Bedtime Games for Children
If bedtime is a nightmare in your house, or if you just want a little change to your child’s bedtime routine, these fun and relaxing bedtime games can help you bring a little more fun to this often dreaded daily battle.
First, it is extremely helpful to have a consistent routine. These games and activities can be included in that routine, and done every night. This helps your child get to sleep more easily, because the familiar routine is comforting and predictable. Don’t include any games in your bedtime routine that will get your child wound up. The goals of these games are to help them wind down for the day.
Fun and Relaxing Bedtime Games
Finger Play. Use your fingers, or little puppets if you prefer, to create a little show for your child. Once your child is comfy in bed, use your fingers to have a little conversation by wiggling them around as if they are little people. Use different voices.
Here is an example;
Left Index Finger / Mom or Dad character: It’s time for bed sweet child.
Right Index Finger/ Child character: Aw, mom, not yet! I still want to play!
Re-enact something from the day, or make up something completely different. Tailor your stories to your child’s needs, making them silly and playful, or comforting and nurturing. Your child might want to participate with his own characters.
Word Games. For older children who can spell, play simple word and spelling games. Spell a word backwards and see if your child can figure it out, then let him spell one for you to figure out. Create your own fill-in-the-blank stories and let your child pick silly words to change the meaning of the story.
Around the World. Start with A and see how many places you can name that start with A. Use a different letter every night or a few letters at a time. Keep a list if you would like!
Good Night Teddy. As you put your child to bed, she can help you put her dolls and stuffed animals to bed also. Let her tuck them in, kiss them and snuggle them a little.
Drawing and Journaling. Keep a small sketchpad and some pencils or crayons near your child’s bed. Little ones can draw a picture about their day, or the sweet dreams they would like to have that night. Older children can draw comics or make their own little picture book, by creating one page every night. Journaling is an option, if they don’t enjoy drawing. Have them write about their daily experiences or hopes for the coming day. If they are too young to write, take notes for them. Let them try keeping a gratitude journal, by listing five things every night for which they are thankful.
Newscaster. Suggest that your child pretends he is a newscaster, and let him sit up in bed and give you a report of the news for the day. This can certainly be the silly news broadcast or the pet news broadcast. You can then give a report in your best newscasters voice.
Hokey Pokey. Let your kids hokey pokey themselves right into bed. To play, start the song and let your child try to get one limb at a time into bed!
Jokes. For the fun loving child, ending the day with a good joke will be a treat. Let him tell a joke or riddle, and then share a new one with him.
Guessing Games. Pick something in the room, and have your child try to guess what object you have picked. Give them clues to help.
Getting your children to bed doesn’t have to be a fight. It may take some effort, but by playing bedtime games, you can make bedtime into an event that your child will happily anticipate.