We have always loved reading to our kids, and our kids love it too. My son is 6 now, so he usually picks his own books and reads to himself each night. But my daughter (Lucy, 2) still has trouble sitting still for an entire book and kind of wants to do her own thing.
Luckily, we have come across some great books that help with bedtime and winding down. We try to limit interactive books that reqire the kids to sing, ‘push here’ or repeat what the book is saying – because that defeats the purpose.
We all know that reading to our children has many benefits. For us, we have noticed that it helps create a more relaxed, comforting ritual for Lucy, and encourages her development of language as well. It can even lower stress level, according to this article on Parents.com.
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If Animals Kissed Goodnight
With illustrations of baby animals and their parents saying goodnight, what could be cuter? This is a calming book with sweet rhymes and pictures that help the story come to life. Perfect for the little animal lover.
Darker pages create a more ‘nighttime’ feel and we just love books that rhyme! Those books tend to keep Lucy’s attention for longer. This book in particular is nice because it is a board book, so she can turn the pages herself without ripping them and she loves to see where animals sleep.
The Sleepy Little Alphabet
We have found this book to be great for bedtime and reinforcing the letters of the alphabet. Lucy loves how the lowercase letters are the children who don’t want to sleep, and the “big” letters are the parents. This is relatable and bonus, it rhymes!
Disney 365 Bedtime Stories
Disney says it all for this book! This one is great for the independent child who wants to pick their own story, featuring the characters they know and love. The stories are pretty short, so plan to read a few!
The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep
Roger the Rabbit can’t fall asleep, so his Mommy takes him on a trip to see his uncle. This book even has an explanation for parents on how to read the book to help with bedtime (one is that the pictures don’t matter, so it encourages kids to listen to this book while laying down). The author is a behavioral scientist, and he uses relaxation and mindfulness techniques in this book to help wind kids down for sleep.
This is a classic and a must-read for children of all ages. It’s a sweet illustration of a rabbit preparing for bedtime. After reading this book to your little one, go through your own room saying goodnight to the items like rabbit did. My daughter loves this activity and we practice going through the items calmly.
Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book
I dare you to read this book without yawning. We are huge Dr. Seuss fans in this house. There is something about his catchy rhymes that pull my children in every time. And the Sleep Book is perfect for bedtime, as my 6 year old loves this book just as much as my 2 year old does.
God Bless You and Good Night
We love rhyming books! This one is a sweet reminder for little ones that they can always feel secure in God’s love and blessings. God Bless You and Good Night shares illustrations of baby animals getting ready for bed and is a great transition into a bedtime prayer right before sleep.
So grab your favorite story, snuggle under the sheets and create a bonding experience with your child that will last for years to come.
What are your favorite bedtime stories to read to your children?