12 Inspirational & Motivational Stories For Kids

12 Inspirational & Motivational Stories For Kids

As your child grows up, you will see a new personality trait to who your child is becoming every day in their tendency to develop habits. As each day progresses, your kid will probably outgrow an old habit or form a new one.

Storytime, however, is one activity that your kid will not outgrow anytime soon. Whether you indulge in bedtime stories or try to slowly make progress towards helping them develop a reading habit, story time is always special. Motivational stories for kids help them learn moral values and lessons which stay with them for a lifetime. These stories also solve the parent’s challenge to look out for new stories when it’s storytelling time. Let’s take a look at some of these stories.

Also Read: Thought of the Day and Quotes for Kids

Inspiring and Motivational Short Stories for Children

Here are our top 12 picks of the best inspirational stories for kids that will make bonding with your child a delightful, as well as educational experience.

1. The Sad Peacock

The Sad Peacock Story

This beautiful story about making the best of what you have is our first pick for this list. Though ambition is not a bad thing, there is usually a very thin line progressing to greed. It can run both ways, parents may end up pushing their children so hard, that kids end up frustrated. On the other hand, kids may end up demanding for more, without regard to what they have already.

Here is a wonderful story about a peacock who almost went the same way.

here was this once a beautiful peacock who was all, but dancing on a rainy day. While he was busy admiring his plumage, his rough voice reminded him of his own shortcomings. All the joy beaten out of him, he was almost in tears. Suddenly, he heard a nightingale singing nearby.

Listening to the nightingale’s sweet voice, his own shortcoming once again became very evident. He began wondering why he was jinxed in such a manner. At that moment, Juno, the leader of the Gods, appeared and addressed the peacock.

“Why are you upset?” Juno asked the peacock.

The peacock complained about his rough voice and how he was sad because of it. “The nightingale has such a beautiful voice. Why don’t I?”

After listening to the peacock, Juno explained, “ every living being is special in his or her own way. They are and made in a certain manner that serves the greater purpose. Yes, the nightingale is blessed with a beautiful voice, but you are also blessed – with such a beautiful and glittering plumage! The trick is acceptance and making the most of what you have.”

The peacock understood how silly he had been in comparing himself to others and forgetting his own blessings. He realised that day, that everyone was unique in some way or the other.

Moral of the Story

Self-acceptance is the first step to happiness. Make the best of what you have, rather than being unhappy about what you don’t.

2. The Turtle and the Hare

The Turtle and the Hare

This story has been told and retold over the ages, but is certainly a story that will teach your child an important lesson that will stay for life. You can stick to the classic or make your own version with different variables that will nonetheless impart the valuable lesson that your child needs to learn.

The hare is not only a beautiful little creature but is known for its speed and cleverness. Turtles, on the other hand, are amphibians that are more down to earth and, of course, slower in all aspects of life.

One fine day, the hare bragged and came up with the idea of holding a race with the turtle. The turtle agreed, and the race began.

The hare managed to get a good lead over the turtle because he was an excellent runner. However, such was the ego of the hare that he not only raced way ahead of the turtle, but decided to take a nap at some distance, just before the finish line. He was convinced that he would easily win, even if he slept for some time.

The turtle, on the other hand, was far slower than the hare. However, he kept up with the race, without cutting corners. The turtle managed to reach the finish line, just as the hare was waking up! He, nevertheless won the race, even though he was a far slower runner than the hare, and not once, did he rub his victory it in the hare’s face.

Moral of the Story

As long as you are steady and determined, you will always win, no matter what your speed is. Laziness is your enemy, as is pride.

3. The Two Gardeners

The Two Gardeners

Letting go is probably one story lesson that can teach, both the child and the parent valuable lesson. Children are hands down very impressionable and sensitive, and there are times when you, as a parent, might not want to accept that a line needs to be drawn, as children need to become independent.

Here is a story that talks about the challenges of learning to do things on your own, through stronger roots.

Once, there lived two neighbours who used to grow the same plants in their respective gardens. One neighbour was fussy and took extreme care of her plants. The other neighbour did what was required, but left the leaves of the plants alone to grow as they pleased.

One evening, there was a huge storm, accompanied by heavy rainfall. The storm destroyed many of the plants.

The next morning, when the fussy neighbour woke up, she found that the plants had been uprooted and destroyed. However, when the more relaxed neighbour woke up, she found that her plants were still firmly rooted in the soil, having weathered the storm.

The plant of the relaxed neighbour had learnt to do things on its own. So, it had done its bit of work, grown deep roots, and made a place for itself in the soil. Thus, it had stood firm even in the storm. However, the fussy neighbour used to do everything for the plant, thereby not teaching the plant how to sustain on its own.

Moral of the Story

Sooner or later, you have to let go and become independent. Unless you stop fussing, nothing will work on its own.

4. The Mouse and the Lioness

The Mouse and the Lioness

Our next pick is yet another classic. This story with the mouse and the lioness never gets old and teaches kids a wonderful lesson that should stay with them and help them grow.

