It’s a fact: bedtime stories are beneficial to kids. Developing a bedtime routine that includes reading bedtime stories will not only help them sleep soundly and foster a good bond between parent and child, it can also boost your child’s brain development. What about apps for bedtime stories? Too much screen time close to bedtime can be harmful to children due to the blue light emitted from the device, which can block melatonin – a natural sleep hormone. So can it still be beneficial to read to your child through an app at bedtime? Can you get the same benefits with a traditional bedtime story book?
What is an App for Bedtime Stories?
It seems that there is an app for almost anything these days, so, it was only a matter of time before technology was used to tell bedtime stories for kids. Gone are the days when you had to read texts from a physical story book. Modern bedtime story books are told through a series of interactive images and videos that bring the stories to life in front of your child’s eyes digitally.
There are a variety of apps for bedtime stories available today. Most of them have interactive characters, great graphics, music, and narration. They are designed to be easy to read (or listen to, for narrated stories) and create an immersive experience. Many bedtime stories in these apps are based on classic stories and fairy tales, while some are completely new.
Regardless of the type of story, it’s the act of telling the story through the app that makes it engaging and beneficial for kids. It’s a good idea to explore the options available on the market so you can choose the right app for your child’s age and development stage.
Apps for Bedtime Stories – Are They Effective?
With more and more bedtime story apps available, it has become much easier for parents to put their child to bed, as well as enjoy the benefits of reading bedtime stories to them. But how effective are they? And what makes them effective?
Here are a few things you should know about using apps for bedtime stories when counting sheep or lullabies just won’t cut it.
Bedtime Stories Help Kids Relax
There is a staggering amount of evidence that shows how bedtime stories can be an efficient learning tool for children and promote relaxation and better quality sleep. Yes, it might seem contradictory to expose your kids to more time on-screen before bedtime to improve their sleep, but it works!
The stories use music and sound from nature or other relaxing tunes to make it easier for kids to wind down after a hard day at school. There are many examples of classic fairy tales in these apps, however, this is not your usual bedtime story since it is told in a more interactive manner that allows your child to get lost inside the world of the story.
When they are relaxed and in a good mood, it becomes easier to put them to sleep.
Bedtime Stories Calm Kids Down
Apps for bedtime stories are known for their calming effects. Bedtime stories told through apps are filled with lullabies and enchanting music that put children’s bodies into a calm state. Kids can be very energetic, which can be problematic when it is time to go to sleep. Their bodies find it difficult to distinguish between bedtime and their regular playing time.
The use of bedtime stories as a part of their nighttime routine can help put their mind in a calm state so that they can prepare their body for sleep. They will also learn to associate bedtime stories with preparing to sleep. When you take your kids through a story meditation, it’s only a matter of time before they feel drowsy.
Bedtime Stories Offer Variety
Unlike traditional story book formats that limit you to a small selection of books you can store on your shelf, most apps provide you with a seemingly limitless array of stories. Some apps can store hundreds of books, so you always have a new story to pick for your child as part of your bedtime routine.
Aside from having a short attention span, kids are also notorious for being easily bored. A great way to deal with this is providing your child with a wide variety of stories such as fairy tales, fables, or adventure-filled stories.
In fact, you can let your kids be involved in choosing the story they want to read at bedtime. It is a great way to exercise autonomy and to encourage creative thinking. Children are more likely to be involved in the storytelling experience if they are interested in the stories that are read to them.
Bedtime Story Apps Are Easily Accessible
A distinct advantage of using apps for bedtime stories is the fact that they are so readily available. All you need is a mobile device to get started reading your favorite stories to your kids. While it would be difficult to carry around their favorite story books when you travel, you can easily do that with your mobile device. You won’t need anything else to complete this bedtime routine, which is especially helpful when you are away from home.
In conclusion, apps for bedtime stories are effective for kids as long as you choose the right stories to set your child’s mood for sleep. And the use of these types of apps is not isolated to kids; adults who struggle with sleep issues can also benefit from a bedtime story app.
According to this Wall Street Journal article, over 35% of adults don’t get the recommended hours of sleep per night. Using apps along with other factors to promote sleep – such as listening to white noise or making your bedroom as sleep-inducing as possible – can make it easier for kids and adults alike to fall asleep.