I get out of my lavender oil bath and blow out the scented candles. My fluffy dressing gown is like a warm fuzzy hug as I head to the bedroom. I read a couple of chapters of my book, then fall into a wonderful soft sleep for 8-10 hours.
HA! As if. If you’re struggling to get enough shut-eye, try these easy ideas to do at home with your kids… they range from wind-down activities that will help your children go to sleep quickly – and stay asleep. Plus, some ideas that give you permission to close your eyes during the day. We can dream…!
1) Sensory bath-time: calm you child’s senses before bed.
Let your kids bathe by the light of glow sticks. They’ll love the novelty, and the low light should prepare them for sleep. Keep the lights down to transition them from bath to bed…
Looking for more sensory fun? Try these 5-minute ideas.
2) Calm colouring: an easy way to wind down before bedtime.
Make colouring in feel different by drawing a simple outline for them to colour in (a nighttime animal, the moon and stars or a pair of pyjamas to decorate). Or give them special crayons or pens to use.
We also love this novelty toy they can colour then cuddle.
3) Toddler yoga: a cute and calm end-of-the-day activity.
From sitting cross-legged and making a butterfly shape with their legs, to rolling up in a ball, this active activity channels all of your child’s energy into a soothing way to wind down.
Or, if the day’s already getting too much, give yourself a lie down…!
4) Duvet games: try this storytelling idea you can play in bed. Perfect for lazy mornings.
Start a story and send your child to fetch a prop to continue the tale eg. “A little boy called Harry went into the woods and found a…” Close your eyes while you wait to see what they come back with.
Got a bit too comfortable? Here are some more activities you can do lying down.
5) Play the patient: get your child to be doctor so you can lie on the sofa – and close you eyes.
While your child prods you with a pretend thermometer and listens to your leg with their stethoscope, just close your eyes and let your mind drift.
Once you’ve got your kids to bed, try these mindful activities for you…
- Have a bath – the plastic tub in the bathroom isn’t reserved for under-5s. Sweep their toys onto the floor out of sight and lower the lights.
- Do some colouring in – it’s not just for kids. Those niggle-some worries (I need to do an online shop. Did I send that email? What day are we supposed to be at the doctor’s? And please tell me it’s not World Book Day soon) will be banished by the simple act of putting colour between lines.
- Meditate – get ready for bed, light a candle, lower the lights and then sit and stare at the dancing flame. But put it out before your eyes close. Dipping fringe into flame is not so relaxing…
For more expert advice, check out this Sleep Well Bookazine, available for a limited time in the 5 Minute Fun Shop.