Top 18 Bedtime Stories Parents Should Read To Their Toddler

bedtime stories for toddlers

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“Once upon a time…” These words spell magic on my two-year-old daughter. By beginning a story, I can actually hypnotize her into doing things my way. So, I use this magic wand if she refuses to nap or sleep. One remedy to all her tantrums: a story.

Bedtime stories for toddlers are mesmerizing. They not only soothe the little one but also benefit them. Moreover, they are a wonderful way to bond with your little darling, before kissing her good night. Pick up a picture book and begin reading. Your little one will love to see you browse through the book slowly and narrate the story in a soothing voice. This is when her eyes turn heavy, and she falls asleep quietly.

MomJunction brings you some of the popular bedtime stories for toddlers and at the end gives you tips on bedtime storytelling.

Bible Bedtime Stories

1. Eve – The First Princess

From Princess Stories: Real Bible Stories of God’s Princesses

A long time ago, Eve was the first princess on the Earth. She was the first woman God created. Adam was the first man. God used Adam’s ribs to make Eve. They both lived in the Gardens of Eden that was a beautiful place. It was full of big trees, gentle rivers, beautiful flowers, butterflies, swans, horses, and many other animals. Life in the garden was great. God loved them so much and gave them everything they needed.

They just had to obey one rule. God asked them not to eat the fruits of the tree that is in the center of the garden. But the fruit looked delicious. The princess could not resist, so she plucked the fruit and took a big bite. It was sweet and juicy! She offered it to Adam too. But they felt guilty and tried to hide from God when he came to the garden that evening.

Well, God knows everything. He asked both of them to leave the garden for disobeying him. Even though God was sad that he had to punish them, he still loved Eve and Adam. They would always be his children.

Moral: Live a life that is likable by the God. Confess if you do something wrong and try not to repeat.

[ Read: Benefits Of Reading Bedtime Stories To Babies ]

2. Sarah’s Story

From Princess Stories: Real Bible Stories of God’s Princesses

A long time ago, God made a promise to Abraham, Sarah’s husband. The promise was that Abraham would have a big family. This means Abraham would have lots of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. But, years passed without a single child. One day three men (messengers of God) came to their place and had dinner. While leaving, they said that soon a son would be born to them. A little later, Sarah and Abraham had a baby boy. They named him Issac. They were happy ever after, and prayed that ‘the Lord’s promise prove true’.

Moral: God keeps his promise, even if it is delayed. We have to be patient and keep our belief in him.

Princess Bedtime Stories

3. Princess Naomy – by Naomy Liseth Cerritos Palma

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Naomy. She worked hard as her stepmother and stepsisters used to make her do all the chores. Naomy wanted to go out on the day of the royal ball when the prince would choose a princess for the kingdom. She could not as she was ordered to wash clothes, clean utensils, and do many other chores.

She finished all the tasks but then didn’t have a nice dress to wear. While she was sitting sadly, a fairy godmother appeared and granted her three wishes. The girl wished for a beautiful dress, crystals heels, and an awesome chariot.

Hypnotized by the beauty, the prince invited her to dance with him. She danced and left as it was getting late in the night. The prince searched for her and finally found her. They both became friends and finally married.

4. Singing Princess – By Abby

Once a princess found a ring in her garden, which gave five stunning powers to her, which only she can enjoy. The five powers were: to sleep effortlessly, to make fire without flint, to make rain shower without clouds in the sky, to grow a crop she wanted, and to sing like an enchanted siren.

One day, a witch cast a spell all through the kingdom. The witch took away to sleep, fire, rain, crops, and songs from everyone in the kingdom. All this made the princess cry for the helpless people. She ran out to her balcony and kept singing for months together. She sang about good and evil, rain and fire, and so on. She has sung for a year. One day the princess slowly disintegrated into the wind, and the kingdom came back to its original state. She was never seen again but was just heard. Every year, good people of her kingdom held a celebration for her!

Educational Stories

5. Oops I Wet My Pants – by Sigal Adler

It was a pleasant sunny day when the little boy went out to play with his friends. He needed to do pee pee but held it as he wanted to win the game he was playing. All of a sudden, his pants turned wet. He ran home to change the pants. It was then he heard a song. ‘The bathroom is the only place to pee…’

“If you feel you need to go even while you play, go straight to the bathroom without any delay.”

