- Good night
- dolls, stuffed animals
- pictures of people and animals sleeping
- Sing or chant any of the following traditional nursery rhymes and lullabies with toddlers.
Good night, sleep tight
Wake up bright,
With the morning light
To do what's right
With all your might.
Wee Willie Winkie runs through town,
Upstairs, downstairs in his nightgown.
Tapping at the window, peeking through the lock
Are all the children in bed
For it's now eight o'clock! (tap the beat of the rhyme on your or a child's leg)
"God Bless Me"
I see the moon and the moon sees me.
God bless the moon and God bless me! (substitute children's name)
- Sing other lullabies and nighttime songs, such as "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," "Are You Sleeping?" and "Hush Little Baby" with toddlers. The nursery rhymes of"Diddle Diddle Dumpling" and "Little Boy Blue" work well too. Substitute individual children's names when possible if singing to one child.
- For fun, turn off the lights in the room and pretend to be sleeping when singing the lullabies or nursery rhymes to make it more like bedtime.
- Encourage the toddlers to wrap up their dolls or stuffed animals in blankets and rock them to sleep while singing the lullabies.
- Older toddlers may enjoy covering each other with blankets and telling each other "Night, night." Encourage them to sing some of the song to their "sleeping" friends.
Lullabies and similar songs about sleeping work wonders when comforting a hurt, sad or sick toddler, especially while rocking or giving them a back rub. Or, sing a lullaby or two to the entiregroup before nap time to help everyone relax.
Sing lullabies at home at times other than bedtime, such as with "morning snuggles," when playing with dolls or any time your toddler needs extra attention.
Read books about bedtime with the toddlers, such as
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang
Sleep Song by Karen Ray
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear illustrated by Michael Hague