Living / 1 February, 2022 / Ellie Thompson

Perfect Bedtime Stories For Children Aged 1 To 5 Years

Storytelling is an ancient and valuable art. As far back as anyone can remember, experiences and feelings have been told to open ears. Storytelling has been used throughout history as a way to preserve emotion and share tales of individual experience and culture. The best children’s bedtime stories provide the perfect backdrop for magical dreams, as your child’s imagination continues to run wild long after the story is over. It also serves as a time to wind down and spend some quality time away from distractions to introduce the pleasure of reading or listening to a story.

Improved language skills

Reading or listening to a story before bed with your child isn’t only good for helping to get them to sleep, it also benefits their development. Through the use of rhyme, repetition and rhythm, books for the early years provide children with a widened vocabulary and a better social understanding which will see them through their childhood. It has been proven that bedtime stories provide children with improved language skills, memory and creative thinking.

The Toniebox: the benefits of audiobooks at bedtime

Bedtime stories take children to imaginary worlds where the impossible is possible, whilst also teaching them how to better understand emotion and make sense of the world. By introducing storytelling into the bedtime routine at an early age, children are more likely to develop an endless imagination and have a better start in school. New research also shows that audio storytelling introduces pre-readers and developing readers to the magical world of narrative long before they can read for themselves, and the Toniebox is a fabulous way of recruiting little listeners to a love of books. Listening to and sharing stories cannot be underestimated when it comes to improving a child’s early language and literacy development.

Our recommended bedtime stories for children aged 1-5 years

Peek-a-Who, Elsa Mroziewicz

This innovative triangular board book will keep you and your little one on your toes.

The book is beautifully designed and skillfully uses space, one page even opens out to display a peacock’s feathers! You’ll find clues; which animal says, ‘woof woof?’ once you know the answer, open the flap and see if you’re right! This fun and interactive book is the perfect educational addition to a one-year-old’s bedtime routine.

Little Red Riding Hood, Tonies

The Toniebox is the ultimate audio player for kids, unlocking a whole world of audio adventure and curiosity. For children aged 3+ we recommend the Little Red Riding Hood Tonie, to introduce your child to a number of fairytales, including Sleeping Beauty, Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, and of course, Little Red Riding Hood.

These five charming fairy tales are lovingly retold by David Henry Wilson and will be treasured by young readers.

I Love You, Wonderbly

Wonderbly’s worldwide bestseller, the ‘I Love You’ series allows you to create a book for up to four children, to show them how much you care. An everyday adventure from breakfast to bedtime, your child will learn just how much you love them along the way. More than splashy puddles? Of course. More than the ocean? Most definitely! More than all the moons and stars in the universe? Hands down.

The ‘I Love You’ stories are presented as beautifully personalised picture books that you’ll both enjoy reading together before bedtime. Recommended for ages 0-4 years

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star: Ladybird Touch and Feel Rhymes, Ladybird

Bored of the same story?

This collection of five bedtime nursey rhymes includes, as the name would suggest, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star as well as Rock-a-bye, Baby and more, allowing you to vary bedtime and keep two-year-olds engaged! Featuring stimulating imagery and fascinating textures, little hands will enjoy touching fleecy blankets and sparkly stars as they doze off.

Pinocchio, Tonies

The Pinocchio Tonie brings together five famous classics of children’s literature for you to listen to at bedtime.

Pinocchio, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Jungle Book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Treasure Island are masterpieces that will engage and inspire generations of young adventurers and explorers.

Great for kids aged 3+.

Bedtime For You, Wonderbly

Lull your little one into their golden slumbers with this beautifully illustrated and personalised bedtime story. Five woolly lambs, four fluffy chicks, and three super-cute rabbits are on hand to help your little one get ready for bed. The animals count a child down to sleep with soothing rhyming verses and cozy, cuddly illustrations.

‘Bedtime For You’ is the dreamiest countdown to sleep, bringing the sweetest of dreams to your littlest ones.

Recommended for ages 0-4.

Will You Help Me Fall Asleep? Anna Kang & Christopher Weyant

This cute book is designed to help children struggle to fall asleep independently. A great addition to your bookshelf, this story will make the bedtime process run more smoothly. Monty the frog just can’t sleep, he’s tried everything from counting sheep to bedtime stories and nothing seems to do the trick.

Peter Rabbit, Tonies

As audiobooks for children go, Beatrix Potter’s most famous tales are a fantastic place to start, and they’re available on the Toniebox.

Children of all ages will enjoy the antics of mischievous Peter Rabbit who loves nothing more than having endless adventures with his sisters Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail. This wonderful collection includes the Tales of Benjamin Bunny, Mr. Tod and The Flopsy Bunnies.


How to Be a Lion, Ed Vere

A powerful story, celebrating daydreamers, individuality and the quiet courage to be yourself. This fun picture book will teach four-year-olds about fitting in and unlikely friends; the perfect bedtime read to prepare children who are starting school.

Room on the Broom, Tonies

We’re huge fans of Julia Donaldson’s Room on the Room, perfect for little readers aged 4+.

This book tells the story of a kind witch who invites a collection of animals to join her on her broom, even though her cat thinks it will get too crowded. Her new friends and her cat team up to save the day when the witch is threatened by a fearsome dragon.

Giraffe Problems, Jory John and Lane Smith

Cyrus the giraffe can’t understand why his neck is long, bendy and ridiculous! He’s tried to disguise and hide it to no avail, until one day something makes him accept it.

This hilarious bedtime story is about self-acceptance. Ultimately good for any age, this delightfully illustrated book is sure to teach five-year-olds the beauty of being different while preparing for a good night’s sleep!


Hansel and Gretel, Tonies

Based on the original fairy tale by Brothers Grimm, this Hansel and Gretal Tonie is not just a bedtime story, but a magical opera that recounts the hugely popular tale of Hansel and Gretel in a completely wonderful way.

Children aged 5+ will love the thrill of this classic story, as well as learning more about composer Engelbert Humperdinck, and hearing some of his beautiful music and songs, sung in their original language, German.

Shop Toniebox Starter Set

Built to withstand the inevitable bumps and tumbles from kids, the Toniebox plays the songs and stories available in their ever-expanding library of kids’ classics via hand-painted figurines called ‘Tonies’.

Tonies are little guys with big personalities, each with a play value all of their own. They arrive ready, pre-loaded with content.

All you have to do is pop your Tonie on your Toniebox, and its built-in NFC reader will detect exactly who’s standing on top. The correct audio story will then instantly download from the Toniecloud and et voila! Your audio adventure will begin.


12 Of The Best Audiobooks For Young Children

60 of The Best Children’s Books for National Storytelling Week

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