Get Back Into a Reading Routine With Nighttime Stories for Kids

For most parents, bedtime reading can sometimes fall by the wayside. Here’s how to get back on track!

By Scholastic Parents Staff
Oct 02, 2023



bedtime stories

Oct 02, 2023

Does your nightly bedtime routine with the little ones get a bit more relaxed during the summer, holidays, or busy weeks? 

Despite parents' best efforts to keep kids on an established routine, it's completely normal to assume a slower pace during these times. However, a regular bedtime routine of stories before the lights go out not only encourages a good night's sleep, but also  provides an opportunity to bond and sneaks in a little extra reading practice. Here are some tips and tricks for getting kids to dive into a book when they dive into bed! 

Savvy Tip #1: Release Your Inner Actor 

One great way to get young children excited about bedtime reading again is to make story time extra entertaining. You might wear a joke pair of glasses and call them your magic reading glasses, or don a superhero cape that transforms you into Super-Reader!

Alternatively, if you’re not into dressing up, you could introduce the book in a fun character voice. For instance, put on your best "puppy" voice to read Pig the Star: “Tonight’s reading time is brought to you by a fluffy canine who wants to be in the spotlight!” Or simply read your story of choice with particularly dramatic flair, assuming different voices for each character. You can even ask your child to do the same!

Books Perfect for Acting Out

Savvy Tip #2: Leave Each Night on a Cliffhanger

One great way to get back into reading aloud as part of your nightly routine is to read just a chapter or a few pages of an enticing book together each evening. The trick to success is to try to end each reading on a cliffhanger, so your child will be eager to get back to the book the next night.

Not sure if your child is ready to sit and listen to a longer book? Try the Acorn and Branches lines of early chapter books designed to bridge the gap between leveled books and traditional chapter books.  They include purposeful illustrations and plenty of context clues to keep little readers engaged.

Books That Will Captivate Kids

Savvy Tip #3: Lean Into Their Real-Life Obsessions

While a nonfiction read might not be the first thing that usually comes to mind when you think “bedtime story,” kids are often far more interested in true stories than you might think, especially if they’re based on something they’re really into at the moment. For instance, if your kids love dinosaurs, they’ll get excited to join Fly Guy on his adventures in the Fly Guy Presents series and examine cool photos and facts about their favorite topics. If your child loves history, titles from the popular I Survived series will transport them back in time to real-life events told through the perspective of kids their age. Meanwhile, Who Would Win? pits cool animals against each other in a hypothetical battle based on their biology. 

True Stories About Favorite Topics

Savvy Tip #4: Get Everyone Involved

Send your kids to the book polls to pick the next story to read aloud as a family! Get everyone engaged in the reading process by collecting suggestions from each family member, and then have a vote to identify the top contender.

You might even find this inspires a healthy debate about the virtues of each title (say, the humor of There's No Such Thing as Unicorns or the lessons of The Three Billy Goats Gruff, and you’ll learn more about why your kids love certain books. See all expert advice about establishing reading routines at home, including recommended read-aloud bedtime stories

Shop books for bedtime below! You can find all books and activities at The Scholastic Store.

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