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Calming Bedtime Activities for Kids: How to Enjoy a Positive Routine

Calming bedtime activities can make a huge difference in your kids well-being and overall functioning.

If you’re tired of the nighttime struggle, these tips and ideas are wonderful ways to help your kids settle down and relax. Plus, the affirmations are amazing ways to help your kids build self-esteem and more!

Find out how I help my boys with these relaxing bedtime activities and grab this free printable pack to get started tonight!

These tips, ideas, and free printables of calming bedtime activities will help you establish a positive routine for more peaceful evenings.

Calming Bedtime Activities Turn Struggle Into Peace

It can be tough to get your kids to bed at night. They’re wired from a day of running around and playing. It can feel like herding cats to get them to calm down and relax.

I remember thinking that my boys were acting like a pinball and bouncing off the walls. It would be such a struggle to get them to settle down for the night. And then trying to get them out of bed in the morning (and dealing with the crankies) was no fun!

Sleep is so important for kids’ development and mental health, so finding a bedtime routine that works for everyone is ideal.

Establishing a calming bedtime routine can help make the process easier and even more fun. These calming activities are ones that I’ve used with my boys (and have had friends recommend). I’ve noticed huge improvements in our homeschool life and relationships 😊

You can also add an affirmation to your routine to help kids relax and drift off to sleep. With a little organization and customization, you can create a calming bedtime routine that your kids will love.

When first getting started with establishing a new bedtime routine, it’s important to keep it simple while everyone adjusts. You can start with a general, basic routine and then customize it as needed.

The following calming bedtime activities may be some that you’d like to implement with your children in order to make bedtime a more calming and positive experience. Make sure to grab the free Calming Bedtime Activities, Affirmations, and Routine Chart printable to help you put it all into action!

woman holding calming bedtime activities pages with rainbow of markers and pencils on wood background

Calming Bedtime Activities for Your Kids

  • Thread pony or wood beads on yarn, string, or pipe cleaner
  • Read or tell stories
  • Listen to or sing a lullaby
  • Listen to an audiobook
  • Play “would you rather?”
  • Tell stories in a whisper
  • Walk everywhere backward (helps you slow down and focus)
  • Play rock, paper, scissors
  • Read or tell nursery rhymes
  • Make shadow puppets
  • Listen to each other’s favorite songs
  • Stretch
  • Do bedtime yoga
  • Play soft music
  • Drink warm milk
  • Color
  • Have a tooth brushing dance party with relaxing music
  • Tell knock-knock jokes
  • Have a “no talking” rule and sing only
  • List 5 things you’re grateful for
  • Have tea time with herbal teas
  • Exchange favorite memories with each other
  • Lay out clothes for the following day
  • Meditate
  • Stargaze
  • Do reflective journaling
  • Cuddle
  • Do a breathing exercise
free printable pages of calming bedtime activities with rainbow of markers and pencils on wood background

Affirmations That Are Perfect for Bedtime

Your kids can refer to the printable to say these affirmations at bedtime. Or they can pick a few favorites and write on an index card, sticky note, or journal.

  • Today I did my very best.
  • I am calm and peaceful.
  • I am loved.
  • I believe in myself.
  • I am grateful for today.
  • I am worthy.
  • My mind is restful.
  • My body is relaxed.
  • I am safe.
  • I am proud of my efforts.
  • Tomorrow is a new day full of possibilities. 

One of my boy’s favorite things to do with these bedtime affirmations is to pair them with our free easy mandala coloring pages!

mock-up of free printable calming bedtime activities on blue background with gold stars and alarm clock

More Ideas to Try for Relaxing Bedtime Activities

I encourage you to take all of these ideas for calming bedtime activities and customize them. Chat with our kids about what they struggle with at bedtime and try different activities to see what works.

