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How to Tell an Amazing Bedtime Story in 2022
Telling bedtime stories is a great way to bond with your child and get their imaginations going, and it’s an enjoyable activity for kids and adults alike. In fact, this 2020 article reports that of 2,000 American parents surveyed, 86% said that putting their children to bed and reading or telling them a bedtime story was their favorite part of the day. Storytelling itself has been around for millennia; it isn’t hard to imagine our distant ancestors lulling their young ones to sleep with the help of an oral tale. Now that I think of it, bedtime stories probably predate beds!
Children’s book sales have soared in recent years and are expected to take a sizable $2.6 billion in sales in 2022. If you’re looking for stories to read, there is ample choice among both new books and timeless classics. And if you want to create your own bedtime stories, check out the tips below for some inspiration.
Here are a few of our favorite stories to read to kids:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
This classic story is about a caterpillar eating its way through various foods before finally transforming into a beautiful butterfly.
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
This tale of mischief and mayhem is a favorite among kids (and adults!) of all ages.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
This simple but sweet story follows a bunny as he says goodnight to all the things in his room, from the “red balloon” to the “quiet old lady whispering ‘hush.’”
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
This story of a boy named Max who sails off to an island of monsters has been captivating readers for generations.
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle
This delightful story follows a cricket who desperately wants to make noise but can’t seem to figure it out.
The Dark by Lemony Snicket
This is the story of Lazlo, who is scared of the dark. With the dark’s help, he confronts his fear.
The Heart in a Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
This touching story follows the life of a girl who, after the loss of someone close to her, stows her heart in a safe place, a bottle around her neck.
Triangle by Mac Barnett
This is the funny story of Triangle, who pranks his friend Square.
Dream Street by Tricia Elam Walker
This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of a Black community that lives on a single street.
The Honey Hunter by Karthika Naïr
Another strikingly illustrated book tells the story of Shonu, a boy who breaks the golden rule by eating honey not meant for him. This story is Inspired by Muslim and Hindu myths.
When reading stories to children, some people prefer to fully immerse themselves in the experience and play with voice changes for different characters, using hand and body movements for added emphasis. Others may read stories in their normal reading voice. Either way, reading in a style that is most popular with your child will boost your reputation as a storyteller.
While reading to children has been linked to multiple developmental advantages, as seen in this 2014 study by Williams and Horst, you may want to create your own bedtime story. But sometimes, it can be hard to come up with a good story to tell, or to repeat that same favorite story again. Kids are famous for being critics, so be ready for an honest review! Another thing to consider is kids’ low tolerance for boredom, yet they paradoxically love repetition. You know your kids better than everyone else on this planet. You’ll know what type of story they like best and what they’re in the mood for at any particular time.
Luckily, we’ve got some tips to help you tell a fantastic bedtime story that both you and your audience will thoroughly enjoy.
How to tell an amazing bedtime story:
- Make sure your story has a moral. Kids love bedtime stories that teach them a lesson.
- Keep it short. Bedtime stories should be short and sweet. This way, your little one will be able to fall asleep quickly.
- Use familiar characters. Kids love stories with familiar characters. You may use familiar fictional characters, real people from their lives, or even themselves.
- Make it interactive. Kids love stories that they can participate in. Ask them questions as you tell the story and encourage them to make choices.
- Use props. Props can help bring your story to life.
- Make it exciting. Kids love stories that are full of excitement. Use lots of descriptive words and ensure the story has a good plot.
- End with a bang. Make sure your story has a great ending. This will leave your child wanting more, and they’ll be excited to hear the next story you have to tell.
To add something special to the atmosphere you’re trying to set, Moshi is here to help!
Head over to the Night section, where tracks are neatly sorted by content types. The music category has a selection of Epic Tunes, music for Falling Asleep and even some with ambient sounds. My favorite of all, though, is the Mood selection, with a range of dreamy music that lasts over twenty minutes each. If your kids are fond of the Moshling characters, you may even borrow them to create your own dreamy adventures!
Last but not least, if you happen to be incapacitated, Moshi can be very handy. In addition to the music section, there is also a section dedicated to magical bedtime stories for kids. Happy dreaming!
Williams, S.E., & Horst, J. S. (2014). Goodnight book: Sleep consolidation improves word learning via storybooks. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 184.