The lioness, as we know, is fierce, proud, and tends to look down upon smaller animals. One such lioness was once skirting the jungle when a thorn pricked her paw. Being proud, the lioness decided not to ask for help. She went around the jungle, getting weaker and bleeding.

One day, she chanced upon a humble mouse. The lioness was in a lot of pain. The mouse, though quite scared, was courageous enough to offer help. The little mouse, after much pain, a managed to pull out the thorn from the lioness’s paw and freed her from pain.

Even though the lioness was so big and powerful, and the mouse was so tiny and humble, it was the mouse’s kind gesture that saved the lioness’s life.

Moral of the Story

Be humble and never forget that size is no guarantee of power or usefulness.

5. The Three Fish

The Three Fishes

Rounding off the list is this beautiful story about three fish. Once again, this story is about teaching your child how to be wise when encountering a problem and never to forget to help others in need.

There were three fish living in a pond. They were friends and practically did everything together.

One day, a fisherman came across the pond and was delighted to see the fish. He made plans to cast a net and catch them.

The wisest of the fishes made plans to find a different pond. While one of the fish agreed, the other one denied, saying that the pond was home and he shall not vacate it. The third fish further said that there had never been any danger in the pond. “I don’t see the point of leaving this pond. I think it is cowardly.”

The first two fish were unable to convince their friend, and so they decided to part ways.

The next day, when the fishermen cast his net, the first two fish escaped. However, the third one got caught. He had been unable to identify and act upon the problem and was now paying the price of neglecting danger.

Moral of the Story

It pays to be wise when faced with a problem. Remember that every problem is different, and therefore, has a different solution.

6. The Golden Touch

We all have read or listened to this wonderful story in our childhood, and now it’s time to introduce this to our little ones. This story talks about the greed of a man who turned his own daughter into gold but later laments for her.

Once there was a king named Midas who used to do good deeds. But one day, he was granted a wish that whatever he touched would turn to gold.

Excited about his newly-earned power, King Midas started touching all kinds of things, turning each item into pure gold. “I am powerful. I can turn things into gold,” he exhilarated. But soon, the King became hungry and picked up a piece of food. He found he couldn’t eat it as it had turned into gold when he touched it. “What should I do now? I’m very hungry,” he said. Seeing his dismay, Midas’ daughter threw her arms around him to comfort him, and she, too, turned to gold. He cried and prayed and finally got rid of his greedy wish. Everything that turned to gold was now back to normal, including her beloved daughter. “I will never be greedy for anything in life,” he said.

Moral of the Story

Greed will always lead to downfall. Greed is a curse that can make us do things that are not right. Greed makes us selfish, short-tempered, anxious, and also jealous of others.

7. The Fox and the Grapes

The story is ideal if you wish to teach your child a lesson about hard work. Children need to learn that nothing comes in handy in life. They must work hard to get it, just like the fox should have done.

A fox became very hungry one day and started searching for food. The fox searched high and low but couldn’t find anything that he could eat. Finally, as his stomach rumbled, he saw a farmer’s wall. At the top of the wall, he saw the biggest and the juiciest grapes he’d ever seen. “Rich purple, juicy grapes. I must have these,” he said to himself.

To reach the grapes, the fox had to jump quite high in the air. As he jumped, he opened his mouth to catch the grapes but missed it. He tried again and again but missed it every time.

Finally, he decided it was time to give up. “The grapes were sour anyway,” he walked away, muttering.

Moral of the Story

Never despise what we can’t have; nothing comes easy. We must work hard if we want to earn something in life.

8. The Proud Rose

This is an excellent story that will help kids understand that judging someone based on their outer appearance is not fair. To know a person, one must talk to them and understand them before passing any comments on or about them. Let’s take a look at the story.

Once there was a rose that was very proud of her looks. The only disappointment she had was that she grew alongside an ugly cactus. Every other day the rose would insult the cactus’ looks, but the cactus didn’t say anything. “How ugly this cactus looks,” the rose used to say. All the other plants, flowers and trees around the rose tried to stop her from bullying the innocent cactus. But the rose was too swayed by her beauty to listen to them.

Spring passed, and summer arrived, and there was no rain. The once proud, beautiful rose slowly began to lose its colour and started to wilt. The rose saw a bird stick its beak into the cactus and drink water from it. The rose felt ashamed to take help from the cactus, but finally, she did ask. “Can you help me with some water, or I will die soon,” he said to the cactus. The kind cactus agreed, and the bird watered the rose.

Moral of the Story

Never judge anyone by the way they look. Sometimes, a person may have plain looks, but what really matters is their inner beauty.

9. A Wise Owl

Do you know that you can make your children wiser with the help of moral stories? Let’s read this story of an old owl who became wise just by observing and listening to what others have to say.

Once there was an old owl who lived in an oak tree. He used to observe incidents that occurred around him. One day, he watched a young boy helping an old man carry a heavy basket. The next day, he saw a young girl shouting at her mother. The more he saw, the less he spoke.

