During the school year heading to bed at a decent time and getting a good night’s sleep is important for children. A well-rested child will display better cognitive ability, a more pleasant mood and temperament, and a stronger immune system. While an important component of proper sleep hygiene is to follow a consistent and soothing routine, where you can bond and meet your child’s attachment needs, it can also be a time to tie in some reading and comprehension.
Ways to Make Bedtime Smarter for Kids
Bedtime stories don’t always have to happen in their bed. What if you carved out a special bedtime nook in their room where together you can curl up and get caught up about your day, or even practice some schoolwork? What a great idea to make a special place in their room for that quality time.
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But what can you include in that special bedtime nook?
- I created this fun magnetic board for my daughter’s room. She and I have have a blast with it and it was super easy and affordable to make. Head over to the dollar store and buy a large size cookie sheet. Personalize it with duct tape and now your child has their own magnetic board for reading flash cards and alphabet magnets. Don’t forget that bedtime doesn’t just have to be a time for reading comprehension but it can also include math as well!
- Buy a plain canvas and collect different felt story boards available at most dollar and craft stores. Using foam letters start off the story yourself and then let your child’s imagination run wild. Every night they can create their own story or add on different chapters. A great idea for some imaginative play and a great form of “output” right before bed.
- And don’t forget no nook is complete without a favourite lovey or blanket that they can snuggle down with as well.
Lastly it’s important to make sure you are always opening up communication about sleep with your child. Incorporating bedtime books that can start these discussions can help begin that healthy relationship between your child and sleep.
We know that sleep is important during the school year and we know that a proper bedtime routine is always the best route to take to have a good nights sleep, but remember your routine can be whatever you and your child make it into.
Be together and be creative and get ready for some healthy (and smarter) Zzz’s.
Alanna McGinn is a Certified Infant and Toddler Sleep Consultant and Founder of Good Night Sleep Site – a Global Pediatric and Family Sleep Team. She provides free child and family sleep support through her Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She invites you to join her sleep community as she works towards Good Night Sleep Site’s mission of a healthier rested family unit. For more sleep tips please visit Good Night Sleep Site.