Monday, July 25, 2011

Life With a Little One: Bedtime Routine Chart

I read about this in The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers, and I thought it was a really great idea. Obviously, having a bedtime routine is a good idea; kids like the predictability of knowing what’s coming next, and it’s helpful for parents to have a routine to follow too.

But the idea here goes beyond simply having a bedtime routine. With the bedtime routine chart, it’s written down in a place where your child can see it and illustrated with pictures so they can understand it (especially helpful if your child can’t read yet). The book suggests either cutting out pictures from magazines to correspond with each bedtime routine activity or using pictures of your own child.

I decided to use pictures of our 2 year old because I think it personalizes things a bit for him to see himself and his familiar environment on our chart.

It was very easy to do. First we had to come up with a routine that works for us (something we hadn’t been doing very well up to this point). Then I just took pictures, got some poster board, cut the pictures down so they were all about the same size, and glued them to the poster board in the right order. Beside each picture is a brief description of what we do. I love that having this visual will also help with understanding numbers and sequencing (pre-math and pre-reading skills). Learning experiences are cool. ;)

Here’s the finished product:

Bedtime Routine Chart

We’ve had the chart for a week now, and our 2 year old loves it. Within a couple days, he was “reading” the chart to us by pointing at each picture and telling us what was happening. If I ask him what 1 is, he says “bath.” Pretty neat!

By the way, The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers is full of awesome ideas. Creating a bedtime routine, gently helping children learn to fall asleep on their own, teaching kids to stay in their own beds at night, and solving all kinds of other common sleep problems for kids ages 1-5… it’s all in this book. It’s an invaluable resource for parents of toddlers and preschoolers, in my opinion. There is also a version for babies under the age of 1, called The No-Cry Sleep Solution. :)

1 comment:

  1. I love it - - - especially because you have used his pictures. I just wrote to Amanda yesterday and told I was buying a desk-sized calendar for Benjamin. We will put pictures on it of the things he is doing that day - - - whether indoor playground or library - - - - or him being home. He is also big enough to know the daily schedule here during the day so we will possibly work on a chart for him, too. You are right that they like routine. It gives them security. He recognizes if I run an errand or do something different when taking him back to his mom in the afternoon.