Bedtime routines are a great way to help your child get settled and ready to sleep. And I have lots of Bedtime Routine ideas for you!
They’re also a wonderful opportunity to bond with your child.
It’s a time when they can be ready to receive your love and words of affirmation, and also be more open to confiding in you if something has been troubling them.
Here are some bedtime routine ideas, based on things we’ve done over the years with my 2 sons :-
After their shower, when they’re in their PJs, and have brushed their teeth, my boys ask for a ‘kiss and a hug’. Either my husband, or I, or both, always endeavour to come up and say goodnight to them with a kiss and hug for the youngest, and an arm squeeze for the teenager!
And here’s that list of things we’ve done with them as well (and still sometimes do) :-
- Read them a story.
- Read a devotional or a book that draws them closer to God.
- Let them listen to a CD-based story, such as Adventures in Odyssey. My boys have listened to about 10 of these and they loved them for years. Especially suited to around 4 to 10 year olds.
- Ask them to tell you 3 things they liked about today. It helps them focus on the positive and be grateful for the things that went well. You also get to find out what activities they loved best – often the answer may surprise you!
- Ask them if there’s anything that happened that made them sad – this helps them process with you anything that may still be bothering them.
- Do a quiz together. My husband & I have both played this game with them while they’re in bed – we ask them to think of Boys’ names starting with the letter ‘H’ or makes of cars starting with the letter ‘S’ etc. They have great fun with this and never want it to end!
- Get them to speak life and truth over themselves. For example, ‘I am an intelligent person’; ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’; ‘I keep calm in all situations’.
- Pray together.
- Lead them through spending a few minutes imagining a good outcome when something important is coming up the next day – for example, exams. This involves my son closing his eyes, and imagining himself doing what he needs to do with God by his side, and doing it well.
- When they were younger, I would on occasion act out a bible story, which they absolutely loved!
- Make a den (this works with a bunk bed) and have bedtime stories in the den!
- Make a story with shadow puppets. We used some that I had bought, but we also made some homemade ones of our own to add to our collection.
I hope this gives you some fun ideas for bedtime! It’s a precious time of day. I know for many it can be a battleground, but I do believe that doing something special with them, even for just a few minutes, nurtures their little hearts and can help calm them.