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Sleepytime Tales: 9 Bedtime Stories To Put Your Little Ones to Sleep

Bedtime stories have been a tradition for as long as anyone can remember. But have you ever wondered how to make them even more enjoyable? Or perhaps you’re unaware of the benefits of reading bedtime stories to your kids.

Well, we’re here to help. As parents ourselves, we know just how important bedtime stories can be. They provide a wonderful opportunity for bonding and can also help improve your child’s language and cognitive skills.

To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of 9 bedtime stories you can add to your collection. These stories will surely delight your kids and make bedtime a special time for everyone.

1.The Mermaids Ring

ring on beach, bedtime stories

Once upon a time, a tale hailed from Scotland, called The Mermaid’s Ring. It teaches us that what we desire and what’s truly best for us may not always align.

Once upon a time, a young fisherman caught a mermaid in his net. According to legend, if you catch a mermaid and let her go, she must grant you a wish. The young man wished that the girl he liked would love him forever. When the mermaid asked him why he liked her, he said she was the prettiest girl in the land.

After thinking for a moment, the mermaid gave him a magical ring and instructed him to give it to the girl he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. However, she warned him that the ring would not work for a full year.

On his way home, the young man encountered a homeless girl who asked him for food in exchange for work. He agreed to share his food and let her help him put away his nets. This arrangement continued for a month until one day, the girl was not there.

Concerned, the young man went to look for her and found her asleep in his fishing shed. He realized he had never considered where she would sleep and decided to let her stay in a spare room he had built. However, he made it clear that she would have to leave in eleven months when his future wife moved in.

The young man became angry when the girl wasn’t there to help with his nets the next day. However, upon returning home, he found she had cleaned his house and prepared a meal for him. He felt ashamed that he had not appreciated her hard work and dedication.

Over time, the young man and the girl grew closer, sharing stories and conversations before retiring to their separate rooms. The young man spoke to her every night about the girl he liked, unaware that the true love he sought was right before him.

2. Growing For A king

This Chinese cautionary tale is a timeless classic that has been enjoyed by generations of children.

Once there was an old king who had no children to succeed him as ruler. So he decided to hold a competition to find the next leader. The king gave a seed to every child who wished to participate. The children had to take the seed home and take care of it for one year. At the end of the year, the child who grew the best plant would become the new leader.

A girl named Heng entered the contest and took the seed home. She planted the seed in the best soil, gave it enough water, and just the right amount of sunlight. However, after a month, Heng’s seed didn’t sprout yet, while other children had tiny sprouts. By the end of the third month, all of the other children had little, bushy plants, but Heng had nothing.

The other children mocked Heng, telling her she could never be the leader because she couldn’t even grow a tiny plant. Heng tried everything she could think of, but her seed still didn’t grow by the end of the year.

On the last day of the competition, all the children took their plants to the palace for judging, except Heng. She stayed home and cried, but her parents convinced her to come to the judging.

When the king arrived to judge the plants, he saw all the beautiful, luscious plants with fruits. He then asked Heng where her plant was. Through her tears, Heng explained how she tried her best, but her seed didn’t grow.

The king revealed that he gave everyone boiled and dried seeds, which could not grow into plants. But Heng was the only honest child who admitted that her seed wouldn’t grow, making her the new leader.

3. The Emperor’s New Clothes

Hans Christian Anderson, a famous Danish author, has written many timeless fairy tales. Some of these tales have been adapted into popular movies, while others have remained obscure. One such lesser-known tale is The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Once there was an emperor who was more concerned about living in luxury and wearing lavish clothing than ruling his kingdom. One day, two swindlers arrived and convinced the emperor they had a magical cloth that could only be seen by the land’s smartest and most important people.

The emperor couldn’t see the fabric but didn’t want anyone to know he wasn’t smart or important, so he pretended he could see it and ordered an outfit made from the cloth for a grand parade.

On the day of the parade, everyone in the kingdom gathered to watch the emperor walk down the National Mall. Nobody could see the magical clothes, but no one spoke up because they didn’t want to appear foolish.

Finally, a child pointed out the emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes. This encouraged others to speak up, and the kingdom started talking about the emperor’s foolishness. He had been so obsessed with his appearance and what others thought of him that he walked down the street naked.

