Too much screen time isn’t ideal for children. If you are a parent, you have probably experienced the problem of getting your children to bed on time. There will be nights you’ll struggle. There will be times when your child has too much energy to go to bed. A solid bedtime routine is important for everyone—especially for children.
Children today are used to consuming media from devices such as tablets, televisions, and smartphones. While they can get a lot of benefits from media, screen time comes with a lot of negative impacts as well. Here are some bedtime routines you can do with your little ones that don’t involve any screen time.
Reading before Bedtime
Starting a book club with your family can be a fun and enjoyable thing to do. After having your children wash up and brush their teeth, get cozy and sit close to them as you open up a book to read for the night. Read a chapter or two each night and take a moment to discuss with them what happened in that chapter.
Do Puzzles Together
Introduce your child to puzzles. Start small, like a 10 to 20 piece puzzle, then work your way up depending on their progress. Completing these puzzles before going to bed will build up their determination and when they finally finish, they will feel pure joy. A perfect ending for a beautiful day, don’t you think?
Doodling and Drawing
Get your children some drawing or coloring books and some pencil and coloring materials. Before bedtime, let their imagination come out as they fill the drawing books with their doodles and their coloring books with colors.
Teach your children to meditate
Meditation is easy. It’s not something you have to study, and you don’t have to do it on a daily basis. Teach them to let their minds settle and be at peace. Teach them some breathing exercises and put on relaxing music to help them fall fast asleep.
Talk to them
Talk to your kids about how their day went. Ask them what happened in school, if anything interesting took place. Ask them who they made friends with and who they sat together with at lunch and played with at recess. Ask them for details and listen. These talks will bring you and your child closer as you get to know who they are at school.
Play Hide and Seek
You can do this once in a while. Head outside and play a quick game of hide and seek. The person with a flashlight will count from one to ten and the others will hide. When he is done counting, he’ll start to find those hiding and will shine the flashlight on the first person he sees. That person will be the next seeker. Just make sure to use mosquito or bug spray, especially during summer months.
Play “Did you know?”
Your children can be most attentive during bedtime, especially when they still have a lot of energy left. This is the perfect time to play a game of “Did you know?” In this game, you can tell interesting facts about any topics you want them to know, like family history and trivial facts. Turn it into a fun game by telling the most facts you can.
Make this a time to plan
While prepping your children for bed, you can go over what you plan to do the next day. Talk to your children and ask them if they have any plans for tomorrow. If you have any exciting plans, prepare them for them. However, try not to talk about anything that might be stressful for them. If they have an exam the next day or a dentist appointment, don’t bring it up.
Be a Snuggle Bunny
Everybody loves to snuggle, especially with someone who is just freshly out of the shower. Snuggle with your child before they go to bed and take this time to reconnect with them. Take this time to grow your bond stronger with them as you snuggle with them as they fall asleep.
The time before children go to bed is a great time to connect with them. Screen time should be discouraged because this will just interfere with the children’s sleeping. To give your children ample sleep and rest, limit their screen time and do one or two of the tips listed above.
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