about other distractions and dedicate that time to cuddling up and enjoying a quiet moment together. If you have more than one child, you could share a story together just before bed. Parents or guardians could also take turns to read the book, adding to the excitement. Finally, if there are older siblings in your family you could encourage them to read to the younger children. Younger children will love having the story read to them and older siblings will enjoy taking the lead and watching the reactions of their younger siblings.   

4.    Build up the anticipation during the day

Talking about the stories, songs or rhymes you’ll share at bedtime will help build up the anticipation and your little ones will be able to think about the world of a story beyond the page. You could even take a special trip to the library to pick out books for your bedtime stories. Ask the librarians for their recommendations or use our book lists for inspiration. We’ve also put together some special bedtime themed book lists for Bookbug Week 2015: I Don’t Want to Go to Bed (3-7), Bear-y Good Books (0-2), Books for Baby’s Bedtime (0-2), Dreamy Reads (3-7),  Animals at Bedtime (3-7) and Bedtime Rhymes (0-2). It also gives you some quiet time to look forward to after a busy day, allowing you to shift focus and wind down.

5.    Make up your own story, song or rhyme 

Making up your own bedtime story, song or rhyme is a fun and easy way to shake up your bedtime reading routine. You could take inspiration from a well-known story, adding your own unique twist or retell a story you remember from your own childhood. You could even get little ones involved and ask them what they think the characters might say or do next. To celebrate Bookbug Week 2015, we’re asking you to share these bedtime stories, songs and rhymes with us, so why not give it a go?


Bookbug Week will take place between the 18 and 24th May 2015. Find out more about how you can get involved here.