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

Tip #4:  Give Audiobooks a Try

When I was growing up, books on tape were the rage, but now, thanks to audio books and companies like Audible.com, parents can sit and enjoy a fabulous story with their kids by downloading a book or a series of books right on to their ipods, computers or even by using an app on their smartphones. Audiobooks are also the perfect way to introduce chapter books to your kids at bed time, because you can pause the story and start right back up again the following evening!

Audiobooks are also the perfect way to introduce chapter books to your kids at bed time, because you can pause the story and start right back up again the following evening!

Tip #5:  Create a Storybook Jar

Another twist on bedtime stories is to create a storybook jar.  All you need is a clear glass jar, such as a canning jar and fill it with surprise coupons for your kids.  The idea is to place “get to” coupons in the jar so that your kids can pick one out and have something fun to look forward to the following day.  The “get to” coupons we used to place in our storybook jar were things like “Get to go out for ice cream” or “Get to bake cookies tomorrow.” You can be as simple or extravagant as you want with these ideas.  We used our storybook jar once a week.  First I’d read them a regular bedtime story, and after the story was done, they could pick one coupon out of the jar.  This was always a big hit because it gave them something fun to look forward to—after a good night’s sleep, of course!

Tip #6:  Read Outdoors

One of my fondest memories growing up was when one of my parents would read to my siblings and I outdoors right before bedtime.  Mind you, we did live in Puerto Rico between the ages I was in Kindergarten to 4th Grade, but even in states such as mine now, Rhode Island, there are plenty of mild months where this can work.  For instance, we used to have an oversized hammock in our back yard, so every now and again, we’d herd the kids outside, in their PJs, and let them lie in the hammock for their bedtime story.  The fresh air was calming and the change of scenery was always a big hit.

Tip #7:  Build a Story Fort

There’s something about making homemade tents and forts that bring a child to near euphoria!  Believe it or not, my 16-year old son still loves to create forts with pillows and other contraptions (shhh, you didn’t hear that from me!) to even sit inside and eat a bowl of ice cream.  Without going overboard (unless you want to) let your kids create a cozy fort or homemade  tent that you can all get inside of and read your bedtime stories. Try constructing a tent with several chairs and a bed sheet. Line the floor of the tent with a blanket and some pillows. Turn out the lights, snuggle in, and read by flashlight.   You might like it so much you can leave it set up for some fun play time the following day!

How do you make bedtime stories interesting in your home?  Share your thoughts in the Comments section at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommy, post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook pageor email me at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com.

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All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

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.