Story Time: 6 Brilliant Online Stories For Your Kids' Bedtime

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Bedtime stories are a tried and true method of calming down your little ones and getting them ready to sleep after a long day of learning and playing. But, when you've got more than one child, or you can't always read them to sleep, audiobooks are the perfect alternative. The soothing voices of the narrators are great to help littler ones settle down, and encouraging reading before bed has been proven to be beneficial for older children too. These are some of the best audiobook sources out there, and some of the greatest stories for bedtime they offer.

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Audible

Browse the world's largest selection of audiobooks with Audible. There are hundreds of tales for you to choose from for your kids bedtime, and bound to be so many stories that they will adore and ask to read over and over again. You can download the audiobooks so you don't even have to listen with internet. Audible, owned by Amazon, offers a free thirty-day trial to see if you like it, and when you decide that you do it's only £7.99 per month. Getting your children to read audiobooks is a perfect way to encourage reading from a young age, and Audible is penned as one of the best sources for books on the market.

Our recommendations:

Ladybird Tales: The Complete Audio Collection by Ladybird (narrated by Wayne Forester)

Suitable for: under 5s

This magical audio collection offers 28  classic fairy tales for your kids to enjoy at bedtime. Featuring stories that the whole family will recognise such as 'The Ugly Duckling' and 'Cinderella' including a background of beautifully composed music, this collection of stories is perfect for getting your kids to settle down.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (narrated by Jesse Bernstein)

Suitable for: teenagers

Percy Jackson is a great story for your teenager to read before bed, and the audiobook is even more entertaining. Filled with fun information about classic Greek myths, characters they'll get attached to and so many thrilling adventures that they'll be excited for bedtime just so they get to continue reading.

Scribd

Have your kids read unlimited bedtime stories with Scribd, one of the best and most used sources for audiobook reading. Your children will love this app, and so will you. It's easy to use, you can set a sleep timer so you don't miss any important stories, and there's also many, many books that your kids will like. Scribd also offers a free trial that you can use for thirty days, and then it's £9.99 a month. A small price to pay to get endless access to bedtime stories for kids to read, listen and sleep easy.

Our recommendations:

Grimm's Fairy tales by The Grimm Brothers (narrated by Daniel Duffy)

Suitable for: teenagers

If your older children want to re-experience the fairy tales that they grew up listening to at bedtime, why not read Grimm's Fairy Tales on Scribd. These are the original versions of the classic folklore stories, and have some differences that will keep your teens engaged, but they are familiar enough to make the perfect bedtime story. Immersing themselves in a world they once loved will have them asleep in no time.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (narrated by Jeff Woodman)

Suitable for: primary school children

If there was ever the perfect bedtime story for your primary school kids to read, this is it. Set in the whimsical world of a Paris train station, orphan Hugo's life is suddenly turned upside down when his biggest secrets are put in danger. This is one of the best books for your children to read for bedtime, and they will like it so much they'll be waiting for when it's time to sleep. This audiobook is tender, mysterious, and a magical way for your kids to consume a bedtime story.

World of David Walliams

The World of David Walliams is a great source of bedtime stories for kids. The website posts Soundcloud clips of extracts from the books that he has written, these extracts are an easy way for to get your kids to sleep in no time. It's also a great opportunity to see if your children will like the story and if they want to read the full book, plus they're short enough to use as a bedtime story, perfect for getting your kids to unwind after their day. And, it's all completely free to use.

Our recommendations:

The Midnight Gang  by David Walliams (narrated by David Walliams)

Suitable for: primary school children

What is a better bedtime story than one about making dreams come true? This story is one about friendship, magic, and going on adventures. The Midnight Gang is a heartwarming story set in a very interesting hospital, and is one of the most entertaining bedtime stories for kids between the ages of 8 and 11. Stories like this will get them settled down, and dreaming about all the adventures they'll have themselves the next day.

The First Hippo on the Moon by David Walliams (narrated by David Walliams)

Suitable for: under 5s

If your little ones love animals, space or anything funny and endearing then this is a story that they will absolutely adore. The free extract will keep them occupied until they fall asleep, making this tale about two hippos trying to get to the moon one of the best bedtime stories for kids. In fact, the might just ask to listen to the story over and over again it is that great.

Libby

Libby is a wonderful free source for audiobooks that also helps out your local community. Sign up with your library card, and you can gain access to all of the audiobooks and bedtime stories that your local library has to offer. It is completely free, simple to use, and while finding stories for kids to enjoy at bedtime, you'll also be teaching them the importance of supporting libraries. Not every library works with Libby, but if yours does this is a great and free alternative source for your bedtime stories.

If you're looking for more audiobook recommendations that your teens will love, look here. Plus, check out our recommendations for free stories that your KS1 and KS2 kids will devour.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents. 

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.  

Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong. 

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Natalie Rayworth
Likely to be found in a museum

Natalie has lived in London her whole life. Growing up her favourite days were the ones she got to spend exploring the halls of the Natural History Museum or running around pretending to be Peter Pan in the Diana Memorial Playground. Nowadays, however, she’d be more likely seen reading, listening to her favourite music, or hunting for special gems in the countless secondhand bookshops across the city.