Hot Topics     Home and Family    

Bedtime stories, now more than ever



Some helpful hints for telling captivating, bonding stories

Some helpful hints for telling captivating, bonding stories


When our twenty-two-year-old son was tiny – babyhood through about fourth grade – his mother and I shared stories with him every night (and often during the day). She and I traded off, taking full advantage of a household featuring two present parents, something neither she nor I had as children. Among many other books, she read him the entire Harry Potter series; I read him several less well-known series and quite a few standalone tales. I also made up stories, often enlisting his help for the details. One of those stories I actually eventually turned into a book.

Even though I already knew it, it’s nice to know that, according to Paul L. Underwood at the New York Timeswe did good. As our recently college-graduate filmmaker son is home during the pandemic, in the same house in which we introduced the magic and power of storytelling, I feel grateful we established deep, unshakable bonds via this timeless practice. As much in the world seems uncertain, I take sustenance from that knowledge.

READ MORE: Create a bedtime routine for your child

If any young parent ever asks me for advice, I rarely feel as confident suggesting something as I do regarding the sharing of bedtime stories. With those, you can’t go wrong. Apparently, science backs me up.

Underwood’s article offers helpful storytelling suggestions, culled from experts and professional storytellers. Although he stresses their extreme importance, he focuses not on books, but on oral storytelling. According to the article: “Storytelling and reading work best in tandem to help children develop language and story comprehension, just as you want your child eating a balanced meal.”

Regarding storytelling, first and foremost are the three P’s: pitch, pacing, and pausing. Varying the sound of the voice, speeding up, slowing down, and taking time to insert breaks in the action. What becomes clear is how much children will innately fill in details when given an opportunity. Underwood suggests Aesop’s fables, or even a story from your own childhood, because apparently, it’s normal for children to have no concept that their parents were once children.

Here’s to the telling of bedtime stories, no matter what the world is doing outside.



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • View eagles in Mongaup

    Mongaup Valley Wildlife Management Area designated a Bird Conservation Area

    Mongaup was designated a Bird Conservation Area because of its unique combination of habitats important to bird species. read more »
  • Hike Smart & Be Prepared

    Safety tips for getting out in the winter months

    NYS DEC offers tips to keep you and your family safe while enjoying the outdoors this winter. read more »
  • Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s Homeschool Naturalist Program

    Adventure Awaits Students Ages 6-9

    The Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s Homeschool Naturalist Program for children ages 6-9 has quickly become one of the Nature Museum’s most beloved programs. Originally created out of the needs of families undertaking distance/learning, the program has proved so popular it has remained in place by demand. read more »
  • 5 ways parents can get prepared for student loan repayments

    Tips to help you survive student loan payments

    If you’re a parent who took out a federal student loan for your child and you’ve been taking advantage of the payment freeze as part of the COVID-19 emergency relief, then things are about to change. Starting January 31, 2022, payments will resume and no further extensions are expected. read more »
  • STEAM learning toys for your little ones

    Young kids have fun while learning letters and numbers

    Edx Education teaches letters and numbers through hands-on play read more »
  • DCP offers tips to help New Yorkers stay safe and warm

    NYS Division of Consumer Protection warns New Yorkers of carbon monoxide and fire hazards during extreme cold weather

    The New York State Division of Consumer Protection today issued a consumer alert about the dangers of carbon monoxide and fire hazards in extreme cold weather. The winter months pose the most risk for these hazards—as the temperatures drop, consumers may turn to dangerous heating alternatives to stay warm. Propane heaters, generators, space heaters and/or outdoor grills all pose lethal risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire hazards when used improperly. read more »
  • New gardening series with Newburgh Free Library

    Learn about herbs, microgreens, seeds, planning and planting

    Newburgh Free Library has a new gardening series starting with NUFFI, or Newburgh Urban Farm and Food, starting in February! read more »
  • Get up to 4 free at-home Covid-19 tests for your family

    The Biden Administration to Begin Distributing At-Home, Rapid COVID-19 Tests

    The Biden Administration is Buying One Billion Tests to Give to Americans for Free; Online Ordering of a Half-Billion Tests Begins on January 19th; Builds on Significant Actions to Expand Testing Capacity and Increase Access to Free Testing read more »
  • New York’s Going Foam Free in 2022

    NYS is working to keep our environment safe

    In 2020, New York State adopted the nation's strongest statewide ban of expanded polystyrene, single-use foam food and beverage containers, and polystyrene loose fill packaging materials, commonly known as packing peanuts. read more »
  • Sherman Artists Open Studio – This Weekend!

    Painters, photographers, mixed media, jewelers, fused glass, and fabric artists will open their home studios

    This weekend is the very first Sherman Artists First Open Studio! Fifteen local Sherman artists are participating in the Sherman Open Studio Tour on Saturday and Sunday, December 4th and 5th, 2021, 10 am – 4 pm. Painters, photographers, mixed media, jewelers, fused glass, and fabric artists will open their home studios or participate in pop-up studios read more »