  • While getting ready and brushing your teeth, pretend you’re playing a team sport. See who can brush their teeth the fastest (or the slowest).
  • Share some journaling time together. You can journal together and discuss or write privately in each other’s company.
  • Put a puzzle together.
  • Play a board game or card game.
  • Construct LEGO creation together.
  • Write a song together. One could write the lyrics while the other comes up with a tune.
  • Share your highs and lows of the day with each other.
  • Say a favorite prayer together.
  • Make and enjoy a bedtime snack together.
  • Rock your children or rub their backs and sing lullabies to them.
  • Color in a calming coloring book together.
  • Try finger knitting with some soft and pretty yarn. 
  • Listen to a calming audiobook. You can borrow some great ones from your public library.
  • Give each other relaxing massages.
  • Style each other’s hair.
  • Stick glow stars to the ceiling and walls and make a wish. Or use a star projector machine.
  • Exchange some favorite memories with each other.
  • Write down every feeling you had today on paper with pretty markers.
  • Make a human taco or burrito with cozy blankets.
  • Share a silly story from your childhood with your kids.
  • Look through a family photo album together.
  • Take a favorite stuffed animal through the nighttime routine with you.
  • Share bedtime stories under the covers with a flashlight.
  • Share your family tree and information about ancestors with your children.
  • Pick pajamas out for each other and have a race to see who can put them on the fastest (or the slowest).
  • Turn on some music and have a little dance party to get out some extra energy before bed.
  • Share five favorite things about each child with them.
  • Make up a bedtime story using your various family members as characters.
  • Play “wheelbarrow” with your kids where you hold their ankles and they walk around on their hands.
  • As you go through your bedtime routine, play Simon Says.
  • Play the “quiet game” to see who can go the longest without talking.
  • Watch funny YouTube videos and have a “try not to laugh” challenge.
  • Read a bedtime story and make silly voices for all of the characters.
  • Tell your favorite silly jokes to each other.
  • Play a game of charades.
  • Write words on each other’s backs with your finger and have each other guess what the word is.
  • Find the funniest pajama combination to wear to bed.
  • Make up your own silly rules for your favorite board game.
  • Have a silly pillow fight.
  • Play “tickle monster.”
  • Have a challenge to see how many stuffed animals you can fit in the bed.
  • Have everyone pretend to be their favorite animal throughout the bedtime routine.
  • Pretend to be your favorite celebrity or historical character throughout the routine.
  • Pretend to be a famous ‘YouTuber’ and make a “vlog” about your bedtime routine.
  • Listen to each other’s favorite songs together.
  • Race to see who gets through the entire bedtime routine first.
  • Plan an epic breakfast for the next morning to have something to look forward to.
  • Try a guided meditation for kids on YouTube or another app.
  • Create some silly poems together.
free printable calming bedtime activities with rainbow of markers and pencils on wood background

Get Your Free Calming Bedtime Activities Pack

High five! You’re on your way to enjoying a more peaceful nighttime routine with your kids 😊

This free pack includes 3 pages for calming bedtime activities in PDF (printable) form:

  • Calming bedtime activities cover
  • Page with bedtime activities and affirmations
  • Customizable bedtime routine chart

You may make as many copies these coloring activities as you need for your personal use, family, class, homeschool co-op, or community event. If you have a friend or co-worker who could use some help with relaxing bedtime activities, I ask that you please share this post with them. Thanks so much for your cooperation!

To get this free set of Calming Bedtime Activities, simply subscribe to Rock Your Homeschool.

You’ll receive an email with a PDF file, along with a password to open the Subscriber’s Library to all RYHS freebies.

Plus, you’ll get emails with ideas, resources, and encouragement to make life and learning fun 🙂

(Psst! Current RYHS members just need to access the Subscriber Freebies page and enter the password in your welcome email. If you have any problems or questions, please email Amy at [email protected])

Get your FREE Calming Bedtime Activities pack by tapping HERE or on the image below.

This free printable pack is full of calming bedtime activities for kids.

Find a Bedtime Routine That Works for You & Your Kids

Creating a calming bedtime routine for your kids can be a fun way to connect and help them relax before bed.

By using some of these ideas for calming bedtime activities, you can create a unique routine that works for your family. These activities can help kids wind down and prepare for sleep.

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