Calming Sensory Activities before Bedtime

We all know the feeling of exhaustion and the irritability that may come with it at the end of a long day and it is no different for your little one.  Their little minds worked hard during the day to maybe try to figure out how to roll from their back to their tummy or how many toes they can squeeze into their mouth, do they like the taste of avocado, or how they are going to get that toy that is just out of reach.  And physically they have worked hard too… grasping and pulling – its hard work getting mammy’s glasses off her face, practicing their ninja crawling moves and all that tummy time. Such a busy day with lots of stimulation from musical toys, lights, different people and things when out and about.  

So, when it nears the end of the day your little one may be worn out, over-tired and they will let you know exactly how they feel.  

We have suggested some relaxing and calming sensory activities for your little one to help them wind down after their big day.  These activities can also promote connection and bonding with your little one.

They also can help to create an environment which can encourage good sleep patterns meaning some relaxing time for you!

Wind down activities

  • Soft toy play time – on a play mat or somewhere comfortable for your little one, have one or two plush toys, small grasping toys maybe with a teether ring. Textured balls or squishy balls are also good to relax your little one.  Try to avoid toys with squeakers or rattles at this time so your little one doesn’t become overstimulated.  
  • Wooden toys - not overstimulating.  There are a good variety of wooden toys such as jigsaws, wooden building blocks and shape sorters which are all very calming and relaxing activities.
  • Colouring or painting can be a great calming activity for slightly older toddlers. You can help to develop your little one's communication skills by talking about what they are colouring chat about the day's activities. 
  • Bath-time – a lovely soothing warm bath with a variety of small bath toys, little ducks or boats and a nice bath book to look through.
  • Baby Massage - a baby massage after bath time can soothe your baby and is a lovely way to  bond with your baby, and you may find it relaxing, too. For older toddlers, you can try some yoga and stretching to help wind down.
  • Story-time – reading with your little one is such a wonderful bonding experience and so relaxing your little one as you cuddle up together.  There is a huge variety of lovely children’s books so you will never be stuck for choice.  Soft touch and feel books are particularly good as they can provide lovely calming sensations

And finally, bed-time!  Because you have created a lovely, calming and relaxed environment for your little one to wind down from the day, you have set them up for a great nights’ sleep.   Kiss and cuddle for your little one and watch them drift off to sleep with their favourite plush toy or comforter. 

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