Blog Posts

5 ways to keep the magic in your nightly storytime


Art by Bryn Barnard from the January 2014 issue of LADYBUG.

Whatever your daily schedule is like, by the time the kids’ bedtime rolls around, no doubt you are tired and your patience is at an all-time low. No wonder it’s easy to get caught in a nightly reading rut where the same tired stories are read in the same tired tone of voice and you lose that magic that happens when a story transports you and your kids to a whole new world. National Reading Month (also known as March) could be just the kick in the pants you need to bring back the magic to your family’s story time routine.

Here are a few easy tips for keeping the magic in your nightly reading time.

  1. Whatever book your child chooses, don’t read the last page of the story. Instead make up your own ending. If your child asks for the same story again, have them make up a different ending. Each time you read, the story could end happily, tragically, humorously, with a bang, or any other way your family thinks it should. Bonus: Have someone write down the different endings your family comes up with and create your own “choose your own ending” book based on that story.
  2. Encourage each of your children to make up an additional character who might appear in the book. What would the character’s name be? What part would they play in the story?
  3. Do the Mannequin Challenge. For each page of the book, have your children hold a different pose while you read. See if they can hold the pose for the whole page. You can adjust the difficulty by reading faster or slower or by trying to make them laugh so that they move.
  4. Take the Reading Without Walls Challenge. This challenge encourages kids to read about a character to doesn’t look or live like you do, about a topic you don’t know much about, or in a format you don’t usually read for fun, such as graphic novel, a magazine, or poetry. National Reading Month would be a great time to tackle the Reading Without Walls Challenge as a family.
  5. Read a different book every night. If your child always picks the same book, this month you can encourage them to read something different each time. You can take the stress out of finding a new story each night with Cricket Media’s National Reading Month calendar. This new tool will provide your family with a different short story or article each day for the entire month of March.

Reading to your kids should feel like a joy, not a chore. Let National Reading Month be the inspiration you need to take your nightly story time from blah to breathtaking.



Andra Abramson

Andra Abramson is a children’s book and magazine author and editor who grew up reading the amazing short stories in Cricket Magazine. In her spare time, she teaches writing to kids in the Washington, DC area.


Cricket Media is the publisher of 11 award-winning magazines for kids ages toddler to teen, including BABYBUG®LADYBUGCRICKET®MUSE®COBBLESTONEFACESDIG INTO HISTORY®CLICK®CICADA®ASK®, and SPIDER®.