When it comes to bedtime for young children, ideas to add to your routine can be sparse. The last thing parents and children need would be anything too high energy to keep the children over stimulated, and you also don’t want to add something that will take too much time.
Bedtime can bring arguments, tantrums and sometimes an over-tired kid who just simply refuses to listen to simple, bedtime direction.
Read below to become inspired by these 10 unique activities to add to your bedtime routine. Keep an open mind. With a mix of creativity, calmness and fun, these ideas are sure to make bedtime a little less stressful. They may just help in making it much more enjoyable!
10 PUPPET SHOW
Just like the classic hand-puppet-shadows-against-the-wall trick, this puppet show tends to be more popular because it’s far easier to form shadows with preexisting stuffed animals than your own hands. (Whoever said it’s easy making more than just a duck’s beak must be professionals). With a few stuffed animals chosen before bedtime by your child, aim their night light/desk light towards the toy until their shadow is bold enough to view on their ceiling or wall.
For the voice and story to go along, well, that’s up to you! It’s always fun to incorporate their take on the story you're producing to make it that much more interesting. Trust us, their imagination after a long day may be filled with surprises far more exciting than you expect!
9 BATH PAINT
Adding a bit of extra fun to the nighttime bath regime is always a good idea. Sometimes, simple, boring bath toys just won’t do justice, and your child is in need of some art time right before bed to get his or her creative energy out.
With this incredible and easy bath-paint recipe by Genius Kitchen, bath time art can be safe, easy and fun!
Simply mix 1/3 cup of dish soap with 1 tbs of cornstarch. Add a few drops of food coloring for the paint's color, and call it a day (or shall we say, night)! Let the kids enjoy a fun bath session with something that both you and child can be proud of.
8 DON’T FORGET DOLL’S TEETH!
As silly as this may sound, it can be very difficult to have your toddler, child and even teenager brush their teeth before bed, let alone any time of the day. As the night time falls, energies are low and moods can be a bit more...well, grumpy.
For younger children, the best (and easiest) way to lighten the mood and embrace the fun in brushing teeth is by demonstrating the action with their favorite doll(s). Simply pull out your acting techniques by forming a new, doll voice, thrilled to have their teeth brushed! Wait for the giggles and yes, teeth brushing to commence!
7 THE “GOOD NIGHT” SONG
If you don't want nighttime nightmares to occur then stick to the classics; with a twist.
Instead of singing the classic Twinkle Twinkle or Rockabye Baby, make up a tune to accompany your "good-nights" involving items in your child's room. "Good night to the window, good night to the door, good night to the ceiling and even the floor!" If you have lost count of items you've sung good night to, let your child's imagination run rampant as they may even say goodnight to the things they've played with during their very, busy day.
6 I SPY
Here's an awesome I Spy game that does not use any visual. What in the world could you use, then? Well, your daughter and or son's memory and imagination.
Let's tire their little brains out some more, shall we? Instead of an I Spy question that involves an object in their room, ask them something along the lines of, "I Spy with my little eye, something interesting you saw on the school bus on the way to school..." or, "I Spy with my little eye, something I saw in my dinner that I liked quite a lot..."
It could sound silly, but age depending, this may spark some interesting conversation about something (the parent) may not have heard of if the question (and game) were never asked (and played).
5 TOMORROW’S ATTIRE
There is absolutely nothing cuter and, at times, eclectic than seeing what a young child has chosen as their day's outfit. Not only will this night time activity save both you and child time in the morning, but it will allow the child to gain independence, responsibility, and creativity before bed.
By allowing the child to choose their outfit for the next day, they will be full of pride and appreciation. It's incredibly rewarding to see their little faces "get to work" as they choose the appropriate outfit for their day to come.
4 BOOK HUNT
Before this activity, you may want to view this list of incredible, children's books to use while preparing for this book hunt.
Age permitting, hide 2-4 books around the child's room for them to find. Allow them to gain access to the book's titles so they know which ones to look for. Hide them under their pillows, in their dresser draws or even under their bed. The ideas are endless and this quick, quiet game may tire them out well before bed time stories even begin.
3 BACK-ART GUESSING GAME
Whether the child is two or six, everyone loves a calming, light back scratch before they, "hit the hay". If "back tickles" are not yet part of your child's bedtime activity, it is time to incorporate them for this fun and sweet game.
Simply, draw an easy (or more complex) shape or picture. Have the child guess what you are drawing. It's that easy. Note, the ideas that your child may come up with could potentially be so elaborate and extreme that you will have to hold in your giggles. (Remember, it's quiet time!)
2 THE NEVER ENDING STORY
During sleep-overs with buddies as young kids, a classic (and very generic) story-telling game is adding one sentence, back and forth, until the tale is so bizarre that everyone is left on the floor laughing and coughing on their sprite.
Let's make this game a little more interesting and a little more fun by finishing each other's sentences rather than adding to them. The younger the better- because of their wild and irrational storytelling skills.
1 THE BREAKFAST TALK
To save time (and energy) in the morning, The Breakfast Talk can be the most collaborative and exciting talk before bedtime conversations come to an end. Depending on age, breakfast can often become the dullest and easy meals of the day. Though it is the most important, in order to be time efficient most of us just grab what they can, when they can, before heading out the door. Much like meal-prepping, just by discussing what you plan to prepare can be the right step forward.
Talk to the kid about what they'd like to eat in the morning. Decide (as the adult) if it makes sense time-wise, and compromise depending on how much, or how little they ask to consume. Whether or not you have the ingredients will also, of course, be a deciding factor. Get creative! This simple trick not only saves time but also withholds arguments about what they want for breakfast since you have simply prepared their expected meal. We bet they'll eat it right up! You're welcome.