Bedtime Rituals and Rhymes

Sleep issues with kids from hard places can make bedtime a dreaded daily drama. However, bedtime can also provide a unique opportunity to connect with your child to round out the day in a positive manner.

Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono /

Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono /

Here are a couple suggestions to add to your bedtime routine:

X Marks the Spot

Draw on their back as you say each part (actions in parentheses). If your child is a sensory kid, try using firm pressure when doing the motions.

X marks the spot (draw X)
with a dot and a dot (dot left and then R side of upper back)
and a dash and a dash (draw dash left and then R lower back)
And a big question mark (draw on entire back)
There’s upsies (walk fingers up back along the spine)
And downsies (walk fingers down back along spine)
And downsies (same)
And upsies (same)
There’s pinchies and squeezies (massage shoulders)
And cool summer breezies (blow on back of neck)

O goes around (draw an O)
with a pound pound pound pound (lightly pound fist in all 4 quadrants of back)
There’s upsies (walk knuckles of R & L index fingers up either side of spine)
And downsies (walk knuckles down spine)
And downsies (same)
And upsies (same)
There’s stripies (draw stripes on back)
And wipies (wipe hand over whole back in circular motion)
And kitty cat swipies (cup both hands and gently swipe at back 4x)

An 8 makes a gate (draw large figure 8)
Run on in, don’t be late (draw 8)
To chop carrots, potatoes and even tomatoes (chop back with sides of hands)
There’s upsies (walk fingers up spine)
And downsies (walk down spine)
And downsies (same)
and upsies (same)
And loop the loops while stirring the soup (double doodle on either side of spine)

An 8 standing up (draw figure 8)
and an 8 laying down (draw infinity connected to the 8)
make a clover
Do it over and over and over (so keep drawing and 8 connected to infinity until done with rhyme)

I Love You So Much Song

Power Posing

For older kids with confidence or cortisol issues, try Power Posing each night before bed. Make it fun and participate with your child. Turning it into a battle will only make it ineffective.

Additional Suggestions:

Do you have a ritual or connecting rhyme to share?

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