What’s your perfect concept of bedtime? For most parents, it’s children going to bed without making objections and falling asleep right away. Most of the time, however, that’s not the scenario you face. You see a hyperactive child jumping around and refusing to go to bed.
Here’s a secret: reading books can change this.
This has probably happened to you at one point or another. You got a popular book and you couldn’t wait to start reading it. You had to postpone that moment since you were too busy throughout the day. When you finally got some time on your hands during the evening, you fell asleep after the first two pages.
Getting sleepy while reading is a pretty common phenomenon. It’s explained by the fact that stories get your attention away from the outside world. Reading also occurs in a comfortable environment when you don’t have chores to handle, so the state of relaxation comes naturally.
When someone reads to a child and they listen to the story, the effect is even more powerful. Plus, these are wonderful bonding moments that both you and your child will cherish forever. So we solved the matter: read to your child before bedtime to make bedtime easier. But what should you read?
Here’s our suggestions of the best children’s bedtime books to start you on the reading journey:
Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
The movie, based on this book, is quite popular among children and families. The book is way better! It’s about a child getting into an incredible world of fantasy and adventure. The illustrations in the edition are amazing, so your child will be teleported into this fun world. Monsters are involved, but they are not scary at all.
Good Night, Gorilla – Peggy Rathmann
The Gorilla doesn’t want to sleep, just like children don’t want to sleep. The zookeeper says “Good night, gorilla” and closes the zoo, but the gorilla escapes and lets all the other animals out, too. They head off to a hilarious adventure that will give your kid something nice to dream about.
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site – Sherri Duskey Rinker
Does your child love trucks, bulldozers, cement mixers, cranes, and everything else related to construction? Then they will adore this cute book. The story develops around the machines preparing themselves for bedtime. After all, tomorrow is another big day of hard work. The illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld are absolutely stunning!
Llama Llama Red Pajama – Anna Dewdney
I guarantee both you and your kid will fall in love with the illustrations and the story itself! This book is a classic that every parent should read to their children. The llama is going to sleep alone, just like your kid. She’s afraid of the drama that might happen while mama llama is not in the room, but mama llama checks up on baby llama all the time. This sends a good message to children – mum is always around to keep you safe, and nothing bad will happen if you sleep alone in your room.
The Quiet Book – Deborah Underwood
Renata Liwska’s charming illustrations are accompanied with a lovely story that captures the moments of quiet. There are all kinds of quiet that are not as quiet as they seem. There’s the “right before you yell ‘SURPRISE!’ quiet,” the “first look at your new hairstyle quiet,” the “top of the roller coaster quiet,” and the “bedtime kiss quiet,” to name few.
Guess How Much I Love You – Sam McBratney
When you’re trying to explain how much you love your child, you cannot find the words to express your feelings, right? This book does that for you! The story is very simple for small children to understand, and the illustrations by Anita Jeram will remind you of your own childhood.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee – Phillip C. Stead
Amos McGee is a really nice guy. Every day he visits the animals at the zoo, keeping them company and making them feel well. He reads bedtime stories to the owl, plays chess with the elephant, runs races with the tortoise, and brightens up the shy penguin. But when Amos gets sick and can’t get to the zoo, the animals return the favor. This is the most beautiful story about friendship!
Kiss Good Night – Amy Hest
The chubby, huggable little bear and his mom are a great pair for a bedtime story. This is a warm, calming story about the importance of routine in life. Sleep is part of the routine that makes you feel safe and comfortable. This is a great book for kids who get hyperactive before bedtime.
Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown
This could be the most beloved classic bedtime book. There’s something about the rhymes that convey the vibe of childhood, dreams, and family values. The illustrations by Clement Hurd accompany the rhymes in a beautiful way. Sweet Dreams!
Pick any of these books and your child will be thrilled with the story. By the time you say “Sweet dreams, little one,” your little one will already be in la-la land.
Silvia Woolard is a young passionate writer at Best Essays who is also private tutor from Phoenix. In a free time she writes and works in a field of popular psychology.
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