6 Ways to Make Bedtime Routine FUN!

It’s 4:17pm. Kiddos are starting to get ROWDY. You’re looking at the clock thinking, okay only a few hours until bedtime. I can do this. WE can do this. [Kids start doing WWE reenactments while phone is ringing and someone is crying and dog is barking] BUT, HOW WILL WE DO THIS?!

Great news! It is going to be FINE. Here’s why! I am going to give you some tips and tricks that will actually make us ENJOY the bedtime routine. If we ENJOY the bedtime routine, then we can make it through those tough few hours between schooling and night-night! The key is to start early. Earlier than you think. A purposeful and fun sleep routine does take a bit of time!

Check it out. Bedtime routine is what sets your littles and you up for a peaceful night. Sure, sometimes a bedtime routine is as smooth as silk but they are still up whining for water at 3am. It’s ALL GOOD. At the very least, you’ve created a positive, safe space for bedtime prep and even snuck some #connectmoments in there.

  1. FRUIT ON THE COUCH. Friends, this is EPIC! You cannot live ONE MORE DAY without knowing about “Fruit on the Couch”! This has become one of our favorite things to do at nighttime. When dinner is done and everyone has gotten their last bits of focused (ahem, totally wild) playtime out, it’s time to sit them down on the old couch (a floor picnic works, too!). We typically put on one 1/2 hour show to cool the boys down and get those bodies ready to rest. Lights are shut off and a CALMING show is put on (we all love some Ninja Turtles, but this just isn’t the time!). Then, fruit! I’ll grab whatever fruit we have on hand and make three little bowls and pass ’em on out. If you have the energy, you can ask them what they would like and they’ll have fun with saying things like, “3 slices of apple and 4 grapes”. Of course, they must use their pleases and thank yous. If you have picky eaters, you can change it to “Crackers on the Couch” or whatever! It’s about establishing this first step in the routine to fill those bellies and slow it down.
  2. FUN JAMMIES. Rather than just shoving them into whatever pjs are clean – which is what I used to do -we do it together. After Fruit on the Couch, we go into the hallway to put jammies on. I let them choose from our “pj basket” and they all get ready for bed. This helps my littlest with dressing himself and gives everyone some autonomy. I give big smiles and reactions for comfy and cozy selections, and we applaud zany, mis-matched choices.
  3. THE FLOSSING CIRCLE. No, I don’t mean the dance. I mean the FLOSS. Recently the boys have gotten into flossing and we’re trying to make it FUN. Once jammies are on, we sit in a circle on the floor and just floss our teeth. I join in too, and it becomes a teachable moment as well as a funny conversation. It might only last a hot minute before someone gets up, but it is a fun #connectmoment and great for mouth hygiene!
  4. BRUSH LIKE AN ANIMAL. Most days I feel like they do EVERYTHING like wild animals, but to make it fun, we talk about animal mouths at brushing time. How might a hippo have to open his mouth to brush all of his teeth? What if you had the mouth of a dinosaur, what would it look like to brush your teeth? Even teeny tiny caterpillars must brush at night – what would that look like? Brushing with them helps too!
  5. BOOK OF CHOICE. Storytime is MY FAVORITE TIME! When time allows, I love going to the library by myself to pick out books. I know you’re probably supposed to take children WITH YOU, but I literally ADORE going alone! It makes me happy to see their reactions to the new books and gives me extra motivation to read to them at night. Let’s face it, we’re exhausted by this point in the day, and any little bit of oomph helps. So, I let them choose 1-3 stories (depending on how late it is), and we go to town. I like to do different voices and accents to keep their interest. Put them on your lap if you can to avoid wandering away and getting distracted.
  6. LIGHTS OFF AND CHAT. Now they know it’s sleep time. I say that the rest of the house is “closed” and that it is time to rest our bodies. We say our prayers and then have quiet shares about whatever they want to say. If it’s still early enough, we let them tell a funny short story while laying down. OR I pull up Goodnight Moon on my phone and read it softly. Whatever you have to do to set the mood and bring the energy down. My husband I will give them each a little rock or a cuddle, and it’s GOODNIGHT!

Bedtime can be rough, but it can also be FUN. Change your mindset a little bit, give yourself more time by starting earlier, and I PROMISE that you’ll feel better about it. The above routine might not be feasible every single night, and that is totally OK. We have nights where they might fall asleep in the car or it’s too late and we go straight to brushing and bed. However we try to do this as much as possible so that they boys know that it’s our thing. You deserve to enjoy bedtime, friends! Catch that last ounce of fun in the day and put them to bed with a smile 🙂

10 thoughts on “6 Ways to Make Bedtime Routine FUN!”

  1. I love the fruit idea!! I’m gonna do it from now on!! As a family, we do a similar routine and add a hot shower or bath to help calm their minds. Then off to bed, with a few books, prayers, a wee bit of sharing time and a sound machine (if needed) to help create the quiet noises of nature.
    Love this page sweet sister Nance. You guys are the best best best!! Can’t wait till we see each other again.

    1. Nancy, I also think the floss and brushing tricks are adorable and super great ideas to get the kids excited and into doing these routines!!
      I can’t wait to try them with my little princes-
      Thank you ‘sweet cool like-minded amazing’ mom that you are!!
      Fantastic website!!

  2. Nancy these are wonderful suggestions and will inspire others to come up with some of their own ideas by just your enthusiasm. As I read your ideas I couldn’t help but think how wonderful these tools are and they truly are lifesavers. Our children grow up before our very eyes and in a blink we look back on these young years with a sense of melancholy.. so important to remember to just be in the moment. Memories of cooking with my girls, putting on shows,indoor picnics all came flooding back reading your blog. You have a wonderful spirit and your joy is contagious. You and Michael are phenomenal parents who inspire your contemporaries God bless you, Michael and your tribe🥰

    1. Thank you SO much! I am sure you had many, many magical and fun moments with your girls. That’s why they are all so kind and caring. Thank you for your support – we love you!

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