4. Callista And The Puma

Here is a story from Argentina about a young girl who befriends a wild puma and how her kindness towards the animal is rewarded.


Once upon a time, there lived a girl named Callista. Her father was a soldier, and Callista’s family had to flee to Argentina when Spain invaded South America. The people in Argentina were angry about the Spanish invasion, so they surrounded the camp where the Spanish families were staying, hoping they would leave.

Although Callista was warned not to leave the camp, she was so hungry that she sneaked out to look for food. While exploring the jungle, she discovered a cave where a mother, puma, had just given birth. Callista assisted the mother, puma, by cleaning her cubs and finding food for her.

One day, the native people found Callista and took her to their village. They provided her with food and shelter and treated her with kindness. Callista felt at home and lived with them for a long time.

Unfortunately, the Spanish soldiers attacked the village, took Callista back to the camp, and tied her to a tree as punishment. She remained there for several days. The villagers feared for her life but were too scared of the Spanish soldiers to rescue her.

On the third day, the puma that Callista had helped took care of her by keeping her safe until the villagers could rescue her. They untied her and took her home with them, where she lived happily ever after.

5. A Tale Of Māui

n Polynesian mythology, there is a beloved folk hero named Māui. Although not worshipped as a god, he is known as a mischievous yet well-intentioned trickster who sought to improve the lives of the Polynesian people through his various adventures and accomplishments.

There is a story about a curious Polynesian folk hero named Māui who wanted to find out where the fire came from. He thought that if he could put out all the fires in his village, he could see how they were relit. Māui’s mother was the leader of their village, and she told him that he should go ask Mahuika, the goddess of fire, for more fire.

So Māui, who was also Mahuika’s grandson, went to the cave inside the burning mountain where Mahuika lived. When he arrived, he asked for more fire, and Mahuika gave him one of her burning fingernails. However, Māui put the fire out and asked for another. He repeated this again and again until Mahuika had no fingernails left and only one toenail remained. This made Mahuika very angry, and she sent fire to chase Māui. But Māui called on the weather god, who came and put out the fire.

Mahuika threw her last toenail at Māui, but he dodged it, and it landed in the trees, including Mahoe, Tōtara, Patete, Pukatea, and Kaikōmako. The trees held fire deep in their branches as if it was a gift from the gods.

Māui took dry branches from the trees back to his village, and showed the villagers how to rub the branches together to release the fire. That’s how people learned to make fire, thanks to Māui’s curiosity and determination.

6. The Stonemason’s Wish

This story teaches the importance of being grateful for what you have and being cautious about what you wish for.

Once upon a time, a stonemason wasn’t happy with his life. He looked at other people’s lives and wished to be like them. One day he wished he was the king and suddenly found himself in the king’s shoes. However, he soon discovered that the king’s life was not as glamorous as he had imagined, and he was always busy with people asking him for things.

Feeling unsatisfied, the stonemason wished to be the sun, and he became the sun. However, he realized he couldn’t always be in control as the clouds could cover him up. Then he wished to be a rain cloud that could block the sun’s power. As he rained down on the earth, he tried to change the shapes of rocks.

The stonemason wished to have the power to change the shape of rocks, and he suddenly found himself holding a chisel, ready to carve the stone again. He was happy to be a stonemason again and realized that he could turn stones into beautiful things, and that was all he needed. The story’s moral is to be careful what you wish for and appreciate what you already have.

7.You Need A Lion’s Whisker

The following story from Ethiopia shares the journey of a woman who realizes the importance of perseverance, patience, and hard work as she strives to achieve her goals.

Leeya tried to make friends with her husband’s son, but nothing seemed to work. So, she decided to go to the medicine man in the mountains to seek his help.

The medicine man gave her a task to pluck a whisker from a lion to help the boy. Although Leeya was scared, she was determined to do whatever it took to help the boy and gain his friendship.

For a whole year, Leeya went to the lion’s den every day and gradually made her way closer to the lion. She left the meat in a bowl and watched from behind a rock. She got closer to the lion each month until she could touch and pluck a whisker from him.

