As a children’s book author and teacher-librarian, I know how important reading is for a child’s development. Reading together with your child is not only a great bonding experience, but it also helps build language skills, sparks imagination, and fosters a love of learning. Incorporating picture books into your child’s nighttime routine is a wonderful way to end the day on a positive note and create a calming atmosphere that promotes sleep. Here are some tips for parents on how to add picture books into a nighttime routine for young children:

  1. Make reading a part of the bedtime routine: Start by setting a specific time for reading every night. You can even create a special reading nook in your child’s room, complete with comfy pillows and blankets. This signals to your child that reading is an important and enjoyable part of the bedtime routine.
  2. Let your child choose the book: Giving your child the opportunity to choose which book to read not only empowers them but also encourages a love of reading. Let them pick a book that speaks to their interests or one they haven’t read in a while.
  3. Use the pictures: Picture books are a great way to engage your child’s imagination and stimulate their curiosity. Take time to discuss the pictures and ask your child questions about what they see. Encourage them to point out things they recognize or ask them to predict what might happen next.
  4. Make it interactive: Get your child involved in the story by using different voices for each character, or having them repeat certain phrases. You can even have them act out certain parts of the story or draw pictures of their favorite scenes.
  5. Keep it consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to building a nighttime routine. Make reading together a non-negotiable part of the routine, even if it means adjusting the timing of other activities.
  6. End with a positive message: Choose a book with a positive message or one that ends on a high note. This helps set a positive tone for the night and reinforces the idea that reading is a fun and positive experience.

Incorporating picture books into your child’s nighttime routine is a great way to foster a love of reading and create a positive and calming atmosphere before bed. Remember to make reading together an enjoyable and interactive experience, and your child will soon look forward to this special time each night. Check out my list of my top 10 favourite bedtime books!

Father and son reading in a cozy tent.
Reading book and using flashlight. Father and his young son spending time together indoors near tent.