The ideal bed time story should be just 8.6 minutes long, feature a dragon, a fairy and a wizard and be set in a castle, the Telegraph reports that new research has revealed. Many a parent has melded the literary greats with the themes of Hollywood blockbusters to create bedtime stories to tell their young ones.
But now the formula for the ultimate bedtime tale has been revealed for the first time. A new study of 2,000 parents and their children has shown that the ideal story should last just 8.6 minutes long.
The ideal ingredients of a bedtime story
Characters should include a dragon, a wizard and a fairy, said the families who participated in the survey, and should ideally revolve around a mythical castle.
Children said that they enjoyed a brief moment of peril where the hero is endangered before ultimately triumphing over the forces of darkness. A happy ending is essential, according to nearly all of those surveyed with most children shunning love stories in favour of fantasy.
The research also revealed that one in ten parents worry that their story-telling abilities are not up to scratch. Over half of children surveyed thought that stories were most entertaining when the storyteller adopted different voices for each character.
A quarter of youngsters said that they expected to have the story acted out for them.
August and September were found by researchers to be the most difficult time of year for parents to get their children to drift off to sleep. Parents said that they struggled to get children back into a bedtime routine after the summer holidays. The longer days of the summer season also presented a challenge to parents.
Eight tips for Bedtime Stories
The Telegraph includes eight tips for the perfect bedtime story, including create sounds to set the scene, asking the child if they can guess where the story is set and use different voices for different characters. For all of the tips go and see the original article on the Telegraph site.
Story-telling expert Alex Charalambous said: “As your child prepares to go back to school after the holidays, it’s a good idea to establish a steady bedtime routine that includes reading a story. As the research shows, the familiarity of a classic tale draws children in and the happy ending makes for a pleasant night’s sleep.
“Story boxes are a great way to tell a story. Story boxes can be a shoebox placed on its side and decorated as a setting e.g., the woods or a seaside scene. You can use finger puppets or characters stuck on lollysticks for your characters. This allows you much more freedom to take the story in whichever direction you wish.”
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