How to Tell the Best Bedtime Stories

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the best storyteller of them all? For kids, the answer to that question is probably going to be Mom or Dad, but as parents we also know how difficult it can be to meet those storytelling expectations night after night! 5 Little Monkeys is dedicated to improving your child’s sleep habits through a combination of healthy bedtime rituals and specialized technology. Our carefully designed sleep system mattress is the best mattress for children, made to support growing bodies. Through our research we’ve run across the exciting fact that telling stories to children can improve their language skills, in addition to being a great way to wind down and bond before bedtime, so here are some tips to help you brush up your storytime skills.

Tips for Telling Bedtime Stories

You’ve got characters, setting, and plot but somehow the magic just isn’t quite there. If you're struggling to weave a spellbinding bedtime story, try incorporating a few of these age-old storytelling tactics into your nightly narrative:

  • It's Ok to Be Formulaic: If you’re struggling to construct an epic narrative, stick to one of the oldest and most common narrative structures in storytelling history, the hero’s journey. This formula involves a hero who is called on an adventure, faces a major challenge and overcomes it, and returns a changed and better person. We guarantee this format is the structural basis of your child’s current favorite books and TV shows, and telling a story like this will leave your little one feeling satisfied and ready for bed.
  • Get Concrete: One of the biggest mistakes that most beginning writers (and storytellers) make is to speak in abstract instead of concrete language – in other words, to tell the audience what's happening instead of showing it. When telling the story, keep your language as concrete as you can, describing physical details of what's happening with plenty of descriptive adjectives. For example, instead of saying something like "Lucy felt very happy," give it punch with a concrete detail: "Lucy cracked a smile that beamed from ear to ear."
  • Have Your Child Participate: If you're really at a loss, you can always break the fourth wall. Getting your child involved in the story can make things more interesting and provide more creative fodder for you to weave the tail. Instead of coming up with everything yourself, ask your child for suggestions. Where does Lucy go next? What does she find there?

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Bedtime rituals are a very important part of developing healthy sleep habits, but the sleep environment is just as important. A high quality mattress and healthy, hypoallergenic bedding are critical for a good night's rest. Try the award-winning 5 Little Monkeys mattress risk free, and contact us with any questions.

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