10 Best Bedtime Stories

As a mom and having worked with so many parents and kids, I know how influential a few minutes of reading quick bedtime stories can be. But not all bedtime stories are created equal, especially when it comes to the little years. So, from my experience, I’ve compiled a list of 10 of the best bedtime stories to make your child’s nighttime routine more enjoyable.

I’ve organized these according to length and age-appropriateness so that you can easily find a short bedtime story for your child’s age group.

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Short bedtime stories for toddlers

When it comes to choosing the best bedtime stories for toddlers we want to focus on board books (read: won’t get torn) and quick bedtime stories that only last a few minutes.

Daily reading is incredibly important for children. Even those short bedtime stories have been seen in research to:

  • Increase comprehension skills
  • Build vocabulary
  • And even positively impact math skills

Papa, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse

This story, set in an African village, deals with the universal theme of a child’s love for their father. The book explores the bond between a father and son and the importance of unconditional love. Papa, Do You Love Me? is beautifully illustrated and written in a poetic style that will captivate parents and children alike.

Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle

This uniquely interactive story is about a little girl who asks her father to get the moon for her. The story introduces children to lunar phases and cycles through its illustrations and story. It’s a sweet and beautiful bedtime story that creates a great bonding experience for you and your child.

The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle

One of the classic Eric Carle bedtime stories, The Very Quiet Cricket, features beautiful illustrations and a repeating ending note that children will love. The story follows a cricket who can’t make a sound until he meets another cricket, and they make a sound together. It’s an engaging and heartwarming story that celebrates the power of friendship.

Jungle Jamboree by Jo Empson

From the short amount of text to the beautiful illustrations and the message of body positivity- this bedtime story is a favorite in our homes.

The story is about a jungle beauty competition that gets interrupted by bad weather. Each of the animal characters tries to hide or cover up their own insecurities to win the competition. It’s a lovely quick bedtime story with a great message.

Quick bedtime stories for Preschoolers

Tabby McTat by Julia Donaldson

This little-known book from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler is a must-read that features beautiful illustrations and the author’s typical rhyming style. The story is about a busker’s cat named Tabby McTat who gets separated from his owner and goes on to find a new family. The story is engaging, fun, and a great way to introduce your child to Julia Donaldson’s work.

Paddington Bear by Michael Bond

A classic that has been around since the 1950s. This series of short bedtime stories features Paddington Bear, a charming and endearing character who is easy for children to love. With each book in the series being short and easy to read, you can use these books as a way of introducing your child to reading and developing their interest in longer stories.

The Lola and Charlie series by Lauren Child

Lauren Child’s beloved siblings, Lola and Charlie, feature in this adorable series of books that are easy and enjoyable stories for bedtime. The stories are told through a child’s eyes, making them relatable to young readers, and they deal with the everyday things that children encounter, from solving problems to planning a surprise.

Guess how much I love you by Sam McBratney

This well know classic bedtime story is one that should be in every home. A hare is trying to show his mother how much he loves her and she one-ups him in each of these demonstrations. The short story is great for bedtime because it is a real “warm and fuzzy” way to end your child’s day.

The Best Bedtime Stories for Kindergarten

The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson

Another charming book that follows a little girl who creates paper dolls with her imagination and plays with them. The story is beautifully illustrated, and it features the girl’s tiger slipper chasing the paper dolls, a twist that makes the story more exciting for children. The story also teaches the importance of cherished memories and preserving them for future generations.

Piggins by Jane Yolen

Piggins is a delightful bedtime story that features a battler named Piggins who works for a family of foxes. The foxes have a cursed crystal necklace that they want to give away at a dinner party, but it gets stolen. The story is a treasure hunt to solve the mystery of the stolen crystal. The illustrations are phenomenal and captivating, making it a book that your child will want to read again and again

Final Thoughts
Bedtime stories can be a magical and comforting part of a child’s nighttime routine. It’s essential to pick the right ones to make the most of that time. Short bedtime stories can make for a quick bedtime story time that makes sure your child is relaxed and ready for sleep. Reading childhood bedtime stories is a significant part of creating a lasting bond between child and parent.

In conclusion, these ten best bedtime stories are sure to leave your child feeling happy and secure. Pick one of these sweet books, snuggle up with your child, and let the imagination soar!

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