Reading to our kids has been important from Day One. Our oldest was read to every night before bed and then when our second son was born just a little over a year later, I had to make room on my lap for two. Of course, he was also hearing the stories while in the womb. Then a few years later, our daughter and I were able to relive all our favorite stories that I had loved reading to the boys, as well as some new favorites.
Sunday is National Book Lover’s Day and I’m joining with Casper Mattresses to bring you my favorite Children’s Bedtime Stories. Casper is a sleep startup that launched a little over a year ago with one perfect mattress. At Casper, we know that bedtime is the best time. We also know that reading a good book is so much better than counting sheep (we’ve got a hotline that reads bedtime stories to prove it). Casper has created a mattress that contours to your body while retaining a bounce and a cool temperature. Their mattresses are designed, developed, and manufactured in the USA! Casper offers a 100 night trial guarantee, a 10-year warranty, and free delivery. Be sure to check them out at https://casper.com/mattresses.
Sleep is good, he said, and books are better.
George R. R. Martin
So, in celebration of National Book Lovers Day, I wanted to share with you my favorite books that were read to our kids at bedtime. Many of these have been read so often over the years that I can recite them by heart! These are also books that I am holding on to in hopes of reading them to my grandchildren some day. I also frequently give these books as new baby gifts to share that special moment of cuddling and reading to your child. Some of the books I mention below are currently out of print (our boys are 15 and 14 already), but you may be able to find them at garage sales, used book stores or ebay. They are all classics in my mind!
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We loved starting bedtime with some of our favorites which always included one or two Sandra Boynton books. These are REQUIRED reading for kids. The stories are silly and get kids and parents to have fun while reading. The above books are our favorites and ones that I usually include in new baby gifts too.
– Read this first and get your kids excited to get ready for bed by putting on their pjs and brushing their teeth. You can put yours on too and get everybody excited about Pajama Time! Jamma, Jamma, Jamma, P! J!
Blue Hat, Green Hat
– This one always made our kids giggle. It’s a silly story that describes what different animals are wearing, some the wrong way. You’ll see a turkey wearing pants on his head….OOPS, or shoes on his head….OOPS, and finally turkey gets it right only to dive in the pool fully clothed….OOPS.
Snuggle Puppy A Love Song
– A great reason to snuggle with your child and smother them with hugs and kisses. Oh, and you’ll have to sing too! You can make up your own tune to the words, “OooOOo! Snuggle Puppy of mine! Everything about you is especially fine! I love what you are! I love what you do! OoooOOO! I LOVE YOU!”
– This is a great one for teaching counting with your kids in a silly way. Our boys always giggled during this one. Ten different dogs are featured, each with a unique bark. Each page repeats the barks from the previous page. “One dog. Woof! Two dogs. Woof! Yap yap! Three dogs. Woof! Yap yap! …nnn… …nnn… …nnn…”
Your kids will love hearing you pretend to bark along and will want to count the dogs on the pages.
Kitten – DK Publishing
– When the kids were little, we were the owners of two cats. This story about two kittens, Pickles and Pepper, reminded them of our cats. The kids always got a kick out of this story of two kittens hiding from each other. “Where can Pickle be hiding? I can see you, Pickle!”
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
– A classic that should be in EVERY child’s library. The kids loved reciting all the foods the caterpillar ate and then waiting for us to say…“He was a big, fat caterpillar.”
in a loud, raspy voice. A great gift idea for new babies and toddlers!
Hide and Go Peep!
– Since I grew up on a farm, I loved reading books to the kids that involved farm animals. When three baby chicks go missing, all the farm animals gather together to find them. The book teaches animal sounds and shows actual photographs of baby animals with their parents. So cute!
You have to have fun at bedtime or the kids won’t look forward to it. By incorporating these fun and silly stories into our story time, we got the kids excited to listen!
Inside a Zoo in the City
– I love read-along books. These books allow your kids to get involved in the reading too as each page builds on the previous page. In among the words are pictures to cue your child to read-along. Even though we read this at bedtime, this book tells the story of a zoo waking up in the morning to get ready for its visitors. Before they could read, the kids loved feeling like they were reading along with us.
