Games to help toddlers through bedtime

Bedtime Games for Toddlers – 64 Activities to Make Bedtime Easy Peasy

Last Updated on May 17, 2021.

Struggling with bedtime? Add an element of fun with these low-key bedtime games for toddlers.

Nothing can prepare you for toddlerhood. They want to be independent, but they require constant supervision. They have the attention span of a gnat, but they want so badly to do grownup things. This includes staying up late. They don’t want to miss out. They just want more time.

But an appropriate bedtime is super important for your child’s health. We need to push through the struggles and keep it at the top of our priority list.

So let’s spice up bedtime! Here are 64 toddler games and activities you can do just before bedtime. Don’t worry, these games won’t get the kids excited and riled up.

Add Fun to the Boring Routine

  • Mix and Match Pajamas and find the CRAZIEST combination.
  • Have a tooth brushing dance party.
  • Do your bedtime routine in reverse order
  • Switch up the location of your bedtime routine (brush teeth in the kitchen, read a book in moms room, etc)
  • Include pets in your bedtime routine
  • Do everything in slow motion

Create Simple but Silly Rules

  • Make the bedtime routine a game of Simon Says
  • Have a “no talking” rule, singing only!
  • Have a “no walking” rule, only hopping!
  • Read the bedtime story in a chipmunk voice only
  • Have a “serious face” rule, no smiles or laughing!
  • Implement a “walk backwards” rule
  • Have a “no lights” rule, do the bedtime routine with flashlights only!
  • Have a “everyone talks like mommy” rule (everyone imitates one person)

Easy 5 Minute Games

  • Have Knock-Knock Joke Contest
  • Play Rock, Paper, Scissors
  • Play I Spy
  • Do a 24 piece puzzle
  • Play the Animal Guessing Game (give clues about an animal until they guess it)
  • Role Reversal: Pretend to be each other for 5 minutes (child tells mom what to do)
  • Roleplay your favorite character during the bedtime routine
  • Create a baby burrito (roll your toddler up in blankets)
  • Play follow the leader 
  • Sing together
  • Patty Cake
  • The Alphabet Game (name an item that starts with each letter of the alphabet)
  • Would You Rather?
  • Categories (name as many things as you can in a category, like fruits)
  • Name that Tune
  • Tell nursery rhymes 
  • 20 Questions
  • Do a Mad Lib
  • Dots & Boxes
  • Two Truths & a Lie
  • Fact or Fiction
  • Shadow Puppets
  • Make up your own rhyme or poem
  • Stack blocks
  • Do a simple LEGO figure

Calming Activities

  • Do a few yoga poses
  • Practice a calming strategy
  • Tell stories in a whisper 
  • Spend 5 minutes stargazing
  • Do a guided meditation (check youtube)
  • Do a lotion or essential oils massage
  • Color together
  • Listen to an audiobook (or chapter)
  • Step outside, stretch and breathe in the fresh air
  • Listen to rain sounds together
  • Play with kinetic sand
  • Recite positive affirmations together

Games to Connect

  • Tell a true story about your child’s babyhood
  • Tell a true story about your own childhood
  • Share 5 things you love about your child
  • Share 5 things your child did today that you appreciate
  • Have a pre-bedtime snack picnic 
  • Have a pre-bedtime tea party
  • Write a list of 10 things you both are grateful for
  • Brush each other’s hair
  • Paint each other’s fingernails
  • List the feelings of the day
  • Exchange your favorite memories of the day
  • Have a shared “mommy & me” journal
  • Ask your kid’s an open-ended question

Bedtime games for toddlers can ease the transition into sleep time. So try out a few of these games to see if you can make bedtime a little easier in your house.

Do you struggle with your kids getting out of bed in the middle of the night? Check out this post from motherhoodtherealdeal.com.

What You Should Do Next…

1. Snag Our Connected Parent Challenge

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2. Join Our Free Online Community

Connect with like-minded moms (and dads!) in our free online community. You’ll find a plethora of resources to help you through your parenting challenges. Plus, you’ll find me there! And I’d love to connect.

3. Take a Free 60-Minute Parenting Webinar

Do you need actionable strategies right now? Register for this free 60-minute webinar titled How to Get Kids to Listen, Without Nagging, Yelling or Losing Control. You’ll walk away with parent-tested tactics to get your kids to listen starting today.

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