Bedtime. I both look forward to and dread this time of day. My toddler is wild to say the least and getting her down to sleep can be a daunting task. Before I implemented a routine for bedtime she would have a hissy fit every single night that would last an hour. At the end of a long day it's tough to fight with your kid over bedtime when all you want to do is have some much needed alone time.
BY CHRISTINA LOEWEN
Bedtime. I both look forward to and dread this time of day. My toddler is wild to say the least and getting her down to sleep can be a daunting task. Before I implemented a routine for bedtime she would have a hissy fit every single night that would last an hour. At the end of a long day it’s tough to fight with your kid over bedtime when all you want to do is have some much needed alone time.
I knew that I needed to make an evening routine and create some positivity around bedtime. I started introducing quiet and calming activities for my toddler to do before bed and she has really taken to it. She looks forward to our bedtime routine and this has helped her go to sleep more peacefully. We have tried several different calming activities and these five have been a hit in our home!
1. Coloring : Coloring is a relaxing activity for anyone! It has a de-stressing effect and is the perfect activity to start the transition from day time to night time. My toddler loves to color and it’s something that she can do independently while I start getting my 4 month old ready for bed. It’s a win-win!
2. Bedtime Playdough: We LOVE play dough in our home and I noticed that it has a calming effect on my daughter. I decided to make her a special bedtime play dough that I could bring out for her at night time. I make it with dried lavender and essential oils that are known to be calming. My daughter loves her bedtime play dough because it smells so nice and has flowers in it. I also have her help make it which makes it extra special to her.
Here is my recipe for bedtime play dough:
1/2 cup of salt
1 cup of flour
2 tbs of cream of tartar
1 tbs of oil
1 cup of boiling water
8 drops of lavender essential oil
6 drops of marjoram essential oil
dried lavender (as much as you want).
Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Boil water. Add the oils and the food coloring to your boiled water. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and let cool. Once cooled, mix desired amount of dried lavender into the playdough (this part is great for kids). Always be careful when dealing with boiled water around kids!
3. Meditation and Yoga : Children’s meditation and yoga is becoming increasingly popular and for good reason! Mindfulness practices help reduce stress and hyperactive behaviour. This is a great activity for the both of you to do together! It may get a little bit silly and that’s ok. My favourite meditation routine to do with my toddler is this one.
Good Night Yoga is an amazing book for teaching kids bedtime yoga!
4. Reflect on the day and talk about tomorrow : Curl up together and reflect on the day. Give your child your full attention and talk about what they did that day. Ask what their favourite part of the day was and then talk about all the fun things that they will get to do tomorrow! I always say things like, “when you wake up you get to eat breakfast and go for a walk and play with your friends”. My daughter loves talking about all her favourite things to do and this is a great bonding experience for us.
5. Storytime : End with a book or a story. A book at bedtime is a great way to bond and helps children learn new vocabulary. Bedtime stories also allow opportunity for learning. My daughter loves books that teach her new things and this time of day is when her attention span is at its best.
Bedtime doesn’t have to be a pain every night. It can be peaceful and a great way to create lasting memories with your kids!
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