Monday, December 21, 2015

Two Truths and a Tale

Two Truths and a Tale

Jolly-old-saint-nickHello again!  We hope you're finding some moments of joy and delight amid the usual chaos of the holiday season.  In today's post, we bring you a simple and fun activity to try with your children one night soon. This activity came to mind when thinking about some of the common Christmas lore such as Santa and "elf-on-a-shelf."  Many parents struggle with the idea of lying to their children about these topics while still preserving the magic of the season.  There have been a lot of great articles written on how to respectfully handle them such as this one, this one, and this one. At our house, we're probably using a combination of the three approaches, and it has been working well so far!

OK, let's get started with today's activity!

Getting to Know You

Step 1: Think of two things about yourself that are true.
Step 2: Think of one thing that is not true about yourself.
Step 3: Say all three of them to your child in random order.
Step 3: Have your child try to guess which one of the three things is not true.
Step 4: Now switch!  Have your child take a turn and you guess.

It's a really fun way to get to know each other a little bit better, and you may be surprised what you find out!

1) My favorite season is summer.  2) I had two German Shepherds when I was a child.  3) I have never been to Canada.

Can you guess which one isn't true?

We hope this activity brings you and your child closer together.  And we'd love to hear from you!  Did you discover anything about your child you didn't know?  Did you remember something about yourself that you had forgotten?  Leave a comment here or on Twitter or Facebook with some of your best ones!

Happy holidays and...mind the nap!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

What If?

What If?

Welcome back, parents and kids!  We hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and had a chance to reflect on what makes you feel grateful.  This month is moving quickly and just like that, another holiday is upon us.  Happy Hanukkah!

When we think of Hanukkah, a couple of central images come to mind: menorahs and dreidels

For the menorah, maybe a little background is necessary, in case you're not that familiar with Hanukkah.  We light the menorah to commemorate the miracle that is said to have taken place in 165 B.C. during the re-dedication of the second temple of Jerusalem.  As part of the ritual, they needed to burn a sacred oil each night, but they only had enough for one night, and they did not have the time to make more.  However, the oil miraculously lasted for eight nights.  But what if the oil did not last?  The Jewish people would still have many holidays, to be sure.  But there would probably not be a Hanukkah!

Jewish children also play the dreidel game during Hanukkah.  It's a game of chance.  When they spin the dreidel, no one knows what side will land face up.  What if you keep landing on Shin?  What if you always get Gimel?

Both of these things make us think about what if and that gave us the idea for tonight's activity.

Let Your Mind Wander

For tonight's quiet, thoughtful activity, take turns asking and trying to answer "What If" questions.  They can be as off-the-wall as you wish or more focused on a particular topic.  Here are some great though-provoking questions to get you started:

  • What if we lived in a very hot place? (Or very cold place?)
  • What if the sun only came out for an hour a day?  (Or all day?)
  • What if you had 10 siblings?  (Or no siblings?)
  • What if we had no car?
  • What if we lived in a big city?  (Or in the country?)
  • What if people were smaller than insects?
  • What if the earth ran out of oil?
  • What if dogs/cats could talk?
  • What if there was no gravity?
  • What if you could visit outer space?
  • What if there were no schools?

Feel free to try those or make up some of your own.  We hope this sparks some fascinating conversations and gets your imagination in gear for some interesting dreams!

Drop a Line

We'd love to hear your What If questions. Please leave a comment here or on Twitter or Facebook with your best ones.

We also wanted to take a moment to share this great calming bedtime activity from Jeff Bogle.  It's a great idea and a perfect companion to other Moonlit Minds activities.

OK! Go enjoy thinking about what ifs, and...Mind the nap!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Expressing Gratitude

Expressing Gratitude

Hello there!  It's Thanksgiving again here in the U.S. and Moonlit Minds is very thankful this year.  All of our family was able to travel to a warm part of the country to celebrate together.  We'll be cooking some delicious meals, telling the "classic" stories about each other, and laughing out loud.  But we found a few quiet moments in all the excitement to bring you a quick activity that's perfect for this holiday.

Keep it Simple


Tonight, while lying quietly in bed, simply take turns telling each other what you are grateful for.  You could also try guessing what each other might be grateful for.  Studies have shown that people who express gratitude often show higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism, and energy.  To get you started, here are some things Moonlit Minds is grateful for:

After you finish this activity, you both might list "moments like this" among your gratitude list.

