Friday, February 10, 2012

Bedtime Routines

My toddler is just about near the point where she is needing a Bedtime Routine Chart.  She listens pretty well for now when I say bathtime, as she she goes right down the hall to the bathroom.  But she sometimes fights wanting to get out of the bath but then does okay when we brush her teeth right after that. But then she starts fighting us again when it's time to put on a fresh diaper and her pj's.  So I've been thinking, hmm, it's just about time for me to start the whole bedtime chart business.

What is a bedtime chart?

I used to use them with the (noncompliant) kids I babysat. The ones who when you said, "ok, time for bed!", they ran the other way, or fought back with a, "noooooo!" "I'm NOT tired!"

So I would get a piece of paper (11x8 manilla works best) and draw 6 equal squares.  Then I would have the children draw, in order, a picture of each step of their routines. Pictures of cleaning up toys, taking a bath, brushing teeth, putting on PJ's, saying prayers, reading books, etc. They had so much fun drawing each picture and thinking of each step of their routine.

And as they started to follow the chart, they would put a check mark by each one they completed. Let me tell ya, these kids were ecstatic going through each step and could not wait to get to the next one!  They were so into the activity.

Now, if your child is too young, you can draw the pictures for them and help them check off each one.  Or, you can get a laminated chart and put your own pictures on it from a magazine and that way you can re-use them.  Or you can order find some free ones online such as this one or this one:

Here is another idea I found online, where the mom took pictures of the child doing each activity and made a laminated chart. You can also get a black dry erase marker to check off each picture as your child moves down the chart.

How about you seasoned moms out there, any tips on bedtime routines?