Of all the routines in a family life, bedtime can be one of the most beautiful. A warm bath, cozy pajamas, sweet hugs — ahhhh. The opportunity to combine so many soothing elements together offers the joy of love and togetherness. What better way to enrich this special time than with a bedtime story that you can read aloud in the comfort of your own home!
We’ve gathered three of our all-time favorite Sleepytime stories and transcribed them for your reading pleasure. You’ll find the free downloadable story scripts for each below, so that you can bring some Sparkle to your read-aloud moments!
The Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children
Have you ever noticed the way a whole group of children can be captivated by the words, “Once upon a time”? Stories hold special power in our lives, and one of the best and most enjoyable ways of engaging with these stories is through reading aloud.
Children reap a whole host of benefits when their grown-ups read to them: their brains absorb the nuance and cadence of language, their worlds expand through books more complex than the ones they can read on their own, and their emotional bond with the reader deepens as they share stories together. Reading aloud can provide special benefits to neurodivergent kids and allow for all children to grow in empathy. Plus, it’s an inherently enjoyable experience!
Malcolm the Chipmunk: Create a Storytime Routine
One way to make storytime special is by creating a sense of routine and rhythm around it. You can even try inviting your little ones into the process of creating this intentional time!
"Bedtime storytime is now AFTER teeth-brushing but BEFORE we kiss goodnight. Should we read together on the couch or on your bed each night?"
This can be helpful, particularly if you’re struggling to find and establish a consistent bedtime.
Regular routines can be very soothing and stabilizing for young children (and their parents) as they build grounding points in the day. As a parent, you can also point to them as moments to anticipate, moments where there will be fun and connection. And if your days are all different, try establishing a routine in the most common spot you can, whether it's a familiar car ride or first thing/last thing in the day.
This darling story is the perfect tale to help create the tone and ease into your night time read-aloud-rhythm.
Read along with the story! You’ll find the downloadable, "Malcolm the Chipmunk," story script below.
Looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating way to enhance your bedtime routine? Look no further than our enchanting Lavender and Sweet Orange Sleepy Spray! Specially crafted to create a tranquil atmosphere, this remarkable mist, infused with soothing essential oils, transforms your bedroom into a serene sanctuary. Drift off to dreamland as the calming aromas envelop you, easing your mind and body into a state of deep relaxation.
Luke Alden the Bald Eagle: What Is Rest?
As we all know, sleep and rest are essential for children and parents alike. Our world is a stimulating one, and we often have to be intentional about what media we consume in a day so that we aren't overstimulated and unable to settle. This is where Sparkle Stories shine: our stories are crafted at their foundations to be soothing to young nervous systems. On top of that, we have collections of stories dedicated to helping children wind down for sleep.
Here’s a special story that is designed to help with sleep — see if it doesn't help both your child AND you!
This story is probably one of our most sleepy — about a young bald eagle named Luke Alden who has lots and lots of ideas. All day long he thinks of ideas, and then one evening those ideas get in the way of falling asleep. Luckily, his mother has an idea herself about how Luke Alden can let go of those ideas and feel his sleepy body. This is just the thing, because it doesn’t take long for Luke Alden to fall deeply and peacefully asleep.
You’ll find the downloadable, "Luke Alden," story script below. Let us know how it goes!
The Dark: Getting Grounded in Our Bodies
What about when rest doesn’t come as easily? This is a common problem for kids and adults alike, especially in our tech-saturated world. But our bodies do best when our nervous systems are settled and regulated.
There are all sorts of wonderful hacks to helping bodies settle so they can truly rest and enjoy down time. Try reading this story for one! “The Dark” is perfect for reading aloud to help little ones get grounded in their bodies.
In this story, Martin is feeling nervous. He can’t see as well at night, and he worries about shadows and things he doesn’t notice in the dark. All of it makes it difficult for him to go to sleep at bedtime.
Momma encourages him to use his other senses and guides him through a hearing, smelling, and feeling exercise that not only reassures him, but relaxes him enough to fall deeply asleep.
You’ll find the downloadable, "The Dark," story script below!
For more support and to learn practical ways in which children can ground themselves in their bodies when they are feeling “out of sorts,” check out this previous episode of the SparkleCast with Sensei Jonathan Hewitt.
Storytelling Tips for Parents
Would you like to bump your evening routines up a notch? You can personalize bedtime routines by improvising your own unique stories, composed and told on the spot. Anyone who has ever attempted this knows that children love this kind of storytelling! Tales can be spun in a way that suits the moment, the temperament, and the life stage — there is so much room for imaginative work together.
If you’d like to explore this kind of extemporaneous storytelling, read here for some simple tips written by our own storyteller David. You’ll be weaving yarns in no time!
Looking for more Bedtime Routine Support? Try a Sparkle Stories Subscription!
With over 1400+ original stories to choose from, our audio library provides a powerful parenting resource. Each story is carefully crafted to support children’s growing minds. Our stories are developmentally appropriate, help families to reduce screen time, and offer a great support when it comes to creating daily routines and rhythms to help children thrive.
“You'll never know how much our family has appreciated your gentle stories over the years. My son (now almost nine) began having night terrors when he was three-and-a-half years old. Our family had no rest during this time of extremely high anxiety and sleeplessness which often lasted for months at a time. During this struggle, we were given a brief three-month subscription in an attempt at distracting Patrick from his bedtime anxiety, and after realizing how well our nightly ritual of Sparkle Stories worked to soothe and calm him, we decided to continue the subscription on our own after that three-month subscription ended. We've continued to listen to your stories regularly over all these years and have suggested Sparkle Stories subscriptions to many of our friends with children going through periods of anxiety.”
About the Author
Jessica is a content creator, writer, strategist, and vintage pyrex collector. She has a passion for facilitating authentic connection, whether that's through her work at Sparkle Stories or her songwriting.