Kidaptive Blog

Bedtime stories to grab your child’s attention


Research has shown that executive function is an even better predictor of school success than academic skill.  One important aspect of executive function is attention control, which allows a child to stay focused on a task at hand and to persevere in a challenging situation.

A few weeks ago, we shared how to help your child focus on a task that’s necessary but not always fun: completing chores.  This week, we’ll explore an old favorite with a new spin: reading with your child.  Only this time, you’ll take turns reading and being read to!

To accommodate pre-readers, select a book your child knows well, or a story without words.  Set a timer.  Tell your child that you’re going to read to them until the timer goes off and then it will be their turn to read to you.  When it’s their turn, encourage them to use the pictures to tell the story.  Re-set the timer for your child’s turn as the reader, and continue switching until the book is done or until your child loses interest.

This activity is easily made more complex as your child’s attention span develops.  You can read longer books (kids’ comics or graphic novels can be great for this!) or incorporate additional “readers” and “listeners,” like siblings or friends.  Repeat the activity as often as you and your child would like.  You can even use it to add variety to your bedtime routine!

We would love to hear your thoughts on this activity, as well as suggestions on future topics to cover! Please leave a comment.