One of time-honored traditions that take place between parents and children is the telling of bedtime stories. From reliving folk stories from the past such as Davy Crockett and the tales of Paul Revere to fairy tales such as Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland, stories have been a big part of nighttime for centuries. In addition, many authors have enjoyed long careers in children's literature from writing books and stories that children have loved.
Over the years, children's authors such as A.A. Milne, Dr. Seuss, Beatrix Potter, Hans Christian Andersen and others have quickly become children's favorites. Parents have enjoyed reading these nighttime stories to their children for generations. Plus, by reading to their children, parents are passing on a love for reading to the children at an early age. And, one of the greatest joys that a parent has is when the child reads to the parent on their own for the first time.
Reading stories before bed has been a tradition for centuries. Bedtime is the perfect time for parent and child to bond in a story or tale. Children enjoy the entertainment of the story and when older enjoy trying to follow along with the story. At a younger age, story telling helps establish a routine for the child which sets the trend for future years of hearing a story before going to sleep. To help children go to sleep the selection of story and tone in which it is told is very important. If you want a child to become sleepy, delivering a story in a quiet voice may be a better choice than telling the story in a loud, boisterous voice.
- Benefits of Reading Bedtime Stories – simple explanation of the benefits that children receive from parents reading them stories at night.
- Importance of Bedtime Stories – narrative explaining the importance in a child's life of reading to them and for them to read.
- Children's Literature History – helpful page outlining the history of children's literature through time.
- Bedtime Story – overview of bedtime stories and how they are part of a child's regular routine.
- Children's Classics – informative listing of some of the most popular classics for children.
- History of Storytelling – brief overview of the history of storytelling over time.
The type of story to be told will vary with the age of the child. Younger children up to age 5 should hear shorter stories, which could be fiction or non-fiction, but be colorful and fun to help with the development of their creativity. Children over than 6 years old can start with stories of folk legends and more adventurous stories. It is important to keep the story appropriate to the level of the child
Stories for Younger Children
- Websites for Young Children – online resource containing links to various stories for younger children.
- Using Stories Effectively (PDF) – useful article showing how to effectively tell stories to infants and toddlers.
- Classic Kids Bedtime Stories – information and links to some classic bedtime stories enjoyed by young children.
- Children's Classics – listing of some of the more famous children's classic stories.
- Marc Brown – useful site of the creator of the Arthur book and television series.
- C.S. Lewis – official site for the author of the Narnia series of books.
- A.A. Milne – information on the author of the Winnie the Pooh book series.
- H.A. Rey – biographical look at the creator of the Curious George series.
- Maurice Sendak – helpful view of the author of the classic Where the Wild Things Are.
- Richard Scarry – information on the children's author of the Busytown series..
- Dr Seuss – official site of Dr Seuss including information on his work including The Cat in the Hat.
- Children's Literature Resources – useful information and resources on well-known children's literature.
Stories for Older Children
- Authors and Illustrators – listing and resources for literature authors and illustrators.
- Margaret Atwood (PDF) – information on the works and life of Canadian born writer/poet.
- L. Frank Baum – site of the works of the author of The Wizard of Oz and other literary pieces.
- William Golding – homepage of the author of The Lord of the Flies and other works.
- S.E. Hinton – look at the life of the author of The Outsiders and Rumble Fish and her work.
- Faye Kellerman – listing of the books and written works of Faye Kellerman.
- Tom Paxton – site of the songwriter/author with information on his life and his work.
- J.K. Rowling – official website for the author of the Harry Potter series of novels.
- Lemony Snicket – website of the author of works including A Series of Unfortunate Events.
- Robert Louis Stevenson – information on the author and his works including Treasure Island and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
- Children's Literature – helpful information for older children providing author and story information.
- Children's Resources for Teachers – informative collection of resources and information for children and teachers.
We hope you enjoy exploring the many resources we have found and share them with your child. By making your child aware of the world of reading you will be exposing them to a lifetime of entertainment and joy. Enjoy!