With their long, busy days at school and all the learning and playing they're doing throughout the day, your 5-year-old is bound to be quite tired by the time bedtime rolls around. And this is great! A full day of activities followed by a full night of quality sleep is just what a young body and mind need. To ensure that your child gets a good night of rest and is set up for a productive day in the morning, incorporate the following routines into their nightly regimen:
- Self-care - Making sure your child has addressed their hygiene before bed is a good habit and needs to start early. At 5 years of age, they should be able to bathe, brush their teeth, wash their faces, and put on their pajamas on their own. If they need help remembering all the steps, create a checklist. You can laminate it and hang it in the bathroom or bedroom. They'll love using the dry erase marker to check off all of their tasks!
- Tidy room - In the same vein as self-care, tidying their room before going to sleep is a good habit to start. Have them pick up their toys and put their books away. Before sleeping, their room should look fairly tidy. If it's quite a big mess, feel free to help them out. This models helpful behavior for them and they may be more inclined to show it to others in the future.
- Prepare materials for school - Have them pack up their backpacks and place them by the door. You can also have them place their shoes for the next day by the door for extra efficiency! Help them choose tomorrow's outfit and lay it out. If you're feeling extra ambitious, you can start teaching them to pack their lunches the night before, as well! At 5-years-old they may not be able to prepare the whole thing, but ask them to pick out their fruits and snacks and place it in their lunchbox.
- Read a bedtime story - Reward all of their hard prep work with some parent-child bonding time and a good book! This vital nightly routine will help them develop a love of reading and will give them extra time with books that they will associate with feelings of love and security. It also gives them something to think about as they doze off to sleep.
- Hugs and kisses - Of course, no proper bedtime ritual is complete without a hug, kiss, and "I love you," from Mommy and Daddy! This simple act, done regularly, will make them feel safe and secure as they drift off to dream world.