Incorporating Quality Time into the Bedtime Routine
Life goes by faster than we think
The days just seem to whiz by, and more often than not, bedtime routines are a mad dash making you feel like you’ve not spent any quality time with your children. But, the time leading up to bedtime is the perfect moment to do this so we’ve come up with some ideas of the kinds of things that you can do together, before your child goes to sleep in the evening. This makes sure that you spend as much precious time together as you can!
Read a Bedtime Story
Reading is excellent for development, even if your child is not yet able to read by themselves. If they can, great! Take turns and find books with short, engaging chapters to read one or two per night. Make it more special by including their favourite toy, creating a special reading place, or even include the family pet who could sit with you whilst you read and enjoy a book together. Additionally, you may want to include a soothing bedtime drink or some light snacks, such as warm milk and cookies (make sure you brush your teeth after).
Aside from incorporating reading and learning, it’s a special time that helps everyone relax after a long day and is a key time for bonding at bedtime.
This may seem like a simple suggestion, but ask yourself, do you really know how to play with your child? Do you GIVE them things to play with normally or do you get down on the floor, at their level, and play the things that they enjoy? Allow 10 minutes of quiet play time where you engage and get involved with them specially. For example, play with trucks and cars, have a mini pretend tea party or role play, it doesn’t have to be anything complex, just ensuring you get some quality time in.
This is an excellent way to find out what the development level is of your child and flag anything they could be finding difficult. Learning through play is important to children so taking the time to get involved will help you communicate with them better long-term.
The bedtime routine is an excellent way to end the day on the right note
Highs and Lows
Start a conversation. As silly as it sounds, talk about your day and ask your child how their day has been, even if they couldn’t articulate very well yet. Actually listen and have a conversation rather than a passing chat, go into depth and discuss the plans for tomorrow or the rest of the week. Play the ‘Rose and Thorn Game’, the rose being the best or special part of the day and the thorn being the least favourite aspect of the day.
Stretch it Out
The time leading up to bedtime is a great time to do some simple stretches together, or perhaps look into something new like doing simple yoga. There are plenty of yoga-related videos available online on YouTube that’s especially curated for kids that you can follow and it fosters a long-term interest in staying healthy. Yoga and stretching is also an excellent way to channel some of that hyper energy before bed to help them sleep better.
When was the last time that you took a selfie with each other? Get your kids in, throw the filters on and get giggly. They are an excellent way to make memories and take about 5 minutes of quality time to put everyone in a good mood!
Make a Date
Let’s be honest, no matter how hard we parents try, it may not be possible to do something each evening, especially if you have more than one child. So in this case, set a date with your child/children where you can guarantee to spend that very important quality time with them doing one of the above options and make sure you stick to it!
In our busy lifestyles it can be difficult to spend time with our kids and when we do, it’s often not as meaningful or engaging as we think. The bedtime routine is an excellent way to end the day on the right note and get in some quality time, not just for the kids but for the parents too, so use one of these ideas and then come up with your own personal ways and perhaps share them below!