We started school early in August, because I felt our kids needed to get back in to routines . . . and Raisin agreed! This means that we’re on to a few days (dare I say two weeks?) of breaks right now, so I won’t burn out.
But there is one set of routines that we try to keep up with, even during the more chaotic non-school days: the bedtime routine. It amazes me how much my kids look forward to some aspects of our bedtime routine. Here’s a run down of some of the best parts of going to bed, according to our kids.
After we clean the play room each night, we have family gymnastics at home. My kids love running around the room, doing somersaults and cartwheels. It’s not the largest space, but my kids love “gymnastics time.” It’s also great to get the extra energy out before we wind down for bed time.
Family prayer time is the tricky “time to wind down” moment. We let the kids run circles around us while we kneel and wait for them to get to the point where they can sit for a moment and pray. In a recent General Conference talk, Elder Scott reminded me that “Family prayer should be a nonnegotiable priority in your daily life.” Okay, then. We’ll keep making sure we do this.
Kids then get on pajamas on, brush their teeth, and use the bathroom. These are just more nonnegotiable things to do. Strawberry is not yet potty trained, but I’m hoping one of these days our regular visits to the toilet will become more than a game and she’ll get the point of it all! A few days a week, Strawberry will take a bath at this point, too. (Raisin showers himself in the mornings.)
Next up is story time! I usually read Strawberry 1-3 stories (depending on how late it is). Often, Raisin will join in for the picture book time. Sometimes, he prefers to go read himself in his room. (I often read to him as well after Strawberry is tucked in.)
After story time, it’s lights out for Strawberry. I sing three songs and rock her in the chair in the dark until she says “I’m ready!” and then it’s time to be tucked in to bed!
We took down Strawberry’s crib a few weeks ago, so this routine has really helped her. Of course, she popped right out of bed the first few days (and sometimes she still does), but when we reinforce the same routine (maybe add another minute of rocking, or another song), it helps her remember that now is the time to stay in bed.
My kids know what to expect when we keep to the same routine each time.
What bedtime routine works best for you?
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