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The Best Bedtime Stories for Kids

Updated November 3, 2020

Back in the day, not every parent had a book to read from, but these fairytales were passed on from generation to generation and everybody knew them by heart. Aside from the actual magic of the story, it was a wonderful chance to spend time with our parents or grandparents at the end of the day.

 

Rank Product Highlights
#1

365 Bedtime Stories and Rhymes

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  • Available formats: hardcover
  • Age range: < 6 years
  • Number of pages: 384
#2

My First Disney Classics Bedtime Storybook

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  • Available formats: Kindle, hardcover
  • Age range: 3 to 5 years
  • Number of pages: 72
#3

If Animals Kissed Good Night

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  • Available formats: board book
  • Age range: 3 to 6 years
  • Number of pages: 34
#4

A Year Full of Stories

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  • Available formats: hardcover
  • Age range: 8 to 12 years
  • Number of pages: 128
#5

5-Minute Winnie the Pooh Stories

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  • Available formats: hardcover
  • Age range: 6 to 8 years
  • Number of pages: 192

Benefits of Reading Bedtime Stories

Bedtime stories are a wonderful way to bond with your children and get their imagination going regardless of how young they are. Even when you read a story to a baby that doesn’t understand anything you’re saying, just them hearing the sound of your voice can be incredibly soothing. Bedtimes stories can bring a huge number of benefits into your child’s life, such as:

— Age Range

Depending on the age of your child, bedtime stories can really sharpen their memory. When they’re listening to a story, children will make an effort to remember what they’ve heard so their minds can connect characters with places and storylines. You can also pause the story each time a character reappears and make sure they remember who that character was.

— Vocabulary

Bedtime stories will help enrich your child’s vocabulary and it will improve their language. Reading is, in fact, an activity that helps improve one’s vocabulary at just about any age. When a book captivates you and you come across a word you don’t know, you’ll most likely look up its definition and remember it for later. If there are words in the story that the child doesn’t understand, they’ll most likely stop you and ask what it means. If need be, you can also use pictures to help your children memorize new words they hear in your stories.

— Social Science

Stories can teach your children a lot about people and social circumstances. Plenty of stories are focused on thriving, on the concepts of “good” and “bad”, on explaining how family and friends interact with one another and are always there for each other. Stories talk about ambitions, life journeys, honor, commitment, and other such concepts that your child can become familiar with from an early age. Bedtime stories can also help children develop perspective.

— Stimulates Imagination

Stories go above and beyond what goes on in the real world, and this is good not just because it can stimulate a kid’s imagination, but also because it helps them gain more knowledge of the things they don’t get a chance to see every day. If you have a 3-year-old, they probably don’t get to experience many examples of bravery and honor, but stories can help them get acquainted with these concepts, teaching them about values that are important even if they’re not encountered at such a young age.

— The Good and the Bad

By reading them bedtime stories with complex plots and many characters, children will begin to learn more about people. In time, they will be able to identify likes and dislikes and figure out who the heroes and who the bad guys are. This is the knowledge that they can later associate with real-life encounters. Don’t underestimate children because their brain’s ability to connect what they learn from stories with real-life events is mind-blowing.

— Bonding

In today’s modern age, we can’t get over the fact that parents are spending less and less time with their children. This is not an article meant to scold parents because we know the effort it takes not to collapse after a hard day’s work needed to provide for the family and the actual stuff that one has to do around the house (from cooking, doing dishes, making sure everyone’s teeth are clean, packing lunches for the next day, etc.).

Managing to integrate even 30 minutes of story reading before bedtime isn’t just beneficial to the child, but it’s also a great way to improve the parent-child relationship. Children will feel more loved and look forward to this quality time spent with either of their parents, but it also helps establish a healthy sleeping routine for them. Since they love bedtime stories, they will associate going to bed with something pleasant, something to look forward to every night.