Thank You! 


Before we leave you to your holiday celebration, we wanted to take a moment to thank you!  Thanks for reading our blog and sharing it with others.  We'd love to hear from you.  Please leave a comment here or on Twitter or Facebook and tell us about what you're grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving and....Mind the nap!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Math Monster Story 1 - Meet the Math Monster

Math Monster Story 1 - Meet the Math Monster

In our house, math and science are very important, and we try to bring the concepts to life as often as possible.  We believe kids need a growth mindset and confidence in order to overcome obstacles and find a love of learning.  The other day we overheard a mother tell her daughter, "I don't like math."  This broke our hearts because it can have such an impact on that child's perception and interest in math and other STEM subjects.  University of Chicago researchers found that "children of math-anxious parents learned less math over the school year and were more likely to be math-anxious themselves."  This underscores just how important it is to throw away your own prejudices and help your child discover things for herself.

Today we introduce the Math Monster, a lovable fellow who lives in a math-filled world and creates math-based challenges for children to overcome and develop confidence in their math problem solving skills.  We have been telling Math Monster stories to our daughter since she was four, but the concepts can be adapted for children at different ages and levels.  In tonight's activity, you will want to tell a story and go on a sort of adventure with your child.  We'll provide the characters, story framework, and example problems, but you can mold and retell the story to best suit your child's level and needs.  (Note: in each problem set, you'll see "Warm-up", "Jog", and "Sprint" which are just levels of increasing difficulty.  Adapt as needed.)

Ok, let's begin!  From this point on, you may begin telling the story to your child.

Pack Your Bags


It is a long journey to reach the the Math Monster's castle, and the key to a successful journey is preparation!  Begin packing your bag.  You'll need enough clothes and food to last you until you get home.  It will take you 1 day to get there and 1 day to get back and you'll want 1 day to spend with the Math Monster.

Warm-up: How many days will you be gone? 

Jog: If you need to eat 3 meals each day, how many meals do you need to pack?

Sprint: Breakfasts weigh 1 pound each; Lunches weigh 2 pounds each; Dinners weigh 3 pounds each.  How much weight will you have to carry for the entire trip?

The Journey Begins

Treasure-Island-map You check your map one last time, pack your bags into your ship, hoist your sails, and begin sailing east toward the rising sun across the Sea of Learning.  You arrive on the southern rocky shores of the Cubic Coast and anchor your ship.  You wade to the shore with your backpack and immediately begin hiking north.  You travel for hours through the deep, dark Fraction Forest and then over rickety bridges spanning the vast ravines of Calculate Canyon.  In the distance you can see the top of Math Mountain where the Math Monster lives. You are now in the far northern limits of the country of Arithmetica.

Warm-up:  If your ship has 5 sails, how would you count them on your fingers?

Jog: On the ocean you saw 4 dolphins, 3 whales, and 6 seagulls.  How many animals did you see?

Sprint: Calculate Canyon is twice as wide as it is deep.  It is 300 feet deep.  How wide is it?

He's Not So Scary Once You Get to Know Him

You climb a winding set of stairs carved into the mountainside.  You come to a castle shaped like the number 101.  You enter his castle through the giant 0-shaped doorway and can go into either of the enormous 1-shaped towers from there, but standing by the giant dining table in the middle of the great room is the Math Monster.  He certainly looks different from what you expected.  He stares at you for a while, and you don't know what to say.  Suddenly he smiles a humongous smile and says, "Hi, I'm Marvin the Math Monster.  I've been expecting you.  We're going to have such fun together!  But first thing's first: what did you bring me to eat?"  You share your food with Marvin who seems friendly enough.  You laugh at his silly jokes, and pretty soon you're feeling tired from your long journey.  You ask if you can go to bed.  He smiles a sly smile and says he has a guest room for you, but you have to answer 3 questions in order to find it.

Warm-up: The rooms are numbered 1 through 10.  Can you count them backwards?

Jog: Your room is one of the even numbered rooms.  Can you count by 2s to find even numbers?

