11 Top Bedtime Stories for Three Year Olds

Last year I wrote 15 top bedtime stories for two year olds and it was interesting to go back and look which books they loved and are still enjoying. Unsurprisingly, Julia Donaldson is still our go to author and we have read almost all the books she’s written even some less well know ones such as ‘The Magic Paintbrush’. It’s an excellent story with lots of eastern cultural references and a thoughtful theme. However, it didn’t make the short list this year.

A few weeks back The Book Trust hosted a fab twitter party to promote a Bath, Book, Bed routine for children. I really believe it’s important to share stories and once it’s part of your daily routine everyone know what to expect from bedtime. Go check out #bathbookbed for lots of ideas from a Super Nanny Jo Frost.

In our house, we don’t bath the girls every night but after teeth have been brushed, they each get to choose a story each from the bookshelf in their room. Stu and I alternate story time but whoever is reading, it a lovely chance to cuddle up and enjoy some quiet time before bed.

The books I’ve chosen for this list are ones we’ve read over and over and I believe are well written and the right length for a bedtime book. Some other favourites are just a bit too short and other such as the Disney stories, are just too long when we read two books.

In no particular order, here are our top 11 bedtime stories

Boris Goes Camping – Carrie Weston

An adorable tale of an animal school going on their first camping trip. They encounter a few problems along the way but big brave Boris is there to save the day.

Giraffes Can’t Dance – Giles Andreae

A lovely rhyming story that proves we can all achieve what we want. Sometimes you just have to find your own way.

The Little Raindrop – Joanna Gray

Follow little raindrop as he falls from a cloud and travels from a stream to a river and then into the ocean before being drawn back up to the clouds. A fantastic early introduction to the water cycle.

I Will Not Ever Never Eat A Tomato- Lauren Child

An award winning author best know for her characters Charlie and Lola. A fun story where Charlie tries to trick Lola but it it turns out she’s smarter than he thinks. We now call tomatoes moonsquirters too.

Grub in Love – Abi Burlingham

When a new boy and his dog move next door, Grub isn’t happy. That is until he sets eyes on Tilly and then he’s besotted. A cute story of puppy love.

Mog and Bunny – Judith Kerr

Mog has a new toy and it’s his best thing. Find out what happens to bunny and how the children will always stick up for Mog.

The Elves and the Shoemaker – Retold by Vera Southgate

We received this traditional tale in our recent Learning Club box and the girls love the magic of the elves. Sometimes we all just need a little help to get us back on track.

You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus – Patricia Cleveland- Peck

Another rhyming story of all types of animals attempting to travel in various ways. There are tigers on trains and giraffes on aeroplanes and a pig on a skateboard. Discover the animals ideal transportation at the end.

Don’t Lose Pigley, Wibbly Pig – Mick Inkpen

Inkpen is great at capturing a child’s perspective as Wibbly tries to open a present when he’s got his hands full. How does he do it with a balloon in one hand and a sticky kicky lolly in the other?

The Very Noisy Foxes – Amy Husband

With all the hustle and bustle of the city, these foxes head off to the countryside to find a quieter place to live. However, no where is quite right until a mouse shows them to somewhere familiar.

Zog/ Zog and the Flying Doctors – Julia Donaldson

Finishing with our Donaldson pick and I’ve gone for Zog. This hardworking dragon is determined to be top of the class and earn a golden star but keeps hurting himself. Princess Pearl is always there to help and heal. In the sequel, they team up to nurse others. Both stories are excellent.

What are your children’s favourite bedtime stories and how many do they convince you to read each night?


Great bedtime stories for three year olds. Which is your favourite to read again and again?

What do you think?

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