How to Spark It

Sun, 19 Dec, 2021

11 Interesting Bedtime Stories for Kids

Children love to listen to stories, especially before bedtime. Reading bedtime stories is an excellent way to bond with your child and to instil a love for reading in them. It's a fact that children who listen to stories grow up to become readers themselves.

Reading also has several benefits: it improves language, sharpens memory, and strengthens creative thinking. In this post, we'll highlight the importance of bedtime stories and share 11 stories for little kids that you can add to your collection.

What's a Good Bedtime Story?

A good bedtime story has all elements that can help your child de-stress and relax after a long day. The characters are relatable and easy to understand. These short stories for children have a dash of excitement and a little tension, but not so much to keep your child awake. Most of these stories have a moral message.

Benefits of Reading Bedtime Stories

Reading a bedtime story to your child is much more than just sharing a tale. Bedtime stories are important because they have several benefits, including:

1. Build Bonds

The time you spend with your child, giving your full attention, will help reinforce your relationship. When they grow up, they might not remember the story, but they'll definitely remember the feeling of having you sit beside the bed with them.

2. Develop Language Skills

As your child listens to you read short bedtime stories, they expand their vocabulary and also learn how to use the new words to express themselves.

3. Promote Literacy

When you read a bedtime story to your child, you are introducing the joy of reading to them. You are also creating a caring and loving feeling they will always associate with books long after they have flown the nest.

4. Sparks Imagination

Listening to stories about places, people, and situations your child may never encounter can spark creativity and imagination in them. It can also give them the ability to envision things beyond their own experiences.

How to Make Storytime More Interesting?

You can make children's bedtime stories more interesting by elaborating on the basics. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Give plenty of details about people and places mentioned in the story.
  • Use voices and facial expressions to express emotions.
  • Use different voices – low and high, quiet and loud – when telling different parts of the story.

11 Bedtime Stories For Kids

Here's a collection of the 11 best short bedtime stories for kids:

1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Written by the Grimm brothers, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is a classic story of jealously, love, and genuine friendship. This bedtime story revolves around Snow White, whose beauty and youth attract her stepmother's hatred. Spending most of the time in the forest, she becomes friends with seven dwarfs and is later rescued by a prince with whom she lives happily ever after.

Value to Learn: This bedtime story teaches children the importance of being kind to others – be good to others and expect good from others.

2. The Moon Rabbit

This Japanese folklore talks about four friends – a monkey, otter, jackal and rabbit. They all decide to help a poor beggar on a full moon day. While each of the friends finds something for the beggar to eat, the rabbit offers himself as food. Touched by the rabbit's generosity, the beggar, who is actually Sakra (ruler of Gods), draws the full moon to look like a rabbit. This story reflects important attributes such as selflessness, sacrifice, generosity, and kindness.

Value to Learn: This story is an affirmation that virtues like kindness and selflessness are always rewarded.

3. You Need A Lion's Whisker

This fairy tale from Ethiopia tells the story of Leeya, who wants her stepson to be friends with her. She visits a medicine man who tells her to pluck a whisker from a lion and get it to him. The story is about how she develops a relationship with a mighty lion to get a whisker from him.

Value to Learn: A valuable relationship takes time to develop. There are no shortcuts. You need to work hard, be patient, and perseverant to earn other people's trust.

4. Growing For A King

This bedtime story is of a king who has no children and is in search of a leader to rule after him. He announces a contest to find the next leader. Heng is one of the contestants who doesn't do as well as the other contestants, but her honesty impresses the king. She wins the contest and is declared the next ruler of the kingdom.

Value Idea: This bedtime story focuses on fierce competition that thrives in the world and teaches the children to work hard to achieve their goals without falling into the trap of peer pressure and staying true to themselves.

5. The Hungry Mouse

This story is of a hungry mouse who enters through a small hole in a basket filled with corn. He eats so much that he cannot come out of the basket through the same hole he went in.

Value to Learn: This bedtime story teaches children that nothing positive comes from greed and too much of anything is bad.

6. Foolish Imitation

This bedtime story is about a foolish crow who makes various attempts to imitate a hawk. The theme of the story revolves around the importance of originality and the drawbacks of imitation.

Value to Learn: This bedtime story is a realisation for children to be comfortable in their own skin and not try to be someone they are not.

7. A City Rat and A Village Rat

This short bedtime story for kids features two rats as central characters - one lives in the village and the other in the city. The story draws a comparison between peaceful village life and stressful city life.

Value to Learn: The portrayal of two extremely different worlds helps children get a better understanding of the real world.

8. The Boy Who Cried Wolf

This bedtime story from Aesop's Fables is about a shepherd boy who fools the villagers every time by crying about a wolf coming to eat him and his sheep. One day, when the real wolf eats his sheep, nobody helps him because they don't believe him.

Value to Learn: This story teaches children the consequences of telling lies.

9. I'm Bored

This bedtime story is about a girl who complains about boredom until she meets a potato. Both the potato and the girl try to prove to each other that they are more fun than the other.

Value to Learn: This story reminds children of all the exciting and fun things they can do to get rid of boredom.

10. Lion and The Mouse

This is one of the short children's bedtime stories that features a lion and a mouse. This story is an affirmation that anyone regardless of their appearance or size, can make a significant impact in certain situations.

Value to Learn: This story teaches children that acts of kindness, however small, are greatly rewarded.

11. The Wind and the Sun

This classic from Aesop's Fables is an argument between the Sun and the wind about who is the strongest. Each uses its strengths to make a man take off the coat. The wind blows hard and uses aggression but fails. All the Sun does is shine brightly, making the man take off his coat.

Value to Learn: This bedtime story teaches kids that sometimes gentle persuasion works better than the strongest force.