7 Creative Twists for Your Bedtime Story Routine

Bedtime stories have long been a favorite part of a child's evening routine, but sometimes even this fun ritual gets stale. Mighty Mommy has seven tips to liven up storytime so your kids will crave more.

Cheryl Butler
4-minute read
Episode #382

One of the most comforting rituals I had with my kids when they were younger was our nighttime routine, particularly our bedtime stories. Once they were all done with baths and cozied up in their PJs, we’d gather on the family room couch and dig into the basket of books we kept strictly for nighty-night time.

As much fun as this part of our evening routine was, when you’ve been at it for years and years, like anything else, it can get a little stale.  Most nights, relaxing with a child’s favorite bedtime story—think Goodnight Moon and Curious George is just the right speed, but there are certainly lots of times when simply reading a book is just not enough, for both your child and you! Mighty Mommy has seven ways to shake it up and add a few fun, fresh twists to your bedtime stories.

Tip #1:  Shadow Puppet Show   

In addition to a great bedtime story, most kids are intrigued by shadows, so combining the two is a magical combination.  If you want to create a fun twist to your story routine, dim the lights and combine a whimsical story with delightful and creative shadow puppets.  If your new to this, check out this link to a fun-filled you tube on the subject as well as this instructional “how to” book, Fun With Hand Shadows, written by Frank Jacobs

Tip #2:  Dress Up for the Occasion

Whenever I really wanted to pull out all the stops for my kids during bedtime, I’d get silly and dress up with a funny hat, outrageous mask, and I was even known to don a costume once or twice. Now, mind you, as much fun as this was (my Paddington Bear ensemble was hands down, the best!) I had to be careful not to overstimulate them before bedtime. The goal was just to do something slightly crazy so they’d giggle and be entertained for 20 minutes. Go take a look in your closet or sift through that big trunk in your attic that has lots of fun costume props and accessories—tonight you might be able to surprise your little one with an added bonus during story time.

Tip #3:  Light It Up

Even the most wonderful bedtime stories can use a little ambience every now and again.  One of kid’s favorite “mood” settings was our tried and true lava lamp (the same one I had in college!).   It was always a big hit when the lava lamp made it’s presence during bedtime stories, and eventually, several of my kids got their own lava lamps, a couple of which have taken theirs to college!  My youngest daughter, now ten, preferred something a bit more racy—a disco ball!  You can pick these fun lamps up at most discount stores or in your favorite lighting store. 


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About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.