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9 Nursery Rhymes About Sleep for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Here are some great bedtime nursery rhymes with lyrics to sing with your little ones. 

Some of them have long verses with soothing words that are best read to them, if you’d like to lull them off to sleep. 

Remember that even rhymes for sleep have all the same educational benefits as singing nursery rhymes, such as developing auditory perception and other pre-reading skills.

They are also great for developing vocabulary.

best nursery rhymes for sleep pinterst image

1. Go To Bed Late

This tiny rhyme is a fun one to teach your toddlers and preschoolers if they are resisting going to bed. Here’s hoping it convinces them!

Go to bed late,
Stay very small

Go to bed early,
Grow very tall.

2. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

By Jane Taylor [source]

This is the first bedtime rhyme many children learn so your kids will probably already be familiar with it, but did you know there are several verses to this song?

Why not attempt the rest of this song and see if your child can sing along to another verse or two.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon.
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark.
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep.
For you never shut your eye,
‘Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveller in the dark.
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
How I wonder what you are.

3. Star Light, Star Bright

Here is a song that will make your little ones sleepy, and they can sing along too.

Star light
Star bright
First star I see tonight
Wish I may
Wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight

Here is the tune by Super Simple Songs

baby rocking in a bassinet to sleep

4. Rock-a-Bye Baby

This is a classic lullaby, sung by parents all over the world.

Rock-a-bye baby
on the tree top.
When the wind blows
the cradle will rock.
When the bough breaks,
the cradle will fall.
And down will come baby,
Cradle and all.

little bunny on the floor

5. Hop Little Bunnies

This song might wake your kids more than put them to sleep, but it is just the cutest and your toddler will love singing it and jumping to the beat.

See the bunnies sleeping, 
Till it’s nearly noon.
Shall we wake them with a merry tune?
They’re so still,
Are they ill?
Wake up little bunnies.

Hop little bunnies,
Hop hop hop, hop hop hop,
Hop hop hop.
Hop little bunnies,
Hop hop hop hop hop hop.

See the bunnies sleeping,
Till it’s nearly noon.
Shall we wake them with a merry tune?
They’re so still, 
Are they ill?
Wake up little bunnies.

Jump little bunnies, 
Jump jump jump, jump jump jump, 
Jump jump jump.
Jump little bunnies, 
Jump jump jump jump jump jump.

In the third verse, the bunnies can skip.

Listen to the tune here

6. Bed In Summer

By Robert Louis Stevenson

This clever little poem is all about going to bed in summer, when the birds are still awake and it’s light outside, and you’d rather still be playing.

In winter I get up at night,  
And dress by yellow candle-light.  
In summer, quite the other way,  
I have to go to bed by day.  

I have to go to bed and see,         
The birds still hopping on the tree.  
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet,  
Still going past me in the street.  

And does it not seem hard to you,  
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,  
To have to go to bed by day?

Watch Mogo recite this cute rhyme.

teddy bear falling asleep on pillow

7. Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

This action song is also a cute rhyme to sing before bedtime. [source]

Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, show your shoe,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, I love you.
(Give child a hug)

Teddy bear, teddy bear, go up stairs,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, say your prayers.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn out the light,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, say good night.
(Lay head on hands)

8. The Evening is Coming

This is a beautiful lullaby to sing to your children.

The evening is coming, the sun sinks to rest,
The crows are all flying straight home to their nest.
“Caw” says the crow as she flies over head,
“It’s time little children were going to bed!”

Here comes the pony, his work is all done,
Down through the meadow, he takes a good run.
Up go his heels and down goes his head,
It’s time little children were going to bed.

Play the tune here

9. Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite

This is not really a bedtime song for kids, but it’s one of my favourites and I often just sing the first verse. It was first recorded by The Spaniels in 1953. [source]

Good night sweetheart, well it’s time to go
Good night sweetheart, well it’s time to go
I hate to leave you but I really must say
Oh good night sweetheart, good night

This is a great version

I hope you’ve enjoyed these bedtime songs for kids! Here are more preschool songs.

Source:

Parragon. 2017. A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. Paragon Books: Bath.

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