Skip to main content

Story time tips for lighting up children's minds

Reading together is a brilliant way of lighting up your child’s brain, helping them make new connections. 

Did you know that when we hear a fact (such as ‘a forest is made up of lots of trees’) a bulb in our brain lights up? But when we hear a story (for example, one set in a forest, like Little Red Riding Hood or The Gruffalo) lots of bulbs light up like a Christmas tree as we make connections between the different characters and ideas in the story and think about what it all means. 

Mother and child reading a story together at bed time

Mother and child reading a story together at bed time

So try to make time to read to your child every day or make up stories for them. And don’t just read – why not chat, ask questions and let your imaginations run wild as those brain bulbs fire up? If you’re tired at the end of a long day you might not always feel like it, but spending time interacting with your child has so many great benefits, from helping their brains grow to strengthening your bond together – and calming them down ready for a sleep too! 

And of course reading isn’t just for bedtime. It’s great at any time of day – after lunch, on the bus, before teatime – whenever! And don’t worry if you don’t like reading – telling them a story is just as good!

If you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips for getting even more out of story time. You can find more great story time tips here.

Story time tips

Getting hold of books

Remember, you don’t have to buy books. Bookbug gives every child in Scotland four free bags of books as babies, toddlers, three and five year olds, and you can always borrow books from your local library or book bus. You can find out more about the Bookbug bags on the Scottish Book Trust website.

You can also take part in free Bookbug sessions online or at your local library. Sessions last around 30 minutes and include songs, rhymes and a story. Going to a Bookbug Session is a great way for families to spend time bonding with each other and meeting other families in their local area. Bookbug Sessions can also help to build children’s social skills and support their speech and language development. You can find your nearest Bookbug session here.

Last updated: 18 Dec, 2023