Playful Routines :: Bedtime

by Amy on February 20, 2013

Playful Routines for Bedtime | Let's Explore

This is Part 3 of a series on adding playful elements to daily routines with our kiddos. We’re anchoring playtime to routines, so we can be present as parents and have some fun!

To read more of my thoughts on playful routines, check out my posts on getting ready and meal time.

We have followed a pretty predictable bedtime routine since the girls were small – bath, pajamas, brush teeth, stories, cuddles, lights out.

Some nights call for a little something extra. And, some nights, I need to remind myself not to hurry through this part of the day, but to slow down and enjoy the snuggles and chit-chat of two sleepy girls.

Here are a few of the ways we’ve added a spark to our normal bedtime routine – I hope you’ll share your ideas in the comments, too!

Ham-Up Story Time

Once in a while, go all out with your bedtime story. Make crazy voices for different characters, act out parts, or even wear a silly costume. If you choose a story your kids know well, they can chime in at their favorite parts.

Whispering Silly Songs

For a bit of fun and giggles, without getting your kids too riled-up, whisper-sing a few silly songs before tucking in to bed. Try Aikendrum, Down By the Bay, Willoughby Wallaby Woo, or any of your child’s favorite songs.

Tell Me a Story

My girls have always loved for me to tell them a story before bed. But, to be honest, my imagination is not always at its peak at the end of the day – how about you? Here are a few ways I make night time storytelling a little easier on myself:

~ I’ll tell a story about when they were babies, or any little memory I can think of.

~ I might ask them to each tell me a place, an animal, and something magical, and then turn those things into a story.

~ Tell just a little bit of a continuing story each night. They can remind me where we left off, and I don’t have to think of new characters!

Flashlight Games

My girls love flashlights, and I bet your kids do, too. Bedtime is the perfect time to play a few flashlight games. We like to make shadow animals with our hands, or draw letters and shapes on the ceiling with our light and see if we can guess what each person made.

Check out my post on flashlight games if you want more ideas (some are a bit rowdy for bedtime!).

What is the most important part of your bedtime routine? I’d love to hear the ways you connect with your kiddos at the end of the day!

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