10 Most Popular Bedtime Stories for Kids

As the nation's babysitting experts we've had the rare treat of peeking inside the homes of thousands of children at that most magical time of day: the bedtime story. It's when the trials and tribulations of life with children, and the hyper excitement, get shelved for just a short window, whilst all that is focused on is love, enjoyment, warmth and imagination. It's the point where dreams are created and memories made. The scaffolding of these magic moments is the stories themselves, and time and again the same ones come up. So, this is the sitters.co.uk list of the 10 Most Popular Bedtime Stories for Kids.

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1. Goodnight Moon - By Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd

Goodnight Moon is a timeless classic listed as the most favourite on Goodreads which embodies the sweet nature of small children when snuggled in PJs and quiet and calm for the night. The Little Bunny first started his magical night time story back in 1947 and is still as loved today. Childhood bedtime rituals are classic in themselves, and this story proves it.

2. The Gruffalo - By Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler

The Gruffalo has become a modern classic having sat on our bookcases for over 15 years and is in the WHSmith Top 5 Books for Children Under 5. This year The Gruffalo looks set to continue weaving its woodland stroll through our hearts as Chessington World of Adventures unveils its latest ride. There's something intensely mesmerising and innocent about the pause after "Oh help, Oh no, it's a …" and a little voice bursting to say "Gruffalo"! With a calm yet bouncing rhythm, this story exudes an aura of both excitement and calm.

3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - By J. K. Rowling

"There won't be a child in our world who doesn't know his name" couldn't have been a more accurate forethought about the Harry Potter stories. The Philosopher's Stone is the Book Trust's Number 1 Nation's Favourite. Suitable for older children, for the current generation of parents who themselves grew up with the Boy Wizard, reading this aloud to their children is better than the magic in Hogwarts itself. Get your youngsters spellbound by starting them on their Harry Potter adventure.

4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar - By Eric Carle

For the very youngest of children, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is just the right length with plenty of interaction for fidgety night time fingers. This 1969 colourful and bold book is a much-loved designer's experiment with a hole punch! Snuggle up with the smallest family members for a calming, yet fiddle-welcome, bedtime.

5. Nighty Night Circus - By Heidi Wiltlinger

If your little one is a 21st century techy whizz kid in the making then they will be inspired and wound down by this interactive app bedtime story. The circus animals can't go to sleep until you turn out the lights! Download the app here.


6. The BFG - By Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake

With Dahl's 100th birthday celebrations last year, the next generation of children are delighting in accessing these splendiferous side splitters all over again. The BFG is a perfect introduction to Dahl with the lovable big-eared giant, heart-warming Sophie, and a few phizz-whizzing corgis thrown in for good measure. Snuggle up under the covers and take a trip to Giant Country.

7. Where The Wild Things Are - By Maurice Sendak

Listed as the favourite of mums on parents.com the listener falls in love with the onesie-clad Max and the Wild Things. Set off your own onesie-clad imp's imagination as you stomp and bang your way through this much loved bedtime story.

8. Winnie-the-Pooh - By A A Milne, illustrated by E H Shepard

Loved across both age ranges and generations this lovable bear, his boy and friends of the 100 Acre Wood, will set up a child's mind for gentle dreams of fun and adventure. So come and get lost with a jar of honey.

9. Bear Called Paddington - By Michael Bond

The tale of a another lovable bear, this time sporting a red hat and blue duffle coat, homeless and in need of care at Paddington Station, wends its way in to our most popular bedtime stories. This is a quintessentially English story that is a great early reader, or can be read aloud over several nights. There's always time for a marmalade sandwich or two. Order your copy for your bookshelf for years to come.

10. Storyberries

Cheekily earning its place in our list is more accurately described as a veritable collection of popular bedtime stories. The Storyberries website allows you to pick bedtime stories based on age, or by picture, or chapter variety, and even includes some of the nation's favourite poems. All are instantly accessible with original illustrations for free. For nights when you need to dash out leaving the bedtime routine to a babysitter, Storyberries delivers 5 minute options to still bring you that moment of magic.


With the inspiration of sitters.co.uk's 10 Most Popular Bedtime Stories for Kids we hope that the bedtime routine will receive a re-injection of the magic of snuggling a newborn. This is the time when little heads relax, biding you to wind-down too. Step in to the world of imagination with bedtime stories that both delight and inspire. Make the feelings of happiness that childhood memories are founded on, and take just a few minutes to step out of the daily grind.



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