Sprint: Your room is the one that is equal to half a dozen.
You find your room where a fire is crackling in the fireplace.  You fall into the warm bed, and you're asleep as soon as your head hits the fluffy pillow.  Your dreams are alight with swirling, sparkling numbers.

To Be Continued


We hope you enjoyed the first in our Math Monster series.   Feel free to adapt it to make it more appropriate for your child.  Remember to keep it light and fun.  Don't push too hard if a question is too challenging.  Acknowledge it can take time to figure some problems out (growth mindset) and promise to come back to it another time.  Sometimes the concepts are best demonstrated with a pencil and paper in the morning.  Math should be fun and exciting, so don't force it on them if it's not working out.  Try a new approach or try another night.  Remember the goal of these activities is to connect with your child and have fun, not to be their teach and drill math!

Stay tuned for more activities, including more in this series by following us on Twitter or Facebook.

And if you're interested in more great math problems for kids, be sure to check out Bedtime Math.  Their nightly math blog is always informative, well-written, and fun!

Mind the nap!


Pack Your Bags
WU: 3
J: 9
S: 18 pounds

The Journey Begins
WU: 1,2,3,4,5
J: 13
S: 600 feet

He's Not So Scary
WU: 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
J: 2,4,6,8,10
S: 6

Monday, October 26, 2015

What's in Your Room?

What's in Your Room?

Hello again!  Sorry for the delay in posting; it has been a busy October for us at Moonlit Minds.  But we're glad to be able to get this post out before Halloween, a particularly spooky time of year!  This interactive activity is geared toward helping ease children to sleep and may be especially appropriate for those with some fear of the dark.

Many children go through a phase where they have difficulty falling asleep because they feel afraid of the dark. In fact, fear of the dark is so common, it has 3 names (nyctophobia, scotophobia, or lygophobia)!  It's important to help kids through this time in a respectful way to prevent serious sleep problems from developing.

Why Not Nightlights?


Many parents use nightlights as a quick remedy for the problem, but this may only be a "band-aid" solution.  Children can become dependent on them, and they do not address the root causes.  In addition, many studies have been done on the effects of nightlights on children's health.  While not conclusive, there are some results which suggest it could negatively impact eyesight, and ambient light can reduce your brain's secretion of melatonin which is a hormone that helps you naturally fall asleep.  It seems that extra light can trick your brain into thinking it isn't nighttime.  Nightlight have only existed for the last century; people have slept without them for much longer than that, right?  Wellness Mama covers the topic nicely in this post.

A Moonlit Minds Alternative


At its core, a fear of the dark is a fear of the unknown.  Tonight's activity is geared toward helping to ease the worries.  And you can play this with kids that aren't having sleep issues too!

Shed Some Light (Figuratively)


The first thing we do is put on our Super Hero Eyes.  (You can make a dramatic production of it like Clark becoming Superman.)  The purpose of this is to show kids just how much they can actually still see in their room, even when it's fairly dark.  This is partly due to ambient light (varies by home, of course), and partly because we have a good sense of where things are placed in the room already.  Think about if you closed your eyes completely- you could still find many of the things in your room.  So with your Super Hero Eyes on now, you can see like a cat.  Take turns naming the items in their room with as much detail as possible.  E.g. "I see your bookshelf with Goodnight Moon and The Cat in the Hat."  "I see my painting of the bear on the mountain."  Try to impress each other with just how much detail you can see/remember about each item!  You can also do this as a dark version of "I Spy".  E.g. "I spy something with an On/Off switch."  "I spy something shaped like a circle that sits on the floor."  "I spy something pointy in your art supply box."  Once most of the room has been named and described, you will have removed much of the "unknown" and the room feels safer.

Setting the Dream Stage


The next part of the activity is what we call "Setting the Dream Stage".  The intention is to provide the child with calming thoughts that might (hopefully) become the basis for dreams in a few minutes.  Here is an example of how we did this with our son last night.

MM: Ok, we've used our Super Hero Eyes and found everything in your room!
Son: Yes, I'm taking mine off now.
MM: Now let's think about what we could use all those things for.  Do you have any ideas?
Son: A construction site!
MM: That sounds fun!  What would we use that bookshelf for?
Son: The books would tell us how to make the house.
MM: Right!  What about that lamp?
Son: It can light up the site.
MM: Yes, we could pretend that it does.  And your chair?
Son: That's the porta-potty for the workers!
MM: Good one!  And the dresser?
Son: That's the wood to build with.
MM: Perfect.  How about this bed?
Son: This is the dump truck.  I'll sleep in it.
MM: Oh wow, it will be fun to dream about doing construction tonight with all the things in your room!  Can I have a big hug, and then I'll sit on your chair- I mean porta-potty- for a few minutes before I say good night.

