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How to calm the kids down with a story

Sharing stories can be a good way to calm them down and unwind when things are feeling hectic. Cuddle up with a book, get them to write you a story about life in space, or make up new words.


We have lots of ideas from parents for activities you can do to keep them busy at home and out and about with a story. And a nice bonus is that they all help with their reading and spelling!

Tip #1: Send them to sleep with a story

To get your kids off their devices and ready for bed, try letting your child read to you before bed to help them drift off quicker.

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Tip #2: Happily ever after

Sharing a story together can be fantastic fun - especially when you get to the last page and start thinking up different endings. What might have happened if a pink dinosaur had turned up? Or what if the story was set in space? Kids often really enjoy thinking up new endings, and it’s a great way to help your child stretch their imagination.

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Tip #3: Add to your story

Why not fill a spare afternoon together with some stories? You could talk about the different characters as you turn each page. How are they feeling? Are they funny, scary or sensible? What colours are they wearing? Then, when you've finished your book, your child could draw a new character to add to the story for a real plot twist!

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Tip #4: Cut out letters

Look for letters in a magazine or newspaper, and sound out each letter together as you cut it out. For even more fun, you could find all the letters that make up your child’s name.

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Tip #5: Describe a picture

Choose a picture in a book, magazine or newspaper together. Your child could then write a couple of sentences to describe what’s happening in the picture. They can have fun thinking up as many describing words as possible - like big, colourful, funny or beautiful.

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Tip #6: You be the critic

Have a go at taking turns to read different parts of a story - or maybe read out a page each at a time. At the end, how about writing a 'book review'? You could get started by asking your young book reviewer what they liked or didn’t like about the book. Then maybe write two or three lines on your favourite character or part in the book.

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Tip #7: Read new words

Reading and sounding out new words really helps bring them to life, and makes it easier for kids to remember them. You can follow new words with your finger as you read them with your child - and to really get them thinking, you could talk about which words rhyme with the new word they’ve learned. Here are even more ideas to get your child ready for school.

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Tip #8: Take stories everywhere

By taking a book with you wherever you go, you can help avoid meltdowns when you’re out and about. It’s an easy way to turn a bus journey, a visit to the park, or even a quiet afternoon at home into an adventure - especially if your child gets to choose what to read to you!

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Last updated: 16 Dec, 2019