Leeya took the whisker to the medicine man, who threw it into the fire, and Leeya was surprised. But the medicine man explained that Leeya had gained the lion’s trust by being patient, understanding, and persistent. And that she can do the same for the boy.

Leeya realized there were no shortcuts to gaining someone’s trust, but she could achieve anything with patience, love, understanding, and perseverance.

8. Pumpkin In A Jar

The story of Pumpkin in a Jar demonstrates that no matter how difficult a situation may seem, there is always a way to find a solution.

Once upon a time, a mischievous troll lived beneath a bridge. He would snatch people who crossed the bridge, take them to his cave, and make them do his chores using his magical powers.

One day, the troll caught a clever girl who knew how to outsmart him. She challenged him to an impossible task, and if she completed it, he would have to let her go as per the rules of magic.

The troll gave her a jar and asked her to grow a pumpkin and bring it back to him in the fall. However, the pumpkin had to be whole, undamaged, and inside the jar.

The girl returned at the end of the fall with the same jar the troll gave her but with an intact pumpkin inside. The troll was furious, but he had to keep his end of the bargain and let her go.

The girl shared her secret with the villagers, instructing them to place the jar over a pumpkin flower, tie it to the vine, and wait for the pumpkin to grow. When it was big enough, they had to cut the pumpkin from the vine, preventing it from breaking the jar. This way, no one fell prey to the troll again, and he could not hold anyone captive anymore.

9. The Unexpected Rock

This is a tale shared by the Miwok tribe, who reside in the area now known as Yosemite. It narrates how the towering rock formation Tutokanula, also known as El Capitan, suddenly emerged from the ground in a single night.

Once upon a time, two kids were playing in a stream. Feeling chilly, they spotted a soft mossy spot in the sun. The girl suggested that they should go and sit there since it would be warm in the sun. As they lay on the moss, they fell asleep, and as the day progressed, the rock on which they were lying inched upwards towards the sun to keep them warm. The kids were so comfortable that they slept through the day.

At dinner time, the family of the children couldn’t find them despite searching everywhere. Coyote came to their aid, sniffed the ground, followed the children’s trail, and suggested they were on top of a new rock. Antelope, the best jumper, could not get to the children, nor could Grizzly Bear, the best climber. All of the animals tried, but none could reach the kids.

In a surprising turn of events, inchworm offered to help, which made the other animals laugh, stating that he was too small to reach the children. However, the family and the children asked inchworm to try, and slowly and steadily, he passed the points the other animals had reached. Eventually, he reached the top and woke the children by crawling on their faces. The inchworm led the children down the mountain, and the Miwok tribe named the rock Tutokanula in honor of the tiny creature that achieved the impossible.

The Importance of Reading Bedtime Stories

Inspiring Creativity

Bedtime stories are a fantastic way to spark a child’s imagination and inspire creativity. When children hear stories about new people, places, and situations, they are exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking. This can encourage them to think outside the box and develop creative ideas.

Promoting Literacy

Reading to your child is a great way to promote literacy and a love of reading. By reading to them regularly, you are helping them develop important language and comprehension skills. Additionally, the special connection you create by sharing stories will inspire them to read on their own and continue learning throughout their lives.

Building Bonds

Spending quality time with your child is essential to building a strong parent-child relationship. Reading bedtime stories is an excellent way to spend time together while creating lasting memories. The positive experience of being together and enjoying a story will stay with your child for years.

Developing Language Skills

When children are read to, they are exposed to a wide range of words and language structures. Listening to stories, they develop a more extensive vocabulary and learn how to express themselves better. This not only helps with language development but also builds confidence and self-esteem.

Tips for Making Storytime More Fun

When it comes to bedtime stories, adding more details about the characters and the places they inhabit can make the experience even more enjoyable for your child. Feel free to use different voices and facial expressions to convey emotions and bring the story to life.

Varying the volume of your voice can also add to the excitement. Use a soft voice during the quieter parts of the story, and a louder voice when the action starts to pick up. This will help your child engage with the story and make it more memorable.

And Goodnight

Spending time with your child before they sleep, sharing stories, and giving them your undivided attention, is a great way to end their day. It creates an opportunity to bond and make warm, happy memories together.