– I’ve given this one several times as a gift because it is such a fun story. I’ve read this one so many times, I can read it by heart. It tells of several animals from a bug to an alligator to a baby pig who stroll through town and enter a house and along with a few more friends find a bed to take a nap in together. It teaches counting as well. The best part was the last page where our sons couldn’t wait to say, “HOORAY!”
Favorite Bedtime Tales
– I wanted to not only share new stories with our kids but classics from our childhood as well. This book features five family classics that every child should have read to them at least once. If you notice in the photo above, I hid it a bit because it is completely falling apart. This was a much-loved book and proves the classic are just as fun as the new stories. The stories featured in this compilation are THE THREE LITTLE PIGS, THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF, GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS, THE LITTLE RED HEN, and THE GINGERBREAD MAN.
Baby Einstein: Violet’s House
– Our kids grew up when Baby Einstein videos were really popular. I swear it is part of the reason our kids love music so much. So, when we had our girl, I had to get this book for her. It was a favorite because it is a huge book and had lots of touch and feel items on each page. Of course it ended with Violet being tucked into bed for the night, so it was a perfect book to get our daughter ready for bed.
Guess How Much I Love You
– This is a popular one given as a new baby gift. That was how it came into our life. Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare are having a competition over how much they love each other and they show it by reaching high, hopping, and jumping high. But Big Nutbrown Hare can always go higher than Little Nutbrown Hare. But as Little Nutbrown Hare gets tucked in for the night, he thinks he has come up with the way to show that he loves the most. But, of course, a parents love is always more and Big Nutbrown Hare shares the classic saying, “I love you right up to the moon – and back.”
I Love You As Much…
– This is a story for a mother and her child since the story revolves around the love between a mother and her baby. “Said the mother horse to her child, ‘I love you as much as a warm summer breeze.’ ”
A mother camel, sheep, whale and many more share how much they love their child until the end when a mother is tucking in her baby for the night saying, “I love you as much as a mother can love.”
Going to Sleep on the Farm
– A boy is in his jammies and is quite possibly trying to avoid bedtime by asking his dad questions about their farm. He asks his father, “How does a cow go to sleep – tell me how? How does a cow go to sleep?”
After the father answers, the boy proceeds to ask about all the animals on the farm in the same way. Repetition and gorgeous illustrations explain about animals getting ready for bed and soon the boy is asleep as well. It’s a very sweet story and one to be sure to get your child ready for bed.
Time for Bed – This is my ABSOLUTELY FAVORITE BEDTIME BOOK. Did I mention that our kids are 15, 14, and 10? Well, I STILL recite this book every now and then at bedtime. In fact, writing about this book just gets me teary. We read this book EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. I know this whole book by heart and it is very special to me. I give this one as gifts all the time. It’s time for the animals to get ready for bed starting with a mouse, “Its time for bed little mouse, little mouse. Darkness is falling all over the house.”. Each animal family gets ready for bed with their own little rhyme. Gorgeous illustrations and a dreamy story will be sure to get any child snuggled up for bed.
I hope you have enjoyed all these books and have been able to reminisce about either your own childhood stories or ones you read to your kids. If you haven’t started reading with your child at bedtime, now is the time to start. The memories you share will be priceless. Thanks for allowing me to share these memories with you. This may be one of my favorite posts because it caused me to stop and remember those glorious memories of rocking our kids and reading stories to them every night. Precious memories that I hope each of them will carry on to their children some day. Then I will be able to snuggle up at night with my grandchildren and read these stories over and over again. Someday……
I will be linking up this post with other bloggers on BOOKING MAMA’S KID KONNECTION
on Saturday. Other posts related to children’s and YA books will be shared there. Be sure to click HERE
to see all the other great children’s books posts.
Thanks to Casper Mattress for the great idea for this post. I appreciate them allowing me to reminisce about bedtime stories along with sharing about their mattress. Be sure to visit their website, HERE.