Reading: The magic bed time spell

Written by: Jenn

"Bed time", a loving parent sings to their child. Their precious child walks to their room and climbs into bed. The loving parent bends to lightly give their child a light goodnight kiss on the cheek.The child has rosy cheeks, closed eyes, a sleepy grin and their tiny hands folded sweetly under their little heads. The loving parent quietly closes the door and heads to their own room for a night of restful and uninterrupted slumber. It is sweet. It is easy. It is a fantasy (for some).

Now, we are sure that a few of you lucky ones have children or students who love nap time and bed time so much and they simply cannot wait to head off to dreamland. Then there are those of us who have children who do not want to miss the action. Even if the "action" is boring not fun stuff like you cleaning and trying to catch up on life. For a little one anything that is happening is action.

Bedtime and nap time is not all about grown ups and what they need to do. Children need time to rest their minds and bodies. It is extremely important for their health and overall development. We know you know that, so let's jump to the good stuff! The reason you are here. Nap/bedtime help!

Here are some tips and tricks that we have used with our own little ones. You can do some of them, none of them, or all of them!

1.) Potty Break. Start your sleepy time routing with a trip to the bathroom. This can include brushing teeth, going potty, changing pull-ups and all of that fun stuff. This will cut down on any additional transitions and help your little one go from stories to bed.

2.) Find a cozy spot. Just because the end goal is sleeping it does not mean this story time has to take place in bed. If you are at home finding a cozy spot where you can snuggle. If it is a classroom find a spot where there is room for everyone to get comfortable. If you can find a quiet place in your home or classroom.

3.) Set the scene. Now that you have found your cozy spot try to lower the lights or slightly close the blinds. You don't want it to be dark, but you do want it be calm.

4.) Read in a calm tone. Keep your voice calm and soothing throughout the story. If characters are yawning, go ahead and yawn too.

5.) Find a fun and quiet way to transition to bed or nap area. Let your little ones decide how they want to get to their beds. Maybe they want to be carried like a princess to their tower room. Floating like a bubble is always a fun option. This gives children the opportunity to be creative and more importantly feel like they are in control of themselves and their actions. Remember, autonomy is an important part of a child's development.

6.) Create a nap/bedtime checklist. Once your little one is in bed. Go over a nap/bedtime checklist.

6.) Stay calm and remember you are AWESOME!

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