Tips for Pleasant Story Time

Regardless of whether you choose to read stories to your child or you have audiobooks that they like to listen to, here are some tips that can make storytime more pleasant and entertaining for children:

  • If you’re reading to them, try and do voices for each of the characters in the story. They will make the entire plot easier to follow, but it’s also something fun for your child.
  • If you’re going over a book with plenty of pictures, talk about what’s in them. Children’s books are illustrated for a reason, so don’t just skimp through the pages ignoring the illustrations. You can first ask your child what he or she thinks is happening in the image.
  • Make sure nothing interrupts storytime. If this is the quality time you like to spend with your child, turn off electronics and leave the phone in another room or put it on silent. Make the child feel like this is their time and their time alone.
  • As your child grows older, you can let them choose what story they want next. This will make them feel important as you are actively engaging them in the decision-making process. Plus, they will show more interest in the story if it’s one they get to choose themselves.

 

Top 5 Bedtime Stories Reviews

The magic of bedtime stories is divided between spending quality time with your children and giving them the opportunity to immerse into a world that’s meant to develop their imagination, creativity, but also to help them learn life-worthy lessons. That being said, what are some of the best bedtime stories that you can buy for your children?

1. 365 Bedtime Stories and Rhymes

OVERVIEW:

  • Available formats: hardcover
  • Age range: < 6 years
  • Number of pages: 384

A collection of stories is just what you need to have in your library because your little one will surely enjoy the diversity of options. This is a hardcover copy of “365 Bedtime Stories and Rhymes”, a collection that’s mainly focused on illustrations combined with rhymes and stories that are perfect for small children up to the age of 6. 

It is the kind of book that’s designed to stimulate both the child’s imagination as well as their visuals, as it’s best if you show them the illustrations and perhaps ask them what they think is going on before further explaining them. This book actually contains numerous short stories (one of each day of the year) that reimagine some classic stories for children to fall in love with. 

You can expect to encounter characters that you once loved as a child, such as Hansel and Gretel, but also stories about The Ugly Duckling or The Lion and the Mouse. It’s not just a fun time for children, but also a nostalgic trip for adults that will surely remember what stories meant to them when they were children. 

Pros Cons
  • Includes old beloved characters.
  • One story for each day of the year.
  • Easy to read.
  • Wonderful illustrations.
  • Some parents don’t appreciate the reimagined classics.

Who Should Buy This? 

If you’re looking for more diversity and fancy the idea of owning a large collection of short stories for your children, this is the product to look out for. It’s a great addition to the nightly bed time routine.

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2. My First Disney Classics Bedtime Storybook

OVERVIEW:

  • Available formats: Kindle, hardcover
  • Age range: 3 to 5 years
  • Number of pages: 72

Some of the parents reading this might have also grown up developing a love for Walt Disney’s stories and characters. For most of us, the story of Bambi was a heartbreaking tale that stuck to our hearts forever, while the 101 Dalmatians kept us hoping that Cruella DeVille would not get her hands on the pups. 

If you would like a book with Disney’s most beloved tales, this is the one to purchase. You can have a collection of stories such as The Lion King, Alice in Wonderland, or Dumbo, classics that most of us grew up with and would love to be able to tell them to your children and inspire them to love the characters that once shaped our childhood. 

So, whether you love Simba or Mowgli, the stories that are in this book will encourage your children to love the animal world and the land of fairytales. Every story is accompanied by beautiful illustrations depicting the characters in the plot, whilst the book is available in both hardcopy and a digital Kindle format. 

Pros Cons
  • Includes classic Disney stories.
  • Digital and regular formats available.
  • Beautiful illustrations.
  • Great for baby shower gifts.
  • Short read.

Who Should Buy This? 

If you grew up to stories like The Lion King, Dumbo, The Jungle Book, or Bambi, and would like your children to share that same passion for the characters you loved as a child, this Disney collection of stories is worth both your time and your money.