This kind of "staging" can be done with all kinds of things besides a construction dream.  Some ideas might be a theater performance, visiting outer space, going on a safari, taking an airplane trip, or running a restaurant.  Whatever you do, it's all about setting them up for sweet dreams.  And by the way, he went to sleep soon after this and without repeatedly asking us to "stay longer."  It was nice for all of us.

For More Help


For some great ideas about handling "patterns of interrupted sleep" in a respectful way, be sure to check out this great post from Hand in Hand Parenting.

Sparkle Stories has a great story about being afraid of the dark with some other helpful techniques.  If you don't already know about Sparkle Stories, be sure to check them out.  We're really big fans!

Ok, as always, we would love to hear from you.  Please leave a comment or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook and tell us about your experiences with this activity or anything else!

Have fun, and...Mind the nap!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Lyrical Laughs

Lyrical Laughs

Welcome back to our site!  If you and your child love music as much as we do, tonight's game should be a lot of fun.  We have certainly generated a lot of laughs at our house, and we hope you do too!

We try to be silly and goofy with the kids as much as possible.  Here is a poem from the book Listen to my Feelings by Ruth Reardon, which really speaks to us:

being just plain silly,
telling jokes,
See the funny side of me.
There is one
even when I drive you
"up the wall."
A sense of humor keeps us loose.
We'll not be so brittle
that we'll break
if we can laugh with others...
and at ourselves!"

And with that, let's have some fun!


"This is how we do it..."

As usual, this game is played lying down with your child before bed.
To play this game, a player either:
  1. Sings/Says an actual song lyric, or
  2. Sings/Says a completely made-up song lyric

The other player has to respond with "Real" if they think the lyric is real or "Fake" of they believe the song was just made up.

The fun is in thinking of real songs with lyrics that are so silly that they couldn't possibly be real or improvising a new song that sounds like it could be real!  The grown-ups may have the advantage on song knowledge, but our kids have found some of the lines hysterical.

Take turns singing and guessing until it's time for sleeping.

"And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake..."

Here are some examples.  See how you do (answers below).
    The Beatles i Hötorgscity 1963
  1. I'd like to be under the sea
    In an octopus' garden in the shade
  2. Matty told Hatty about a thing she saw
    Had two big horns and a wooly jaw
    Wooly bully, wooly bully
  3. I knew a man who had no plan
    But he's been eating cookies since time began
  4. Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch
    Who watches over you
    Make a little birdhouse in your soul
  5. If you knew like I knew
    How they made a choo-choo
    You'd always say "Thank you"
  6. Are we there yet?  Are we there yet?
    We've gone too far
    And I need to get out of this car!
  7. I see a red door and I want it painted black
    No colors any more, I want them to turn black
  8. Tom bo li de se de moi ya, yeah jambo jambo
  9. How can the door be ajar?
    I thought you said that it was a door!
  10. Slowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannonball.

"This is the end, beautiful friend..."

We hope you enjoy doing this.  Have fun with thinking of silly lines and enjoy the challenge of improvising realistic sounding lyrics yourselves!  Most importantly...enjoy the laughs!  Share some of your silly lyrics with us in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook and we'll try to guess if they are real or fake!

A good lyric to close with:
And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make
Real or fake?  :-)

Mind the nap!



How did you do?
1. Real, 2. Real, 3. Fake, 4. Real, 5. Fake, 6. Fake, 7. Real, 8. Real, 9. Fake, 10. Real

Friday, September 25, 2015



Hello parents and kids!  Is it bed time yet?

A is for ArmadilloFirst, we wanted to take a minute to thank you all for reading our blog.  Hopefully you have found the activities to be fun and we have dozens more ideas in the works, so please follow us on Twitter or Facebook to stay up to date with new posts!

Today's activity is short and sweet.  Some of you may have played the Geography game before, but today's game is even better for kids because they are more likely to know names of animals instead of places.  The truth is, you can play this with any genre you want, but our kids love playing with animals.

