The sun sets and it’s off to dreamland for your little one. Or not. Your kiddo isn’t ready for bed. Not at all. But you are. And that means you’re doing everything you can to move the bedtime routine along. Instead of begging and pleading, try making bedtime fun. Along with turning your night into activity-packed awesomeness, these entirely easy ideas can also make the morning more manageable.
How can you transform your child’s bedtime routine? Check out these tips for making it magical. Okay, maybe not completely magical. But, these ideas will actually make going to bed something that your child looks forward to.
Picking out your kiddo’s clothes the night before can make the mornings run smoothly. At least, the part of the morning that includes the, “You’re wearing what?” battle. Play a pretend play game together, acting as fashion designers or stylists. Pick out adorable outfits for the next day. Help your child to match clothes by color or go with a theme, such as soft textures or animal prints.
Your child can handpick an audience for an evening of bedtime tales. Have them select stuffed animals to listen to a story. Your child can set the animals up in a row and then listen to a favorite story together.
Everything’s more fun with music. Make up silly songs to go along with each step of the bedtime routine. Include your own type of magical music for brushing teeth-time, changing for bed and trying to fall asleep.
Packing your preschooler’s lunch during the morning rush isn’t exactly your idea of fun. Instead of waiting until the next day, turn lunch-making into part of your child’s ‘getting ready for bed’ routine. Use a cookie cutter to make cute shapes of sandwich bread. Or try cutting fruit into triangles, diamonds, and stars. Your little chef can help you to do the prep work, making their lunch perfect for the next day.
Create your own special bedtime note-writing ritual. Even though your child may not be able to write yet, they can use pictures to pen their own message to you. Try this activity together, writing/drawing notes for each other at the same time. Put your note in your child’s lunchbox and your child’s note into your purse or briefcase. The next day you’ll each have a special surprise.
What steps does your child take to complete their bedtime routine? Snap pics of each part of the routine. That could include brushing teeth, picking out tomorrow’s clothes, reading a bedtime story, singing a song or anything that you two regularly do. Put the pictures together into one bedtime photo book. You can page through the book with your child before the routine starts, helping them to remember each part of ‘bedtime’.
Design your own individual hug-handshake to do before bed every night. Clap hands, give a kiss, have a hug and hum a tune. Or, create your own version that only you and your child know. This special secret bedtime handshake can be the last part of your routine. Have it signal that it’s time to go to sleep. After the handshake, your kiddo will know that they need to put their head down on the pillow and drift off to dreamland.
Your child’s clothes aren’t the only thing to get ready for the morning. Make a morning prep check part of the bedtime routine. Your child can line up their shoes, pack their preschool backpack, get their show and tell items ready or do whatever they can to get ready for the next day.
With all these fun activities to look forward to your child will be excited when you tell them it’s time for bed!