Night Routines for Summer for kids

Learn tips, tricks, and essential practices to ensure a restful and refreshing sleep during the warmer months.

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Establishing a consistent night routine during summer can help kids maintain a healthy sleep schedule and ensure they get the rest they need. For more tips on creating effective bedtime routines, check out our guide on bedtime routines for kids.

Teens naturally need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep each night. For kids between ages 6 and 12, that number goes up to 9-12 hours. Summer is a great time to let your kid get the sleep their body misses during the school year. Don't be afraid to let them sleep in!

Early Dinner

Start with an early dinner to give the kids enough time to digest before bed. Opt for light, healthy meals that are easy on the stomach, like grilled chicken with vegetables or a fresh salad. Avoid heavy, sugary foods that might disrupt their sleep later. Eating early also leaves more time for evening activities without feeling too full or sluggish.

Outdoor Playtime

Let them play outside to burn off extra energy and enjoy the long summer evenings. Activities like playing tag, riding bikes, or having a family game of soccer are great ways to get them moving. Fresh air and physical activity help tire them out naturally, making it easier for them to fall asleep later. Plus, outdoor play provides a break from screens and encourages creativity and social interaction.

Cooling Down

Bring the kids inside to start winding down. Offer a cool drink like water or a light smoothie to help them rehydrate after playing outside. This is a good time to chat about their day, listen to their stories, and bond. You can also use this time to transition into quieter activities like reading a book together, doing a puzzle, or listening to calming music. Creating a relaxed atmosphere helps signal to their bodies that it's time to start preparing for bed.

Bath Time

A warm bath can be very soothing and helps signal to the body that it's time to wind down. Adding some calming bath salts or a few drops of lavender essential oil can enhance the relaxation experience. Bath time can also be a fun time for younger kids with bath toys and bubbles, making it an enjoyable part of their routine.

Pajamas and Hygiene

After the bath, it's time to get into pajamas. Make sure they're comfortable and appropriate for the summer weather to keep them cool throughout the night. This is also the perfect time to go through their hygiene routine, such as brushing teeth, washing their face, and maybe a little moisturizing. Establishing these habits early on helps reinforce the importance of personal hygiene.

Quiet Play/Reading Time

Once they’re in their pajamas, engage in some quiet activities. Reading a bedtime story, working on a quiet puzzle, or coloring can be very calming. This quiet play helps ease the transition from the excitement of the day to a more restful state. For older kids, encourage them to read a book on their own, which can also improve their literacy skills.

Relaxation and Comfort

Dim the lights, play some soft music, or use a white noise machine to create a relaxing atmosphere. Ensure their bed is cozy with their favorite blankets and stuffed animals. This is also a good time to practice some relaxation techniques, like deep breathing exercises or a short meditation, to help them unwind completely before sleep.

Bedtime Story

Once you have a consistent bed/wake time established, then work on adjusting your sleep-wake schedule earlier by 15 minutes every 1-2 days. For instance, if you're currently going to bed at midnight and waking up at 8 a.m., shift your schedule to 11:45 p.m. - 7:45 a.m. for a day or two. Then, move to 11:30 p.m. - 7:30 a.m., and so on, until you align with your ideal sleep schedule. For additional help with adjusting your sleep routine, consider checking out some naptime tips.

Lights Out

Start by dimming the lights an hour before bed to signal relaxation. Engage in calming activities like reading or taking a warm bath, and avoid screens to prevent sleep disruption. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule and create a soothing environment with white noise or soft music. 

 How can I manage screen time before bed in summer?

Managing screen time before bed in the summer can be challenging but is essential for good sleep.

Start by setting a specific time to turn off all screens, ideally an hour before bedtime. Encourage activities like reading, playing board games, or spending time outdoors to help wind down. 

Create a relaxing bedtime routine that doesn't involve screens, such as taking a warm bath or practicing mindfulness exercises. This routine can help signal to your body that it's time to sleep. For more tips, check out our bedtime routine for toddlers 

What are some mindfulness practices for better sleep?

Incorporating mindfulness practices into your bedtime routine can significantly improve your sleep quality.

The Storybook App offers a variety of tools to help with this. Try using affirmations, which are positive statements that can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Listening to short stories can also help calm your mind and ease you into sleep. 

Additionally, the app provides short meditations that are perfect for winding down after a long day. Finally, soothing sounds, like white noise or gentle rain, can create a tranquil environment conducive to sleep. 

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