Magazine article Working Mother

Bedtime Story Magic

Magazine article Working Mother

Bedtime Story Magic

Article excerpt

It's been a long, busy day, and you look forward to nothing more than curling up with your child and one of her favorite before-bed tales. Chances are your preschooler can't wait for the story, either.

Bedtime storytelling holds particular significance for your child, both developmentally and cognitively. For one thing, it's an intimate bonding activity-"a time for meaningful communication that encourages your child's social and emotional development through interaction with you," says John Pikulski, PhD, senior author of Houghton Mifflin reading programs. For another, reading together gives your child a better grasp of written language because she can follow the words on the page as she listens to you speaking them. In addition, books can expand your child's vocabulary, introducing her to language that is usually richer and more formal than everyday conversation.

So what's best to read? Certainly consider age-appropriate picture books that tell a simple tale through words and images. Beyond that, take cues from your child, suggests Dr. Pikulski. Talk about what intrigues her-mice, music, dinosaurs, dancing-and find related books. And move beyond storybooks, he adds: "Children are interested in the real world around them. …

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