Classic Bedtime Stories For Kids + Resources

Spending quality time reading stories, just before dozing off to bed at night, may be one of the most special parts of the day for both kids and parents. But the benefits of reading bedtime stories before bed adds substantially to parents and their children feeling close and comfortable before drifting off to sleep.

Parents might not realize it, but the time kids spend reading with Mom or Dad at night has a lasting impact in the development of a child’s brain. As the stories unfold from page to page, children are learning how to think logically, while also learning new words and using their imaginations. There are numerous stories, both peaceful and adventurous, that make for pleasant bedtime reading in our list below.

Some of the more popular bedtime stories are sure to become favorites that will help children sleep well and dream sweet dreams. Of course, a cozy mattress (check out the best mattresses for kids) and pillow won’t hurt those sweet dreams, either!

Woman reading a bedtime story to her daughter

Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon is a classic book that even the youngest kids will enjoy. Margaret Wise Brown is the author of this book, which was published in 1947. Parents with children who struggle to go to sleep at night will understand the little bunny in this story, who spends most of this nighttime tale saying goodnight to everything in his bedroom, from pictures to toys to a little mouse, as he slowly drifts off.

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Classic bedtime stories: The Tale Of Peter Rabbit, Goodnight Moon, Cinderella

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter was written in 1893 and is an old British story 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 rewards his obedient sisters a delicious meal.


Cinderella is a timelessly classic tale about a young girl who is treated maliciously by her step-family, but eventually lives happily ever after. While most people 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 minuscule mouse friends and eventually her fairy godmother. After meeting the prince at the ball, Cinderella finds her true love at last.

Classic Stories - Where The Wild Things Are and The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar was written by Eric Carle and published in 1969, and the pages of this book are filled with bright pictures that show the caterpillar eating and growing as each day passes. The little caterpillar begins the story 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 emerges as a beautiful butterfly in the end.

RELATED: A Parents’ Guide To Helping Children Sleep

Where the Wild Things Are

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, where Max and the Wild Things proceed dance and play. But then Max decides that he misses his home, so he sails back home and finds a warm supper waiting for him in his bedroom.

More Popular Stories

Benefits Of Reading Bedtime Stories

Additional Reading Lists

Featured image: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

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Joe Auer

Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.

He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.

Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.