Although there's no doubt that children love stories, picking the right moment to tell them seems to make all the difference. And bedtime need not be the only occasion to tell a story - in the car or waiting in a queue are also great opportunities for a story or two.
The answer to choosing the best time seems to lie in catching your child at the right moment, capturing their imagination and then starting to spin a wonderful yarn. This can be with the aid of a book (try not to bury your head in it - children love to see your facial reactions, plus it adds to the fun), or the tale can come straight from your imagination.
True stories of when you were a child are marvellous too, and you might find you are being asked to repeat them time and time again.
How CBeebies can help
For inspiration as to the sort of stories that young children enjoy, why not snuggle up with your child and watch the Bedtime Story on CBeebies each night?
Or you could browse some of the stories on the CBeebies website - look in the 'Story Time' and 'Watch & Listen' sections. There are hundreds of short clips and stories to choose from and they are also grouped into seven different themes.
How to make a magic moment
How magical can it be for a child to find themselves at the centre of a story?
All you need to do is think of a particular interest your child has at this moment, e.g. it might be dinosaurs. So, just weave in a story about your child going on an adventure and meeting a dinosaur. Lots of different things can happen in the middle of the story - but it works well if your child just happens to be a hero and saves the day!
Make sure the tell ends on a happy note. At this age, children need satisfying, well-rounded endings. Oh, and do add a loud 'The End' as you finish your story - children love it!