Reading bedtime stories to your kids is a parental rite of passage. I’m in my mid-thirties and I still remember my parents reading to me before bed.
But what are the best bedtime stories for kids? Should you re-read what you were read as a child or should you branch out and try something new?
Don’t worry – here are 4 great choices for bedtime stories for kids.
A quick word about this list — these bedtime stories are generally geared toward the younger crowd. Should you keep reading bedtime stories to your “big kids” who can read independently? Absolutely!
It’s just that for those kids, I think it’s best to let their interests and preferences drive the story choice. (My oldest two, who are 7 and 9, already know what they want me to read at bedtime every night with zero input required from me.)
Okay, back to the bedtime story recommendations:
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1. A Book of Sleep
This is a nice, mellow story that’s easy on the eyes and the ears. There’s not too much reading, which is nice for parents at the end of a long day. There’s also nothing rowdy (I find bedtime isn’t the best place for wild and crazy stories. You do wild and crazy all day long. Bedtime stories should be soothing.)
Plot-wise, the book explores all the different ways animals sleep — upright or lying down, alone or in groups. It’s a perfect choice for bedtime!
2. Lllama Llama Red Pajama
I am a big fan of all the books by Anna Dewdney. I was so sad when she passed away because her books have been a treasure to my kids.
This particular story has a nice rhythm and flow and it’s on-point for bedtime (because, of course, Llama Llama is going to bed).
Plus, you can share this clip of Ludacris rapping the entire story (during the daytime –- we’re not rocking out to Ludacris at bedtime in this house). Parenthood has taken a lot of things from me, but apparently, Ludacris doesn’t have to be one of them.
3. 5-Minute Snuggle Stories
I like this book because there are a lot of different bedtime stories included AND they’re all five minutes long. That’s enough time to make your child feel like they got a good story, but also not so long you want to pull your hair out in frustration or pass out from exhaustion.
Plus, it gives your child the option to choose a story from the book. Choice is huge for little ones and lets them feel powerful. This can be a big plus when you’re trying to get your child to go to sleep when they’d rather stay up.
4. Guess How Much I Love You
This is a sweet little story that’s perfect for bedtime. The illustrations are understated and have more of a classic storybook vibe.
The sentiment is clear from the title. The entire book centers around a conversation between Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare about how much they love one another. It’s a sweet way to send your child off to dreamland.
What if our favorite bedtime stories aren’t on the list?
Of course, if you have a favorite bedtime story that’s not on this list, definitely throw that one into the mix. Some of my kids’ favorite bedtime stories are books they had no interest in at first. Rather, they were stories I had a fondness for, and those stories grew on them.
That’s the beauty of a good story –- give it a chance and it will draw you right in. I hope you and your family enjoy these kid-friendly bedtime stories in your home!