Looking for bedtime stories to read to your child is a tough task. Where do you find a new story every night? Kids between 2-5 years are the trickiest, since you cannot pick up chapter books, they have short attention spans, and you need stories that can tickle their imagination sufficiently. If they learn a thing or two in the process, then that’s the cherry on the icing.
Here are 8 stories that can be read to toddlers at bedtime, each of which is under 10 minutes read-time.
1. A Pair of Binoculars
Mr. Grasshopper discovers the joys of using a pair of binoculars with the help of Mr. Beaver. And boy! Isn’t he thrilled!
2. The Tale of Two Frogs – A Japanese Folktale
This is the story of two frogs from Japan. One day a thought struck both of them – they desired to see something outside of their own world. The frog from Osaka wanted to see how Kyoto looked like and the Kyoto frog was excited to visit Osaka. One fine day, the two frogs set off on their respective journeys.
Halfway between Osaka and Kyoto was a tall mountain that had to be crossed to reach the other city. The frogs met each other on the top of this mountain.
3. The Smoke Seller – A Turkish Folktale
A poor man had no money to afford the grilled meat that smelt delicious. So, instead, taking a few pieces of bread from his pocket, he held them to the smoke emanating from the grill, and then ate them. The vendor demanded that the poor man pay up for the smoke that helped him eat his bread.
The two quarreling men decided to see the judge – Nasreddin Hodja – and settle the matter.
4. Snow White and The Good Witch
A present-day retelling of the classic fairy tale, where the dwarfs rescue Snow White from her eternal sleep with the help of the Good Witch. Read how Snow White goes back to reclaim her kingdom from the evil step-mother with the help of the dwarfs and the Good Witch.
5. The Starfish
An old man on a beach, finds a young boy throwing starfish into the sea after a storm. He asks the boy why he is doing so. The boy replied, “I am throwing the starfish back into the ocean. The storm washed them up on to the beach last night. Now the tide is far out, and the starfish cannot return to the sea by themselves. When the sun gets too high, they will die because of the heat. So I am throwing them back into the water before that happens.”
The old man was bewildered and wondered if the boy was simply stupid. “But there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. It is impossible to save all of them. I’m afraid you won’t be able to make much of a difference”, he said.
6. The Lonely Snowman
A lonely snowman goes in search of some company. He meets many people on the way. Finally he finds friends.
7. Hari and The Cloud
The farmers in a village are told by an Oracle that there will be no rains for a long time. Everybody is depressed and put away their ploughs and tools, and sit down to wait for the rains to return. One farmer – Hari – continues to plough his fields daily and sow seeds at the beginning of every season. Everybody in the village makes fun of him.
One day a small cloud passes over Hari’s field and sees him hard at work. ‘Don’t you know there are going to be no rains for a long time? Why are you working in your fields?’ he asked.
8. The Undersea Adventure of the Blue Diamond
Once upon a time, there was a mermaid, a crab, a sea-lion, a sea-horse and a sea turtle. They all lived together in the Great Pacific Ocean. They all set out on a treasure hunt to find the Great Castle of Gold. On the way, they meet Tory – a fish who has lost her way, and claims to have seen the Castle of Gold.