6. The Sisters

Two little sisters went into a room to play with a ball. The tall one slowly whispered, “We must be careful not to wake the cat.” The fat one whispered back, “We should not spoil the roses.” But they wanted to throw it high as the ceiling would not hurt. The white cat was hearing all this. It thought, “Why would they come here to play at all. They can only disturb me or spoil the roses.., instead, they can play in between the shady trees in the garden.. Who knows, their ball might touch the sky!”

[ Read: Bedtime Routines For Toddlers ]

Scary Bedtime Stories

7. There Are Monsters In My Room

A little girl named Norah is scared of nights. She hugs her bear tight and covers the pillow over her head. With every little sound or shadow, she runs to her mommy. Her mom hugs her tight and tells her to keep calm. But now that she is five-and-a-half years old, she is braver than ever before!!

8. Monster, monster, one, two, three.. – by Michael Yu

Eric was a naughty boy. Bedtime was never fun for him. He doesn’t like to bath, brush, or pull his pajamas. One fine day, Eric’s mom decided to tell him about a monster. She said, “I will tell you about the monster once you are ready for the bed.”

For the very first time, Eric willingly took a bath, brushed his teeth and got ready. Now, mom took little Eric to the kitchen and filled a plate with chocolate chips and cookies. They both went to bed. Then the mom said, “Get under the covers. And say, Monster, monster, one, two, three.. come out and play with me? Monster will do anything for these yummy cookies.”

Funny Bedtime Stories

9. Wake Up, Sun – by David L. Harrison

One midnight, a flea bit a dog on his ear. The dog woke up saying “Woof! Woof!” It must be time to get up, thought the dog. Meanwhile, even pig woke up saying “Oink! Oink!” The pig said to dog, “be quiet”.

Dog: “It is time to get up.”
Pig: “No it is not! Sun is not up!”
Dog: “Where can the Sun be?”
Pig: “Maybe it fell in the well……..”

10. The Milkmaid And Her Pail

A milkmaid named Patty was carrying milk in a pail on her head. She was going to the market. As she was walking, she began planning about what she would do with the money she got from selling the milk. She thought of buying some fowls. Fowls would lay eggs, which she can sell. With the money she got from selling eggs, she could buy a dimity frock and a hat, which will make her look pretty. Then she would meet a handsome man, who would ask her to marry him. She would say no, nodding her head… dreaming this, she nodded her head and her pail fell. All her milk was spilled on the ground.

Moral: Do not dream about the fruits you get even before the work gets over!

Dinosaur Bedtime Stories

11. A Fish And A Dinosaur

A little fish lives with its family in a pond. Its father was the king of the fishes in the pond. One day a huge dinosaur came to that pond and drank half of the water. Fishes were worried if the dinosaur would come again to drink the remaining water. They all went to the fish king and pleaded for help.

The little fish got an idea and said, “I will send the dino tomorrow.” It waited the next day for the dino to come. After the dino had come, the little fish requested it to go away and find some other pond. But the dinosaur refused! The fish did not lose patience and will. It went on requesting. Finally, the dinosaur agreed to go away if the fish wins a race with it. The challenge was to see who goes first from one end to the other of the pond.

The little fish took the challenge. It tried hard and swam as fast as it could. Dino could not run fast due to its heavy body. Eventually, the dinosaur lost the race and went away!

[ Read: Good Sleep Habits In Babies ]

12. What If The Dinosaurs Come Back?

Jessica, a five-year-old, loved dinosaurs. “What happened to all the dinosaurs?” she wondered. “Where did they all go?” Many thoughts flooded her mind.

“Did they all go to a picnic on a deserted island?”
“Did they all fly to the moon in a spaceship?”
“Did they go deep into the ground to find a buried treasure?”

“If they all come back, they could be of great help!”
“They can rescue little kittens stuck in the trees!”
“They could help firefighters put off the flames!”
“They could pick the best apples from the tree top!”… She thought that she would wait for them to come back.

Halloween Bedtime Stories

13. Halloween Skeleton For The Doctor

An interim went to collect a new skeleton from the store. He collected one and reached the consultant surgeon’s office, where he found a queue of patients waiting. As he entered the door, he saw people gazing at him enquiringly. He smiled and said, ‘I am bringing him to the doctor.’ An old lady sympathetically said, ‘My dear! Isn’t he a bit late for the doctor?’

14. The Old Witch

Once there was a little girl who never obeyed her elders, so how could she be happy? Even after her parents’ refusal, she went to a witch’s house. The old women there asked, “Why are you so pale?”

Trembling all over, the girl replied, “I saw a black man on your steps.”

“That was a collier,” the witch replied back.

