Welcome to the classroom! We love to play, learn, create and sing together in the classroom, and we’d like to encourage our classroom friends to keep learning and playing at home once Caitie’s Classroom is over. We’ve put together activities and resources so the playing, learning, creating and singing doesn’t have to stop once Caitie says goodbye. Try these out at home or in your own classroom, and have fun!
Bedtime can be a source of stress for both parents and little ones. This episode is all about our bedtime routine – when we have a successful routine before bed, little ones know what to expect making it less stressful for them, and it can even be exciting! In this episode, we’ve included songs, games, and crafts to make going to bed less stressful and more fun. There’s lots of ideas to help you build your bedtime routine, and ways to role play going to bed during play time to make it more enjoyable for little ones. Read on for tips on how to recreate the activities from this episode at home, and tips on how to expand on them for more learning and fun to make going to bed a breeze!
There are many things that can be a part of your bedtime routine. Some things we consider in this episode are brushing your teeth, having a bath and putting on your pajamas. We also talk about reading a bedtime story or singing a song – more on that later. Let’s focus on the not-so-fun parts of getting ready for bed and how we can make it more fun for little ones.
- After watching this episode, talk to you little ones about their own bedtime routine. What do they do to get ready for bed? You can write these things down or draw them with your little one to make a list they can understand. When it’s time to get ready for bed, consult the list and have them be in charge of picking what to do first. This way everything they need to do gets done, but they feel a bit more in control and often therefore more willing.
- A great way to make a not-so-fun activity more enjoyable is to add in a song. We have a few songs about going to bed, like This Is The Way We Go To Bed, Brush Your Teeth, and The Bath Song. Use these songs as a soundtrack to your bedtime routine, playing them in the background as your little one gets ready for bed. You can also just sing a verse from the song as your little one is focusing on that part of their routine. Be sure to play these songs during play time, so little ones can role play their routine during the day. They can sing along with the gestures, pretending to get ready for bed, or pretend to help a doll or stuffed animal get ready for bed.
- For more activities and fun around brushing your teeth, we have a whole Caitie’s Classroom episode all about it called Healthy Smiles.
- If your little one needs more encouragement in taking a bath, we have a whole Caitie’s Classroom episode about bath time and healthy habits called Staying Clean & Healthy.
Match The Pajamas
Another part of our bedtime routine is putting on our pajamas! In this episode, we make putting on our pajamas a game by finding the matching pieces to make a set. This is also a great way to practice matching with anything at all, such as colors, shapes, patterns, phonics, and numbers!
- Use our Match The Pajamas printable, to cut out the different pajamas and dress our friend for bed. This printable has the same pajamas we match in the classroom. Be sure to talk about the colors, shapes and patterns on the pajamas as your little one matches them together. Once our friend is dressed for bed, your little one can place the sleepy head on top to make them fall asleep.
- You can also make your own pajamas! Cut out a shirt and pant shape and have your little one color them to make their own. Then mix them up and have them match them up.
- For some simple color practice, cut out shirts and pants from different colored pieces of paper, and have your little one match up the colors.
- If you are practicing shapes and numbers, add those to the pajamas. Little ones will have to identify the shape or number and find its correct match.
- If your little one is starting to read, you can use the match the pajamas game to practice phonics! Write on the pajamas tops uppercase letters, and little ones can match them to the correct lowercase letter on the bottoms. You can also write a few letters of a word or sentence on the tops and have your little ones match them with the correct bottoms to complete the word or sentence.
- You can also play this game using real life items and have your little one find matches in their own pajamas or any clothes.
- Finally, make it a part of your bedtime routine! Before you go to bed, have your little one find a top and bottom that match from their own pajamas (or mix and match if that is more their style – as long as they pick a top and a bottom!) and put them on.
Singing a song is a lovely way to end your bedtime routine and say goodnight.
- We have a great selection of songs to help little ones sleep. Let your little one pick one or two to sing together before bed, or encourage them to listen to the song as they start to close their eyes.
- Try playing these lullaby songs during play time as well, and encourage your little ones to role play putting a doll or stuffed animal (or even you!) to bed. This will help reinforce that these songs mean it’s time for bed.
Losing Something Special
When we have a routine and something changes, it can sometimes be very hard. In this episode we learn that Tobee lost his Scruffy. This is actually based on a real story of Caitie’s when she was little. Her special teddy bear was named Scruffy and it went missing. She was very upset. Eventually it turned up – turns out Scruffy was in the laundry! But it certainly threw a wrench in her routine, and her parents had to scramble to figure out a solution. Here are a few ideas if (when!) this may happen to your little ones.
- If you can, get another item that is similar. Little ones will be upset that their special item is gone, but finding a new item might be a welcomed distraction.
- Try putting the focus on other toys. Caitie suggests to Tobee that this could be a time to make another toy of his feel special.
- Often little ones attribute human feelings and characteristics to their important items. When one goes missing, they might be genuinely worried that they are not safe or happy. Talk about the items as if they do have those feelings and you can try to use them to help your little ones feel at ease. For example, if they have a teddy bear, maybe that teddy bear likes to have adventures and explore. When the teddy bear is lost, it is off having adventures and they are having lots of fun! Maybe the teddy bear is very smart and has found a cozy place to stay safe. Imagining the item in this way can help little ones feel better about not knowing where they are.
Similar to singing a song, a bedtime story is a nice way to finish a bedtime routine and say goodnight. Try letting your little one pick out a story before you start your routine so they have something to look forward to at the end.
- In this episode we read a version of Goldilocks & The Three Bears. You can find this story and others that are a part of our Super Simple Storytime series.
- We present our story in that classroom using the kamishibai, a form of storytelling from Japan! Our kamishibai is homemade from wood – you can also find kamishibais for sale online.
- There are many benefits to reading before bed, including reducing stress, boosting brain power and even providing a better sleep. Reading is also a wonderful way to bond with your little one, and it provides them with phonics practice.
This Is The Way We Go To Bed
A great song to use as a way to role play your bedtime routine is This Is The Way We Go To Bed.
- Watch our music video of This Is The Way We Go To Bed featuring Ben, the puppet! See how Ben gets ready for bed.
- This is a great song to act out and role play your bedtime routine. Play the song during playtime and try giving your little ones some props to act out the song with.
- Play this song in the background when it is time to get ready for bed as a transition into your bedtime routine.
- Sing the different verses of the song as you are doing the different parts of your bedtime routine. You can sing the same verse over and over until that part is finished.
Sun & Moon Craft
This is one of our favorite crafts! Making the craft and making it a part of your bedtime routine can make going to bed more exciting for little ones!
- Follow our step by step instructions to make your own Sun & Moon craft!
- Hang the craft somewhere in your little one’s room. Make flipping it over before bed to show the moon a part of your bedtime routine, and then flip it over to show the sun when you wake up!
We hope you have fun singing, playing, learning, and creating! We love to see photos of our friends having fun in the classroom and of their wonderful creations! You can share them with us through social media or by sending us an email to hello@SuperSimpleOnline.com.
Follow Caitie on Facebook and Instagram!