As the days passed by, he spoke less but heard more. The owl heard different people talking and telling stories. He heard a girl saying, “An elephant had jumped over a fence.” He also heard a boy saying, “He had never made a mistake.”

The old, wise owl had seen and heard what had happened to these people. There were some who became worse, some who became better. But the old owl had become wiser each and every day.

Moral of the Story

Be more observant. Talk less and listen more. This will make us wise. Unnecessary talking will only be a waste of our energy.

10. The Ants and the Grasshopper

Make kids understand the importance of concentrating on necessary things rather than wasting their precious time on less important things with the help of this short story.

One autumn day, a family of ants was busy working in the warm sunshine. The ants were drying out the grain they had stored up during the summer. Suddenly, a starving grasshopper came up. With his fiddle under his arm, the grasshopper very humbly said, “Can I have a bite to eat?”

The ants asked him, “Why haven’t you stored any food for the winter?”

“I was too busy making music during summer that I didn’t have time to store any food,” the grasshopper replied.

The ants simply shrugged their shoulders and said, “Now that you have made music, you should dance on it as well.” The ants then turned their backs on the grasshopper and returned back to their work.

Moral of the Story

There’s a time for work and a time for play. One must spend their time productively, as we can always find some extra time to pursue our hobbies. Time is precious, and we must make the most of it by doing positive things.

11. The Dog at the Well

Children often have a habit of doing what parents ask them not to do. Read this story to your child to let them know why they must listen to their elders.

A mother dog and her puppies lived on a farm. There was a well on the farm. The mother dog always told her puppies, “Don’t ever go near the well or play around it.”

One day, one of the puppies was overcome by curiosity and wondered why they weren’t allowed to go near the well. So, he decided that he wanted to explore it.

He went to the well and climbed up the wall to peek inside. In the well, he saw his reflection in the water and thought it was another dog. Down there. The little puppy got angry when his reflection started imitating him. He decided to fight it.

The little puppy jumped into the well, only to find there was no dog. He began to bark until the farmer came to rescue him. The puppy had learned his lesson and never went back to that well again.

Moral of the Story

Always listen to what elders say and don’t defy them. Elders have more life experience, and they will always guide us to walk on the right path.

12. The Wolf and the Sheep

We all understand the power of paying attention to things around us. But we must teach the same to our children. They must be aware of what is happening around them and be aware of their surroundings. The story below teaches this lesson about why paying attention is important.

A wolf had gotten seriously hurt while fighting a bear. He wasn’t able to move and could not satisfy his thirst or hunger.

One day, a sheep passed by his hiding place. The wolf called out to him, “Fetch me some water. It might give me some strength to eat some solid food.”

When the sheep heard “solid food”, he understood that it was just a trap to eat him.

Moral of the Story

A person’s ulterior motives are easy to spot if someone is paying attention. We must be aware of what is happening in our surroundings and look out for possible danger.

Tips on Reading Inspirational Stories

  1. The best time to read inspirational stories is during the daytime, as your kid will be alert, and not weary, ready to go to bed. This allows for better concentration and understanding of the story.
  2. Just because it’s an inspirational story, doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Read it as you would any other story. Use different voices and pitches throughout, to make it interesting.
  3. Ask questions to your child at the end of the story. You can ask your child what he/she would do in place of the character, or what the moral of the story is.
  4. You can tweak the story to make it more relevant to your child. Work by your child’s likes and dislikes, which will keep him/her more interested in the story.
  5. If you feel your child spacing out in between, pause the story and ask for predictions on what happens next. In fact, you can even make this a regular practice. Asking your child for a prediction helps boost imagination.

So, these are some of the best stories that both, you and your child will appreciate. Don’t forget though that each one of us has a story within us – a story that can not only motivate children and teach them valuable lessons, but also encourage them to imagine and dream.


1. What Do You Call a Story That Teaches Us a Moral Lesson?

A story that teaches a moral lesson is known as a fable. These stories can be based on a true event and often features animals as characters. Since these stories have imaginary characters like a talking teacup or a fairy princess, it is easy to draw children’s attention toward the plot and its moral lesson.

2. Which Is the Best Inspirational Story?

Every story that we read inspires us and helps us learn something or the other. We have covered a few inspirational stories for children in this article to help them learn moral values. Here are some stories that you will absolutely love – “A Wise Owl,” “The Golden Touch,” and “The Wolf and the Sheep.”

You can further encourage your child to develop his imagination and wording skills with an activity box like Intellikit, which contains super-engaging and fun activities that boost creativity along with other skills. Based on the theory of multiple intelligence, each box has a unique theme for the month and works towards all-round development in your child. Subscribe and get your box for the month right at your doorstep!

Also Read:

Top 20 Short Moral Stories for Kids
Animal Stories with Moral Lessons for Kids
Moral Stories of Lord Ganesha Stories for Children
Indian Mythological Stories with Moral Lessons for Kids

Previous article «
Next article »