The girl said, “When I peeped through your window, I saw a creature with a fiery head.”
The old women replied, “Then you have seen the witch in a proper dress”, saying so, she turned the girl into a block of wood and threw in the fire.
Then the satisfied witch sat and said, “How good I feel!”

Moral: Obey elders and follow their instructions!

[ Read: Benefits Of Reading Books To Your Baby ]

Classic Bedtime Stories

15. Little Ant’s Big Plan – by Candice Dingwall

A little ant loved to read! While the other ants collected food for the winter, the little ant kept reading all the day. When the queen asked for more food to store, the little ant shouted about the place he read about. He said that “the restaurant is the place we need. People eat there.” All the ants went marching in search of a restaurant. The little ant found a restaurant. They went in and found a lot of food. A few ants carried burger, while some carried a bun. When they returned, the queen felt glad and all praised the little ant!

16. Mrs. Penguin’s Perfect Palace

Mrs. Penguin wished to have a house. She no longer wanted to live in rubbish. Papa Penguin said, “We will build a house for you, darling.” The penguin family began the work.

Sissie said, “The sand is making me itch.”
Boetie said, “The measurements are wrong.”
Gobbles said, “I am hungry.”

Mrs. Penguin continued doing all the work herself. Finally, the castle was done! But, a tide washed it away. Papa Penguin said, “We will try it again.”

The penguin family set to work again….
Sissie said, “The stones are heavy.”
Boetie said, “The measurements are wrong.”
Gobbles said, “I am still hungry.”

It was finished at last, but the wind blew it over. Papa Penguin said, “We will try it again.”

Mrs. Penguin screamed, “I will not do it anymore.”
Boetie said, “We can’t build a house without cement.”

Then Mrs. Penguin got an idea. She asked Boetie to fetch wood, Sissie to find nets, Gobbles to pick up plastic and papa to fetch the hammer. They worked all the day.

Sissie said, “I am tired.” Momma replied, “Keep going.”
Boetie said, “The measurements are wrong.” Momma replied, “Keep working.”
Gobbles said, “I am still hungry.” Momma replied, “Keep working.”

They worked, worked and worked! Finally, the house was finished! Mrs. Penguin’s Perfect Palace!

Interactive Stories

17. Bananas For Lunch

A fat little monkey wanted bananas for lunch. He peeled and ate one. Munch, munch, munch! He went on.. two bananas, three bananas, four bananas, five bananas. He ate but wanted more. He kept on peeling and eating. Six bananas, seven bananas, eight bananas..! He peeled two more.. nine and ten bananas! He finished the whole bunch and fell!

18. The Five Little Babies

One little baby waves, “bye, bye, bye!”
A little boy cries, “wah, wah, wah!”
This little boy goes, “clap, clap, clap!”
This little boy takes a nice long nap!
Other little boy goes “goo, goo, goo!”
Now, all the five little babies go peek-a-boo!

Do not make bedtime stories a dull routine. Make them interesting by adding a tone to it. Make some sounds, make it dramatic, and involve your child to make sure that she is listening, and rest assured your little one is going to enjoy these amazing interactive stories for toddlers.

[ Read: Bedtime Routines For Babies]

What To Do While Narrating Bedtime Stories To Toddlers?

Reading is one of the simple activities you can do for your toddler. It does not require a special skill or equipment. Just some good books and peaceful environment is what is needed. Here are some tips to make your toddler look forward to short bedtime stories.

  1. Be comfortable and flexible: Be comfortably seated and narrate slowly at your pace. Making mistakes is okay. It may turn funny, as your little one catches the mistake and tries to rectify. Make it a routine!
  1. You can be silly and curious: Make noises and encourage your little one to join you. Repeat phrases in a story. Do not worry if your toddler is running around in the middle. He might be in action, but his ears are working!! Do not restrict yourself to books. You may also read out magazines, newspapers, etc.
  1. Repeats are fine: Repeat the same story if your darling asks for it the millionth time. Toddlers learn through repetition. Ask him plenty of questions, and get him involved (1). Storytime could be a family get-together, so involve all the other family members too!

Similarly, do not mind if your tiny tot stops you in the middle of a story. Remember, your little one may not be in story-mood sometimes, or the story may seem boring. That’s ok! He can be moody at times!

The good thing about telling short stories to toddlers is you can be at your creative best. Create your own stories. Develop a story around the situation, build one around the circumstances to which your child can relate to. Therefore, if you are narrating a story about her pre-school, or a dog that he sees every day, he gets inquisitive.

What are your best bedtime stories for toddlers and your little one’s favorite? Let us know in the comment section.

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