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Creative Nighttime Routines

Purpose:
To motivate your children to initiate their own bedtime rituals, help them relax, and ensure that they get the sleep they need (and that you get some much-deserved quiet time in the evenings).

Activity Instructions:
As most kids love competitive games, a "bedtime race" can work wonders. The race can be as simple or as complex as you'd like-as long as it's fun and motivating, you'll get positive results.

You can choose team names or colors, include props, and create rules for the race. When it's time to start the bedtime routine, gather all of the "teams" and start the race with a scripted introduction.

For example: "On our left we have Sally representing the red team, and Jake on the right representing the blue team. When the whistle blows, you will race to your first checkpoint: the bathroom to brush your teeth. On your mark, get set, GO!"

Additional checkpoints can include toy clean-up, the pajama changing station, bedtime story selection, or any other aspects of your family's nighttime routine.

Use a free printable evening routine chart to keep track of points. If you have some older kids in the house, get creative, award them points for helping out with the little ones. Track everything on your printed chart, or use our online points and reward system.