If you’re anything like me, when the children get back excited and exhausted from Overton Preschool or School, the easiest route to happy children is a hearty snack in front of the TV. Although recent research has shown that parents don’t need to worry unduly about their children’s screen time, it is recommended that children stay away from screens for an hour before bed. This fits in well with having books as part of a bedtime routine instead, hopefully enabling the kids (and therefore the parents) to get a restful night of sleep.
Books at bedtime can start from any age. Picture and lift the flap books are great for babies- we have always loved Spot The Dog in our house but the Usborne “That’s not my puppy/kitten/polar bear/anteater….” series are also great for tiny minds.
Preschoolers are usually used to books at bedtime but can commonly develop a fear of the dark which means that settling takes longer each evening. There are many books that can be helpful, such as “Can’t you sleep little Bear?” by Martin Waddell, which tells the story of a little bear being worried by the dark all around him. Another classic is “The Owl who was afraid of the Dark” by Jill Tomlinson, featuring Plop the little barn owl.. My son found the idea that dark was exciting, kind, or super very appealing!
Older children are often particularly difficult to keep off iPads and away from screens before bed! You might not win every battle but following a series of books by the same author can be really engaging. Roald Dahl or JK Rowling spring to mind, but I’ve also recently come across a collection of rewritten Shakespeare plays, aimed at age 7 upwards for shared reading or age 9 for independent readers. These and many more are available on the Scholastic website and you even shop while raising money for Overton Preschool Playgroup if you follow this link. https://shop.scholastic.co.uk/schools/overton-rg25-3hs
Happy reading and sweet dreams everyone!