Background; why speed up children’s bedtimes?
There is so much that I love about the time spent with the children at bedtime. “Bedtime bags” is an activity that is about enjoying the good stuff, whilst seeking to organise and speed up the children’s bedtime (to reduce the tough overtired stuff and of course have an evening!).
The hope is that it will make the little people in your lives more “up for” bedtime 😁🤞😴 Basically I need to speed up my children’s bedtime and reduce the delaying tactics! I need a carrot to dangle, a change from my idle threats of no stories. Or fictitious sightings of the big Father C doing a fly by on his sleigh. In August. 🙄
My husband has described the boys as “Level 10” this week, so it seems like a good week to try something different. After all this is the highest level that they operate at. It has been tough. The children are tired, we are tired. There have been birthday celebrations, parents’ evenings, pyjama days at school. Bedtimes have been tough. My middlest has been crying that he isn’t in our honeymoon photos (taken over 10 years ago) if that helps set the scene.
I’m not sure if all this made it a good or bad week to try them, but I decided to press on with them anyway…
So that’s the history behind this spin on show and tell, which with its element of secrecy should prove irresistible to children.
I first tried this on a Birthday Monday – I knew getting them to leave the new toys would be extra tricky, so I wanted a bit of something. I NEEDED a bit of something.
The bags were presented to the boys (and baby sister) on getting into the car after school. Biggest read what was required and set about it as soon as we got home. Perfect timing for him as he wasn’t the birthday boy!
I picked these three things 1) Something you’ve made/drawn/written, 2) Something to show and tell and 3) A book that fits in here. Obviously these are tasks that can be tinkered with. Please tell me what works for you in the comments below! I love pinching an idea! A lovely lady told me that a healthy snack and some show and tell sums and drawing worked for her lovely two.
Debrief; how bedtime bags worked for us
I would normally have had far more delaying tactics but they happily came upstairs at bedtime. They clearly thought that they were getting one up on me – their bags were bulging with more than three things. I commented that we would probably only have time for three things each, no meltdowns yet…. Once upstairs they got ready quickly (I am speaking relatively! Super nanny would still have had plenty to work on; I suspect that their antics would still be enough to make it onto her show! 😂😂😂).
It was a happy bedtime though and it did me good to have something positive to focus on (rather than their poor personal hygiene and ability to destroy a room in three minutes 😂😭). I also felt that it did speed up the children’s bedtime.
The bags disappeared (literally) in birthday chaos for a while. So, I relied on a mixture of usual tactics, sometimes with patience and humour. Sometimes with casual/passive aggressive references to following up on the parents’ evenings and the “teachers’ hotline” 🙄. Its so tough when you’re tired too.
We enjoyed the bags again last night (chaos still doffed it’s hat several times, but they helped and I was grateful that they were there!). The positive focus has definitely helped and the bedtime bags will certainly be back in our house. If you try them in your house, I would love to hear about all about it. May speedy, happy bedtimes find you tonight!
If you like this activity then you may well love this happy chatty talking activity or the calmer “Today’s Post” activity. Both activities give carrots to dangle to hopefully speed up your children’s bedtimes and make them more about quality, happy time (with some squeals and craziness included as standard obvs).