Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bedtime Antics


Oh, I'm sorry, I guess some of us might need more of an explanation. Yet, I'm betting for the rest of you I had you at the word...

toddlers. :)

At about two and a half our usually great sleeping oldest started climbing out of the crib, forewent her paci, and decided that day time naps are completely overrated.

She also started doing experiential research for her new book, "1,001 Ways to Stall Bedtime." I expect that many of your precious children could help her co-write it?

Truth is, she may not need to nap every single day but she does need the down time. So when my sister-in-law sent us a most fabulous gift of hand-me-downs in the mail, my wheels started turning.

Introducing... the rest time bucket:

Every day and only at rest time I deliver this bucket into some eager little hands. Inside I have the gifts of books on CD and other fun, quiet activities like a wooden Madeline dress up doll. To that stash I added another book on CD or tape checked out from the library.

Now I've worked with and had children long enough to know that once the novelty is gone, well, it's gone. Our plan is to only put a couple of books and/or activities in there every few days so we can keep them on a rotation. Plus spicing it up with various check-outs from the library can help.

The rules are simple: As long as she stays in her room, with the exception of needing to potty- straight there and back, she gets to keep her rest time bucket.

So far she is l-o-v-i-n-g it and has managed to actually catch some zzz's too!

Another little trick I've discovered is a bucket of videos just before rest time. The "1" reminds her that she can pick just one 30-minute video to watch to help her transition over to rest time. That also gives me a half hour to read to and work with my youngest before she goes down for a nap.

See all those red dots? The ones that weren't hand-me-downs came from the 10-50 cent racks of Goodwill and the like. That's what I call cheap entertainment.

As for reason number fifteen or so... "Mommy, I just need to give you one more hug and kiss"... really, will I ever be able to resist?

I hardly think so.

Any of you experience success with an idea or two?? Please share!

You never know when the novelty just might wear off. :)
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