Making Bedtime Fun for Little Ones can make bedtime easier on everyone!
Bedtime: It can be stressful or it can be a wonderful time of winding down and bonding with your child. In fact, with a little work, bedtime can be one of the most fun and special times of your day. Like you, your child needs to feel safe, comfortable and relaxed to get a good quality sleep. Sending them to bed hyped up, stressed and over excited is not conducive to good sleep, so while it’s great to make bedtime fun, don’t make it too fun.
Let them help to design their own room:
This can be a perfectly affordable bedroom makeover. Let them help pick new bedding, or a new lampshade. If they feel connected to their room, they’ll enjoy spending time there. Put some of their artwork on the walls. Or get them a new bed.
Winding down time:
Fine motor skills play, such as threading, construction toys, arts and crafts are amazing at helping little minds wind down ready for sleep. This can soon become a very special time to share and talk that both you and your child look forward to. Offer activities that they haven’t played in a while. Choose a game that either has a natural conclusion, or give your child a countdown to when the game will end (5 more minutes, 2 more, last turn) so that they know the end is coming and not suddenly taken away.
Make bath or shower time fun, encourage your child to play and experiment with the water with different toys and containers. Use relaxing bath products, many brands now sell children’s bathtime products which contain lavender to help relax your child.
Allow your child to choose their bedtime story:
Even if it’s the same story every day for months at a time, a story is a great way to end your day. Repetition and anticipation are important to children to help them learn and understand a story. It also gives them control over this little decision. Allowing them to make small choices can be very calming for them. With older children, share the reading or pick a longer book that you can read over several nights. Bring the story to life for the child, use voices for the characters, and add sounds effects. Make up a story starring your child and their toys and friends.
Most importantly, don’t forget the most fun thing about bedtime…. lots of cuddles and kisses with your child. This post on laying with your child is a good reminder.