Bedtime stories serve a variety of purposes. Bedtime is not always easy. Sometimes it seems as if it is NEVER easy. But, adding a read-aloud as part of a bedtime routine, can help children settle down for the night and drift off to sleep with less fuss (not necessarily no fuss).
Reading aloud to a child also helps the youngster to associate stories and books with a warm, fuzzy feeling. If children associate reading with a positive feeling, they will look forward to that shared time together.
Here are some of our favorite bedtime stories.
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
This is a wonderful story about a bull named Ferdinand who marches to the beat of his own drummer. He is mild-mannered and children will fall in love with his gentle nature. There’s also a valuable lesson about staying true to oneself. This book will send a child off to sleep knowing that it’s okay to be himself.
No Such Thing by Jackie French Kolloer
Do you have a youngster who resists bedtime for fear of monsters? If so, this book is for you! In this delightful tale, a young monster and a young boy are leading parallel lives. Neither one can sleep and they each call their mothers over and over because they are scared. Both mothers lose patience and the monster and the boy are left to solve their problems on their own. There is a sneaky twist at the end which will provide an opportunity for your child to predict what will happen next. You’ll both be giggling at the conclusion of the story.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
This story is a classic for good reason. Since 1947 this story has helped countless children fall asleep. It will help your child fall asleep too. You might even want to incorporate a calming routine of saying goodnight to familiar objects and loved ones before turning out the light.
I’ve Loved You Since Forever by Hoda Kotb
What better way to settle down for the night than to be reassured of a parent’s love? This book is a wonderful, soothing story of a parent’s love. Written by an adoptive parent, it’s especially poignant for the adopted child. It’s a beautiful story of how the parent and child came to be together. This book is sure to give children sweet dreams.
I Love You Night and Day by Smriti Prasadam-Halls
This is another wonderful story that reassures children of their parents’ love. Although the text is not lengthy, it includes rich vocabulary incorporating words like ‘vast’. The text also uses words with alternate meanings such as ‘rough’. This story provides multiple opportunities to help expand your child’s vocabulary.
What a Wonderful World
Based on the song by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss as sung by Louis Armstrong
It is a wonderful world and at the end of the day it’s nice to reflect on all the things that make it so. One suggestion after reading (or singing) this story is to ask your child to name some wonderful things that happened during the day. It’s a nice way to build an attitude of gratitude.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems
If you don’t know the author Mo Willems get yourself to a library or bookstore STAT! Mo Willems just gets kids and their humor. We’ve yet to meet a child who doesn’t love Mo Willems’s Pigeon books. (He also has written many hilarious stories about Piggy and Gerald.) Pigeon personifies the defiant child who takes advantage of any opportunity to extend bedtime. Your child will see herself in Pigeon. This book is a fun way to transition to sleep
This is just a short list of a wide selection of bedtime stories to help build that all-important bedtime routine. We’ve found these stories to be ‘no-fail’ and hope you meet with as much success as we have.