The Bedtime Game

Make a game out of teaching toddlers how to stay in bed! Thriving Early Magazine inspired us to share this great bedtime game you can try with your children.

Follow these steps to start playing:

  • Create a board game on cardstock and grab one game piece (you can use a stuffed animal, pillow, or another item).
  • Draw a line on one side of the cardstock that says “START” and draw a line on the opposite side that says “FINISH.” In-between the words start and finish draw seven squares to represent the seven days of the week. The objective is to move the one block from start to finish.
  • Each night that your children stay in bed, they will be able to move the block up one space the following morning. Each night that they do not stay in their own bed, they will have to move the square back a space the following morning.
  • Once they hit the finish line for staying in bed, they will get to pick an activity they would like to do as their reward. For example: going to the playground.

It may take some time for children to get to the finish line. It is important for both children and parents to be patient with the progress of the bedtime game. However, once your children make it to the finish line for the first time, it will encourage and provide them with an incentive to continue to stay in bed in order to get their next reward.

What tips do you have for getting your children to stay in bed?

  1. This a great idea. I’m not sure why I never thought to make a game/reward challenge out of it! I’ll have to report back on how this works out. I feel like there is a constant struggle to “negotiate” staying in bed, but if it’s a part of a game with a reward I’m hoping it will be more of a “talk winning strategy” for the game than us negotiating going back to or staying in bed.

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