Spending time reading stories before bed at night may be one of the most special parts of the day for both kids and parents. Reading bedtime stories helps you and your child feel close and comfortable before drifting off to sleep.
You might not realize it, but the time kids spend reading with Mom or Dad at night also helps their brains. As the stories unfold from page to page, children are learning how to think logically. They are also learning new words and using their imaginations. There are lots of great stories that make for good bedtime reading. Some of the more popular bedtime stories are sure to become favorites that will help your child sleep well and dream sweet dreams.
“Goodnight Moon” is a classic book that even the youngest kids will enjoy. Margaret Wise Brown wrote this book, and it was published in 1947. If you’ve ever struggled with not wanting to go to sleep at night, you will understand the little bunny in this story, who spends most of the story saying goodnight to everything in his bedroom, from pictures to toys to a little mouse, as he slowly drifts off.
“The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter was written in 1893. This old British story is all about a little rabbit named Peter who disobeys his mother and goes into the garden of Mr. McGregor. When Mr. McGregor sees him and chases him, Peter narrowly escapes back to his mother. His mother tucks him into bed, and then she gives his obedient sisters a delicious meal.
“Cinderella” is a classic tale about a young girl who is treated badly but eventually lives happily ever after. While you probably know the story from the Disney movie, this fairy tale dates back to the 1600s. Cinderella struggled with her evil stepmother and stepsisters, finding comfort in her little mouse friends and eventually her fairy godmother. After meeting the prince at the ball, Cinderella finds her true love at last.
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” was written by Eric Carle and published in 1969. The pages of this book are filled with bright pictures that show the caterpillar eating and growing as each day passes. The little caterpillar starts off very tiny, but as he eats apples, pears, plums, strawberries, oranges, and then a huge meal of cake, ice cream, cheese, pie, salami, pickles, and more, he grows and grows. Eventually, the caterpillar gets a stomach ache and eats a leaf to feel better. Then, he spins a cocoon and comes out as a beautiful butterfly in the end.
“Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak, was published in 1963. In this story, a little boy named Max is naughty, so he is sent to bed without eating. That night, Max’s bedroom changes, and he sails across the water to an island where the wild things live. Max is so bold that the wild things make him their king. Max and the wild things dance and play, but then Max decides that he misses his home. Max sails back home and finds a warm supper waiting for him in his bedroom.
- Cinderella Fairy Tale
- The Story of Rapunzel
- 15 Classic Children’s Books That Started as Bedtime Stories
- Beauty and the Beast
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- 100 Great Children’s Books (PDF)
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