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Nighttime Comforts of Rhymes and Rhythm

brother and sister, reading a book, on the bed

Can you recall your favorite bedtime story from your childhood? Perhaps you remember a certain book read by a devoted parent who had memorized almost every word? Many adults can! The memory of a well-loved bedtime book often follows us into our adult years.

What makes reading a book at bedtime so wonderful and comforting?

Is it the characters who act so admirably? The unforgettable story endings? Or the soothing voice that sounds from a loving parent? All of those are wonderful reasons to enjoy a book at bedtime. Alliteration and rhyming of simple words are also great sources of comfort and enjoyment – especially for younger children.

Alliteration occurs when the same beginning sound is used multiple times in order. The word doesn’t require using the same beginning letter, but produces the same sound. For example: Baby bird’s beak beat by and by. Or: David danced delightfully.

Children have an ear for listening when the tone and sound of the reading is calming; alliteration and simple repetition produces a beautiful, peaceful effect.

Words that rhyme also can have a relaxing effect on our bodies. As we hear the words, they tend to produce an echo that gives our minds the freedom to fade out the word rather than simply shut it down. Rhyming words seem to provide the energy to hold on to a word longer than we normally would.

Rhyming is a preparatory skill for learning to read and write. Using rhyming words is such a good practice for children not yet capable of reading or writing because rhymes show the common qualities of sound and the ability to recognize letter groupings.

Rhyming words not only sound pleasant to the ears, but the auditory stimulation positively affects oral skills. When children hear words ending in the same sound, they are encouraged to explore this language by adding their own beginning sounds.

If you’re looking for a parent-loved and tested book to get you started with your evening rhymes, Really Woolly Nighttime Lullabies is a padded board book from the Really Woolly brand that gives children sweet lullabies to help them fall asleep. Little ones will love the charming Really Woolly illustrations, engaging verse, and Scripture from the International Children’s Bible that allow them to drift off in sweet dreams, knowing they are loved and safe. Many parents also appreciate the prayer starters in the book that encourage children to end their day talking to God.

Repetition of sounds is just one of the wonderful ways God allowed for words to join together in language and communication. Reading to children, especially at bedtime, is an opportunity to nurture children and foster language development and growth.

So what are you waiting for?

Reading rhymes renders restful relationships.

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Your Turn

Which rhyming books are favorites for your children? Join the conversation on our blog!