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DADult Life | December 2, 2022

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Reading children bedtime stories – the habits and benefits

Reading children bedtime stories

Legoland has launched a story writing competition to mark the opening of its Castle Hotel on 1 July.

One of the lucky winning children aged between five and 12 will find themselves on the receiving end of a book publishing deal that will see their book placed in every room in the venue, while they’ll also get to record an audio book and spend the night.

Of course, in today’s digital world, storytelling can be perceived as old fashioned. That may be so, but the fact remains the majority of parents have no intention of letting the tradition fade away for gadgets.

Indeed, 38 per cent of parents think children’s sociability can be damaged with too much tech. Furthermore, Legoland’s study of 2,000 parents also found that 69 per cent ban iPads from the dinner table and handheld tech from the bedroom entirely.


“One in five parents who were read to every night earn over £50,000 a year”


Interestingly, those parents who were read to as children seem to have benefitted in a big way. 60 per cent said they think that bedtime stories improved their imagination and 43 per cent think having tales read to them has helped them become a better parent.

Taking things even further, one in five who were read to every night now earn over £50,000 a year, and 23 per cent are in possession of a PhD.

Time to get that library card membership sorted.

The study also revealed the top ten things parents do when reading stories to children at bedtime:

  1. Comical voices and noisy sounds – 56 per cent
  2. Improvise or make it up – 28 per cent
  3. Get their child to fill in the blanks – 26 per cent
  4. Use toys as props – 19 per cent
  5. Team up with a co-parent – 14 per cent
  6. Completely change the ending – 13 per cent
  7. Fall asleep occasionally – 11 per cent
  8. Make one of their children read to the other one, so they can have a break – 10 per cent
  9. Secretly skip pages to finish it quicker – 10 per cent
  10. Make themselves the hero of the story – 9 per cent


“7,300 minutes of storytelling time are clocked up a year by parents who read to their children nightly”


Dr Jessica Horst, developmental science at University of Sussex, said: ”Learning to be comfortable interacting with technology is important for kids, but it’s also important to have tech time in moderation.

“The Legoland Windsor Resort’s research is encouraging as it shows most parents do have a good handle on balancing tech time with other activities.”

According to the study, 25 per cent of parents read to their children nightly, accumulating 7,300 minutes of storytelling time a year, with 70 per cent doing so to bond with their child. 56 per cent seek to help children’s reading skills at school and 14 per cent hope the process will help them in their future career.

The latter will probably spike now that £50,000 sum has been revealed.

Elsewhere, 54 per cent hope bedtime stories will improve children’s vocabulary, 51 per cent for creativity and 47 per cent just want to get involved with books they missed as youngsters.

“Bedtime stories in particular are great, as stories tend to include more sophisticated words than children hear in conversation so they help children with their vocabulary,” added Horst.

“I’m hopeful this new research motivates parents to keep bedtime stories part of their family’s daily routine.”

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