"Children need lots of experience listening to many kinds of stories such as stories about people's real life experiences, and stories that are made up. Stories that are never written down as just as valuable as stories told from books. Experience with stories helps children understand how words go together, both in sound and in print, to help build meaning".
Source: Macaulay Child Development Centre, From Lullabies to Literacy
We all know that younger children have smaller attention spans. Expecting an infant or toddler to sit through a long fairy tale is setting oneself up for failure. Instead, try developmentally appropriate stories to HELP THEM develop their attention span.
Stories for babies can be as simple as nursery rhymes such as "Hickory Dickory Dock" or "Jack and Jill". You can also tell your baby what you are doing while you do it, "First we'll get the diaper, and then we'll put it on".
Stories for toddlers can be repetitive songs or stories such as "Eensy Weensy Spider" or "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" Alternatively, you can tell stories about when your child was born and how you felt, something you did or liked when you were very young, or when you learned to do something such as tie your shoelaces.