There isn't anything magical or special about this game. It's just a way to find a simple moment at the end of the day for a little quick and fun connection. It is a way for your children to have their last memory of the day be of a moment where their mom or dad gave her/his full and whole attention.

How to Play (For Older Kids Who Can Spell)


O is for OstrichStart by saying the name of any animal (e.g. armadillo). The next player has to name an animal whose name starts with the last letter of the previous animal.  Since armadillo ends with an "o", the next animal needs to start with "o" (e.g. ostrich).  Play continues back and forth until a player cannot think of an animal that 1) starts with the correct letter and 2) has not already been said.

  1. Armadillo
  2. Ostrich
  3. Hedgehog
  4. Gorilla
  5. Aardvark
  6. Kingfisher
  7. Rat
  8. Turtle
You get the idea!

How to Play (For Kids Who Can't Spell Yet)


H is for HedgehogFor younger children, you may need to coach them a bit.  For example, you might make the various long and short "o" sounds after armadillo so that they can hear what the o sounds like and it will trigger the next animal.  For example, when you say the "long o" (ō) they may say "opossum" whereas a short "o" (ŏ) may elicit "octopus".

You may also want to offer clues when they are really stuck.  "Ok, you need an animal that starts with "o".  Can you think of an animal that has eight tentacles?"  There are lots of ways to vary the difficulty of the clues to make it challenging and still fun for the little ones.  Even the older kids will need some help in the later rounds when they hit another "e" animal and eagle, elephant, egret, and emporer penguin have already been said!

Have Fun!


Post a comment below or on Twitter/FB about your experience with this activity.
  1. How many animals did you get before your got stuck?
  2. What was the most interesting animal you thought of?
  3. Which letters were the most difficult?

Just a reminder- it's easy to forget about the core ideas of this shared time together when you're having fun.  Refer back to our first post for a refresher.  We want this time to be quiet whispers of joyful games, lying together in the dark.  It should help children settle before bed.

There's a great poem called "What Remains" that Lisa A. McCrohan wrote at Barefootbarn about what we want our children to remember about us when we're gone.  Here's a little piece that's just perfect for our values at Moonlit Minds:

What remains? I want it to be the words I’ve whispered into their being
a million times a million times, “you are my delight.”

Have fun, and... Mind the nap!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Pits and Cherries

Pits and Cherries

Here's a good one for the beginning of the school year.  At the end of the day, we at Moonlit Minds are about connecting parents with kids.  As parents we are dying to know more about our kids' lives, especially when we spend the days apart from them.  That's why the first question for many parents is usually "How was your day?"  But many of us can relate to this infamous response:  "Fine."  It can be incredibly frustrating to hear, and our instinct is often to press kids on it.  However, as Meghan Leahy reminds us, we need to give them "space and grace."

Space does not mean "leave them totally alone." Space means to give them enough physical and emotional space to decompress. Many of our little chickens are trying their darnedest to be "good" at school today...they don't need to be peppered by your questions. They are not responsible for filling your cup. Give them protein, hugs, and ease.

With that in mind, here's a fun game called "Pits and Cherries" to help reconnect with them at the end of the day, after everyone has had time to decompress.

How To Play

The idea is very simple.  Take turns telling each other about the pits and cherries of your day.

The pits are the worst parts of your day.  


The cherries are the best parts of your day.


Here are some of the pits from a day at our house this week:
  • I got 3 mosquito bites while we were playing outside!
  • I didn't like how they weren't letting me play so I had to go inside for a while.  I was really upset about it.
  • He spilled paint on my art project and it was ruined.

Here are some of the cherries from the same day:
  • We had a really fun play date.
  • We got to have ice cream.
  • When Daddy did that crazy dance.  It was so funny.

Pits and cherries can be a great way to express gratitude and to help kid deal with difficult emotions or experiences they have each day.

Don't Judge

One thing we try not to do is impose our own judgement about the kids' pits or cherries.  If a "pit" was sad for them, that's all there is to it!  We don't say things like, "Oh it wasn't that bad was it?"  Children should learn that it's OK to have bad days and that we don't need to be happy all the time.

