As featured in Parentdish

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Bedtime Stories

Bedtime stories in our house take a while. I have four children, three of whom are old enough to voice a request for their own story. Having read research some time ago that you should read to children even after they can read, the fact that my eight year old is a competent reader does not get me off the hook there.

But one thing I have never done is replace this with a taped story. It has always struck me as a bit of a cop out – the microwave meal version of bedtime stories. I like to sit down and look at the pictures and read together with said child. Isn’t that what bedtime stories are all about?

Recently my job as a journalist took me to a primary school which has had great success with Storyphones, a digital audio system which allows children to walk around listening to recorded stories. What I found interesting was the impact it has on children’s literacy, helping them with structure, characters, and the retelling of stories, generally improving their reading. It changed my thinking a bit and I was impressed by the benefits it had.

So will I now be going down the express route with regards bedtime stories? Certainly not. I don’t think my children would allow it. But I am now checking out CD players for number one son’s birthday in October. I don’t think taped stories should replace adults reading to children, but I do think it is a good additional extra.


  1. Congrats on the new blog Jackie.

    I agree with you on this one. We've read to Jonno every day since he was born, but he does listen to story CDs as well as an extra input. I enjoy listening to them with him too, but I don't think they could ever replace settling down together with a book.

  2. Hi Jackie, i think story cds definitely have their place and can be quite enjoyable for the child to listen to. My son is 8 and not the best of readers!! He is more interested in playing with his Lego in bed - which ends up everywhere!! I have been in Waterstone's and found the Cds accommpanied by a book which he reads alongside the cd being listened to. On the other hand my daughter is an avid reader and prefers to read till the book drops out of her hand!!

  3. Yes I like the idea of the books with CDs Gill. Hayden has a couple of them.