There’s nothing quite as universal as the bedtime story and its part of the wind-down routine for millions of children around the world. And one study shows that a surprising number of parents read to stories to their kids way past the preschool years. A recent study commission by Wonderbly revealed some interesting results.

Of 2000 parents surveyed, 1 out of every 10 said they have read to their children at bedtime until age 13 or even older. Only 11% said they stopped by age 4. And 15% of parents said they started reading to their babies in utero. 1/5 said they’d been reading to their littles since babyhood.

86% of parents said they love putting their kids to bed and reading or telling a story, with 36% saying it’s the most quality time they get with them all day. 8 out of 10 parents cited bedtime routines as the best part of being a parent.

And 3 in 4 parents said they wished they could NEVER stop telling their kiddos stories, with 23% actually planning to never stop.

3 in 10 parents cited loving storytime as a chance to be creative and use their imaginations.

Why read to your kids? While we know that modeling behavior like reading to, with and in front of kids fosters early literacy, there are other benefits, for parents and kids alike. Bedtime and the ritual story can be a time to connect, decompress from the day. And your kids are never too old for that.

“Storytime not only fosters a wonderful closeness but also encourages conversation and helps kids to relax,” said David Cadji-Newby, author and creative director at Wonderbly.

It also takes the top of the poll for kids as well (45%), ahead of picking out pajamas (18%) and watching TV (26%).

—Amber Guetebier

featured image: iStock

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