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.

Improved language skills

Reading to children before bed 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.

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.

Bedtime stories provide the perfect back drop 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.

Recommended bedtime stories for children aged 1-5 years

Here, you can find Room to Grow’s recommended bedtime stories for children, from one-years-old through to five-years-old:

Peek-a-Who by Elsa Mroziewicz

This innovative triangular board book will keep you and your little one on your toes. The book is beautifully designed and skilfully 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-olds bedtime routine.


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

Will You Help Me Fall Asleep? By 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.

How to Be a Lion by 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.

Giraffe Problems by 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 delightful illustrated book is sure to teach five-year-olds the beauty of being different while preparing for a good night’s sleep!



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