Telling a bedtime story is a great way for your toddler to wind down at the end of the day and get ready to go to sleep. As well as helping children relax, bedtime reading boosts their learning and improves bonding with parents as an important part of our bedtime routines.
Hypnotherapist and author Dipti Tait says: 'Storytelling is very important for the brain, regardless of age. Our mind enjoys a good story as it activates our imagination. When we begin reading tales of adventure, fantasy and mystery to our children, this creates a positive pathway for the brain to follow. Once we drop into sleep, the brain naturally falls into REM, the dream state, so quite often the storytelling helps the child begin the REM process and often encourages sleepiness and a good night's sleep.’
The bedtime story is one of those parenting traditions that endure through the years. Many of us have fond memories of sharing a bedtime children's book with our own parents, and now do the same with our children - on average, six out of 10 parents read to their children every night.
So, to help fuel your little library (and your little one's imagination and sweet dreams), here's our pick of the best bedtime stories for toddlers...
10 bedtime storybooks for toddlers
Muddy puddles, tropical birds, erupting volcanoes... the jungle is full of so many exciting things, how can Rumble the dinosaur possibly go to sleep? Weaving a journey from lively beginning to gentle end, the ten-minute countdown to bed is at the heart of this adorable, heartwarming story.
Let your little one fall in love with Roald Dahl’s imagination and Quentin Blake’s illustrations with this classic tale, where little Sophie enters Giant Country with the Big Friendly Giant.
These beautiful stories will take you back to your own childhood. A.A. Milne’s characters are timeless, and all those years later, little one’s are still falling in love with Winnie the Pooh.
This all time favourite bedtime book by Jill Murphy is a classic. Just how will Mr Bear manage to get some sleep with all those noises and distractions?
If your little one is afraid of the dark, this Pablo book is the perfect story to send them to sleep and help them conquer their fears. All Pablo books are written by writers on the autistic spectrum and are written to help autistic children.
A special 25th anniversary board book edition of a bestselling modern classic, Owl Babies is a comforting read for any toddler who has ever worried about mum leaving them alone, or any child starting pre-school for the very first time.
Learn about the different phases of the moon in Goodnight Baby Moon as you follow a family of little rabbits taking a night-time stroll through the woods. With easy-to-follow text, simple repeated phrases and beautiful spread designs, young children will be fully engaged by this delightful story that is perfect for reading aloud. See the crescent moon change to a full moon and discover tiny surprises along the way, such as friendly owls in trees and fluttering butterflies.
Bedtime Classics introduce classic works of fiction to little literary scholars through character driven narratives and colourful illustration. Designed to be the perfect one minute bedtime story (or five minutes - if you’re begged to read it over and over) parents can feel good about exposing their children to some of the most iconic pieces of literature while building their child’s bookshelf with these trendy editions!
This story is about a little girl who wants to sleep in the barn with her furry and feathered friends in a cozy clump of hay. Going back to her bedroom for bedtime doesn’t seem as much fun as checking whose bed is the coziest, the warmest and the most comfortable! This sweet lullaby story will help send your tot on their way to dreamland, with beautiful illustrations that tell an endearing and funny bedtime story and create a truly engaging experience.
This fun board book features a laugh-out-loud text full of witty rhymes and silly scenarios from Ian Whybrow, and illustrations by Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo, that are bursting with funny details. The Bedtime Bear is a bedtime book with a difference – and there's a flap to lift on every page, so children can join in the fun!