66 Things To Do With Kids Before Bedtime

Written by Lyndsay on September 9th, 2013

This entry was posted in Arts and Crafts, Balance, Cleaning and Organizing, Nurturing Touch, Playtime, Reading and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Things To Do With Kids Before Bedtime

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!

  1. Do you have a cardboard playhouse – why not chill out for a while?
  2. Read some books
  3. Relax with some playdough
  4. We love to play with puppets at the end of the day
  5. Make a lavender scented sensory bin
  6. How about some lavender playdough
  7. Try a different twist on aromatherapy sensory play with this cloud dough
  8. I just adore this Quiet Book concept
  9. reading

  10. How about some bedtime imaginary play
  11. Why not head outside?
  12. Music is a great way to wind down and stay busy
  13. Why not involve your kiddos in the end of day chores
  14. How about some yoga poses
  15. This is a great time of day for nature observations
  16. Do your kids like to write poetry?
  17. Many kids love getting their stuffed friends ready for bed
  18. Who doesn’t love a bath
  19. Especially if it is an aromatherapy experience – add some lavender or rose petals to warm bath water
  20. My son loves the chance to do quiet art activities while we tidy up from the day
  21. Try encouraging your kiddos to connect with family pets: walk the dog, brush the cat
  22. Kids with loads of energy might benefit from an evening dance party
  23. My kiddo spends a great deal of this time with his daddy, reconnecting after a long day
  24. Puzzles are always a hit at day’s end
  25. A reflective journal entry can be done even if your kids are still in a pre-writing stage
  26. We love bubble play before bed
  27. A hike or bike ride works for many families as a winding down activity
  28. head out for a pre-bed hike!

    head out for a pre-bed hike!

  29. Can your kids layout their clothes for the following day?
  30. I often use this time of the day to help my son contact his grandparents via skype
  31. Does your child enjoy singing songs?
  32. Children love making up stories
  33. Wind down with a family board game
  34. Take photos
  35. Review literacy and numeracy skills with simple activities
  36. Legos are great for encouraging quiet, yet creative play
  37. Playmobil is also a wonderful inspiration for small world play
  38. Build a fort
  39. Visit neighbours
  40. Many spiritual families use this time to worship together
  41. Older children might use this time for homework with or without your guidance
  42. This might be the time of the day for your older kids to connect with friends by phone or email
  43. We often use this time to focus on gratitude and thankfulness
  44. Do you have family and friends that need care packages made up?
  45. Bake some cookies
  46. Great time to pick out their pajamas
  47. Great time for a longer and relaxed nursing session? Especially great for working mamas!
  48. Stare up at the sky and look for cloud shapes
  49. Prepare oatmeal for an overnight soak – there’s breakfast done!
  50. After a long day, emotional literacy rocks might be useful tools
  51. Talk to each other
  52. How about a before bed snack?
  53. Many infants love to spend this time in a sling or a parent’s arms
  54. Infants love before bed sling-time

    Infants love before bed sling-time

  55. What about some finger play?
  56. Are there some games that your kiddos like to play? Hide-n-seek? Simon Says?
  57. What about chilling out with some crayons and these cute yoga colouring pages?
  58. Massage is great for all of our kids – from infant to tween! So are other forms of nurturing touch.
  59. Jump in the car and go for a drive
  60. Do your kids enjoy tea? What a great time for a cup
  61. Aromatherapy can be a wonderful thing for kids
  62. Have you tried a calming jar?
  63. Do your kids have their own chores to complete?
  64. Write and perform a play
  65. This would be a great time to spend appreciating art
  66. Do your kids like to knit?
  67. Audiostories (we love Sparkle Stories!) are a definite favourite for many families at this time of the day
  68. Water play can be a great activity for winding down
  69. Kids can meditate, too!
  70. 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.

About The Author: Lyndsay

ourfeminist{play}school HisFeministMama My NPN Posts

Lyndsay is a feminist mama, living in Toronto, Canada. In between, homeschooling and cat-wrangling, she writes about feminism, mothering and thinking at ourfeministplayschool.ca

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