Goodnight Room. Goodnight Moon. Goodnight Cow Jumping Over the Moon.

“Time for bed.” That’s something children seldom want to hear. A soothing bedtime story can help and one of the classics is Goodnight Moon. First published in 1947 the book combines simple, repetitive rhyming words with dream-like illustrations showing the bunny’s room growing darker – page by page – as the night stars appear in the bedroom window. Stories like Good Night Moon can create a magical moment of bonding between parent and child, but other good things are going on as well.

In an article appearing in Parents.com, G. Reid Lyon of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, observes: “There is a clear indication of a neurological difference between kids who have been regularly read to and kids who have not.” A story like Good Night Moon can help kids break words down into sounds, or phonemes, which can help later as the toddler tries to distinguish between similarly sounding words.

And what about that annoying habit of kids wanting the same story read to them night after night? According to UCLA professor Virginia Walter reading the same story over again helps the child to recognize patterns and sequences and to predict outcomes, all of which can be helpful later when learning math, music, science and writing. For more see The Brainy Benefits of Bedtime Stories.

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