The day has stretched into the evening, dinner has been devoured, and yawns have become wider as the light fades. The hours (or minutes) before bedtime can present some interesting challenges to parents and kids, as tired brains and bodies don’t always match up with the often busy errands and chores that precede sleep.
Here are 66 ideas for this special time of the day. Try incorporating one into your child’s bedtime routine. Follow the Before Bed Pinterest Board for more ideas!
- Do you have a cardboard playhouse – why not chill out for a while?
- Read some books
- Relax with some playdough
- We love to play with puppets at the end of the day
- Make a lavender scented sensory bin
- How about some lavender playdough
- Try a different twist on aromatherapy sensory play with this cloud dough
- I just adore this Quiet Book concept
- How about some bedtime imaginary play
- Why not head outside?
- Music is a great way to wind down and stay busy
- Why not involve your kiddos in the end of day chores
- How about some yoga poses
- This is a great time of day for nature observations
- Do your kids like to write poetry?
- Many kids love getting their stuffed friends ready for bed
- Who doesn’t love a bath
- Especially if it is an aromatherapy experience – add some lavender or rose petals to warm bath water
- My son loves the chance to do quiet art activities while we tidy up from the day
- Try encouraging your kiddos to connect with family pets: walk the dog, brush the cat
- Kids with loads of energy might benefit from an evening dance party
- My kiddo spends a great deal of this time with his daddy, reconnecting after a long day
- Puzzles are always a hit at day’s end
- A reflective journal entry can be done even if your kids are still in a pre-writing stage
- We love bubble play before bed
- A hike or bike ride works for many families as a winding down activity
- Can your kids layout their clothes for the following day?
- I often use this time of the day to help my son contact his grandparents via skype
- Does your child enjoy singing songs?
- Children love making up stories
- Wind down with a family board game
- Take photos
- Review literacy and numeracy skills with simple activities
- Legos are great for encouraging quiet, yet creative play
- Playmobil is also a wonderful inspiration for small world play
- Build a fort
- Visit neighbours
- Many spiritual families use this time to worship together
- Older children might use this time for homework with or without your guidance
- This might be the time of the day for your older kids to connect with friends by phone or email
- We often use this time to focus on gratitude and thankfulness
- Do you have family and friends that need care packages made up?
- Bake some cookies
- Great time to pick out their pajamas
- Great time for a longer and relaxed nursing session? Especially great for working mamas!
- Stare up at the sky and look for cloud shapes
- Prepare oatmeal for an overnight soak – there’s breakfast done!
- After a long day, emotional literacy rocks might be useful tools
- Talk to each other
- How about a before bed snack?
- Many infants love to spend this time in a sling or a parent’s arms
- What about some finger play?
- Are there some games that your kiddos like to play? Hide-n-seek? Simon Says?
- What about chilling out with some crayons and these cute yoga colouring pages?
- Massage is great for all of our kids – from infant to tween! So are other forms of nurturing touch.
- Jump in the car and go for a drive
- Do your kids enjoy tea? What a great time for a cup
- Aromatherapy can be a wonderful thing for kids
- Have you tried a calming jar?
- Do your kids have their own chores to complete?
- Write and perform a play
- This would be a great time to spend appreciating art
- Do your kids like to knit?
- Audiostories (we love Sparkle Stories!) are a definite favourite for many families at this time of the day
- Water play can be a great activity for winding down
- Kids can meditate, too!
I hope this list has given you some inspiration! Happy evening parenting!
Photo Credit 1: altered from the original by Kim Love
All other photos courtesy of author.
This entry was posted in Arts and Crafts, Balance, Cleaning and Organizing, Nurturing Touch, Playtime, Reading and tagged After Dinner Activities, Bedtime Activities, Before Bed. Bookmark the permalink.