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3. If Animals Kissed Good Night

OVERVIEW:

  • Available formats: board book
  • Age range: 3 to 6 years
  • Number of pages: 34

Part of a collection of other books from the series “What if animals did what YOU do?” comes a beautiful book entitled “If Animals Kissed Good Night”. It is a wonderful immersion in the animal world that will get your kid’s imagination going in a fun exercise that depicts the behavior of animals if they would kiss each other goodnight. 

The book is filled with playful drawings and illustrations and text that read about baby sloths slowly moving and wolf cubs that would howl before their sleep.  It’s a story that doesn’t just stimulate the child on a cognitive level, but it can be super-fun if you decide to act out some of the voices and gestures that are described in the book. 

This is a really short book, so don’t expect it to provide nights of material for you yo read to your little one. The 34 pages can easily be finished in one seating, but the book can be read time and time again if you’re willing to put in the role play effort that prevents your child from being bored. 

Pros Cons
  • Lovely illustrations.
  • Creating animal stories.
  • More books available in collection.
  • Short read.

Who Should Buy This? 

Parents that are willing to act out some of the sounds and gestures in a book of bedtime stories, but also parents who want their children to develop a love for the animal world are going to love every book in this collection.

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4. A Year Full of Stories

OVERVIEW:

  • Available formats: hardcover
  • Age range: 8 to 12 years
  • Number of pages: 128

Here’s another collection of amazing stories for your children, with 52 different tales of excitement and friendship. These stories are divided into 12 different chapters that are suitable for the 12 different months of the year. Ready to match important dates throughout the year, such as Valentine’s Day or International Friendship day, the stories are accompanied by beautiful illustrations that will turn this book into a family treasure. 

For example, the month of April includes stories about Easter (The Basket of Eggs), April Fool’s Day (Rabbit and Crab), or St. George’s Day (The Glass Night and The Shoemaker and the Dragon). You can discover tales about Thanksgiving in November and about Human Rights Day in December. 

The structure of the book makes it really special but doesn’t support this being a standalone storybook designed to provide tales for each night of the year. It’s more like a complimentary book that provides great and educative stories for special occasions. 

Pros Cons
  • Very educative stories.
  • Raises awareness of important events.
  • Not too many illustrations.

Who Should Buy This? 

Parents looking for more educational stories that are meant to raise awareness in children about important dates throughout the year (like Thanksgiving or other important holidays) will appreciate the stories and content provided by “A Year Full of Stories”.

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5. 5-Minute Winnie the Pooh Stories

OVERVIEW:

  • Available formats: hardcover
  • Age range: 6 to 8 years
  • Number of pages: 192

Ready to bring the lovely Pooh in your child’s life? Then what better way to do so than by buying a collection of short stories centered on the life of one of the most beloved bears in the history of books and television: Winnie the Pooh! This is a book with five-minute stories that depict funny and beautiful stories. 

You can accompany Pooh and his faithful friends on birthday party planning missions or quests to help him cheer out his companions. Some of the titles include: A Good Night’s Sleep, Tigger’s Moving Day, Be Patient, Pooh, or The Sleepover. 

The stories, while short, are accompanied by beautiful illustrations of Winnie the Pooh and his friends, with your child learning how to love these characters as they feel immersed in the journey. 

Pros Cons
  • Beautiful illustrations.
  • Good intro to classic Pooh stories.
  • Sturdy book (for children who like to hold it).
  • Some parents claim the stories are hard to read.

Who Should Buy This? 

If you want a collection of short stories with the beloved Winnie the Pooh and his missions that are entertaining and filled with lessons, this book is a great product to look into.

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Bottom Line 

As you can see, bedtime stories are a wonderful tool from so many different points of view. They don’t just provide quality time between parents and their children, but they also help stimulate the child on a variety of levels. From soothing to rich in life lessons, bedtime stories are a great way to get your kid’s gears running just the right amount of time to get them in that sleepy mood at the end of the day.