Try practicing active listening so kids feel heard and validated.  Doing so may lead kids to talk more deeply about something that might be bothering them, to process an event from their day, or explore questions they have been wondering about.

Here's a great quote to end with from author Hugh Mackay that we thought was relevant for this topic:
“I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that - I don’t mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness”. Ask yourself “is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.”

Remember too, it's not just about us hearing their pits and cherries, but it's good for them to hear ours, to see us as human, with our own range of emotions. This will help not only connect us to them but also them to us.

Hopefully this will elicit some great conversations and provide a chance to learn more about each other.  Please leave a comment and tell us about your pits and cherries or just say hi!

Enjoy, and.... Mind the nap!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Would You Rather...?

Would You Rather...?

I asked the kids what they thought the first Moonlit Minds activity should be.  There was some healthy debate, but in the end we all agreed on "Would You Rather".


The idea behind the game is to take turns asking each other, "Would you rather" followed by two choices.  It encourages critical thinking and imagination to come up with new questions.
Barisan Injustice

Simple Examples

Here are some examples
  • Would you rather have cookies or cake?
  • Would you rather wake up early or stay up late?
  • Would you rather be right-handed or left-handed?
  • Would you rather be fast or strong?
  • Would you rather be a singer or a dancer?

The Tough Questions

The game can turn funny and/or silly quickly if each tries to think of choices that are both unfavorable and the answerer has to make the difficult choice.
  • Would you rather wear a snow suit in the summer or a bathing suit in the winter?
  • Would you rather be the tallest person in the world or the shortest?
  • Would you rather have a broken arm or a broken leg?
  • Would you rather eat a worm or a beetle?
  • Would you rather never hear your favorite song again or hear your least favorite song 100 times in a row?

Ethical Dilemmas

For older kids, you can take the questions in a different direction, such as:
  • Would you rather help feed 1000 people in a day or 1 person a day for 1000 days?)
  • Would you rather have 1 great friend or 100 pretty good friends?
  • Would you rather be poor and live a very long time or rich but live for only a little while?

Have Fun!

Remember to use this as an opportunity to learn about each other, think, imagine, laugh, and connect before bed.  Have fun and... Mind the nap!

Welcome to Moonlit Minds

Welcome to Moonlit Minds!

So you found this new blog and you're wondering what it's all about.  The concept came from many nights spent lying next to our kids before bed.  We have always felt like those few minutes before they fall asleep are so important.  It is a chance to unwind, reflect, laugh (or cry), connect, and learn together.  It is a ritual we share together every night (alternating for each child!).  Those moments are some of the few times in the day we have each other's full attention and we relish it.

This blog is a collection of activities to do with children right before bed.  We'll post games, puzzles, thought experiments, and more.  There will be opportunities for learning in a variety of areas, and chances for children to reason and explore.  But most of all, it will give you a chance to connect with your kids.

Over the years, we have played countless games with our kids, and we decided to share them with you one post at a time.  Here are the basic tenets of Moonlit Minds activities:


All Moonlit Minds activities (unless otherwise specified) can be done:

1) Lying Down

Parents should be lying down next to the child.  This is a great way to connect and the only way to ensure a successful transition to sleep when you're done!

2) Quietly

(...although I can't guarantee there won't be some giggles along the way!)  But these activities are meant to be relaxing and help keep children calm before bed.  We don't want to get them all excited and prevent them from falling asleep.

3) Briefly

It's bedtime!  We realize that, and we recognize the importance of a good night's sleep for children.  Our activities can be modified to fit into shorter or longer periods of time, but you need to have a clear cutoff in mind.  It's easy to get carried away and realize it's very late.  Sometimes we'll finish bedtime reading a bit early if we have an activity planned that might take more than a few minutes.

4)  In the Dark

Lights out!  These activities should be mostly spoken word only, but some ambient light is needed for some of the activities.  We don't use nightlights, and our kids prefer the room pretty dark.  Scientifically the extra light is tricking kids into staying awake longer so we recommend darkness.  It's very relaxing too.  If kids have anxiety about the dark, this is a good chance to help them through it.  We'll be posting some activities that might help with that too.

Let's get started!

Ok, enough talk.  We'll start blogging now so check back soon.  Please keep in touch in the comments!  Like us, tweet us, and share us!

Have fun and enjoy the precious time with your children.

Mind the nap!