Bedtime Stars

I had (what I thought was) a good idea to make bedtime a little more fun.  (To be honest, bedtime here is definitely not fun.) I cut out a bunch of paper stars and put a different thing on each.  Letters that Drew is learning, but also some shapes and animals so Lainey could participate too.
Then I stuck them on the ceiling above the bed.

At bedtime I gave the kids each a little flashlight, turned out the lights, and asked them to shine their light on different things.  Like "Find the D" or "Where's the frog?" 
They did it but it wasn't a big hit.  Drew asked, "Is this a game?" and when I told him yes he asked, "But what's the game part?"  This from the kid who makes me watch the imaginary zamboni on the imaginary ice for 10 straight minutes.  So we turned it into a "race" to see who could find the star first.

Any ideas for making this more exciting or should I admit defeat and take them down?

We do have some favorite stories that make bedtime a little less painful:

Llama Llama Red Pajama is about a little llama who creates all sorts of llama drama at bedtime and needs reminding that even when he can't see Mama Llama, she's always near.
Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball tells the story of a little wombat who likes to do all sorts of things like jump and play.  His very favorite thing to do though is curl up with his mama at the end of the day.
Sandra Boyton's The Going-To-Bed Book  has her trademark rhymes and illustrations.  All the animals take baths, brush their teeth, and put on their pajamas while getting ready for bed.  This was one of Drew's favorites for so long that I still have it memorized.
And Lainey's very favorite is Goodnight Moon .  I'm pretty sure you might have heard of it.  I have to be honest and say that when I first read this book I didn't like it.  I didn't have it as a kid, but we received a copy when I was pregnant with Drew.  I found the illustrations a little creepy and the text, well, lacking. (Yes, I know it's for babies, but c'mon.  "Goodnight mush"?) Then my sweet baby girl fell in love with it, along with Big Red Barn, and I can't help but love a book that makes her happy and reminds me of her.

 Finally, for our construction lover Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site is a sweet story about all the construction vehicles going to sleep for the night.
 Linking to Learning Laboratory, No Time for Flashcards
Pin It!


  1. My kids both adored "The Going to Bed Book". I totally understand where you are coming from though. My now 6 year old reads all the many Sandra Boynton board books we still have to me and still loves them!

  2. The Going to Bed Book and Goodnight Moon are two of our all time favorites!

    As far as making bedtime less painful...I can't really help there. We have the same routine every night. Daddy reads Aiden a handful of books by lamplight. Then, I join in, and we listen to Daddy read a story from the Bible. We pray. Then, the lamp goes off and we sing songs. We tuck Aiden into bed and leave. He usually falls right asleep. If not, he just talks to himself for a while.

    Have you seen A Mom With A Lesson Plan's bedtime post?

  3. Hi Lorie,
    We love some of these same books too, especially the Llama, Llama Red Pajama book! In fact, we love this whole series. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Bedtime is painful around here and usually ends with lots of crying :( I'm not sure what we are doing wrong. I'm just hoping its a phase. Anyway, I love this idea! My oldest loves flashlights and I think he would really like this game. He is also obsessed with Zamboni's but only makes me watch the real ones at the ice rink :o) -Sarah @ Repeat Crafter Me

  5. I love your idea. Don't give up on it! The race idea is very cool -- reminds me a little of the game Pictureka! After a while, maybe have your kids choose what goes on the stars and design them. Also, you could do categories -- find all the foods, animals, letter, numbers, etc.

    I think the possibilities are endless.

  6. I read another site where a mom used the same idea for bathtime, but she bought items from dollar world and actually taped these items on the wall and ceiling. Adding a look of texture? Might help but I wouldn't give up ;)

  7. I think it's a cute idea! What if you played the letter game and then left each kid with a flashlight and a book to read "under the covers" and challenged them to find the letters from the ceiling in their book?

    Or... turn it into a spelling game, like boggle, where they have to connect the letters to create a word R-E-D...or better yet, the letters from their name? could have them point to a letter with the flashlights, and then use the flashlight to draw the letter on the ceiling as big as they can. Just a few ideas to consider...??


  8. Actually, I thought of one more to try. What about shining it on a letter and then challenging your kids to come up with as many words that start with that sound as they can?

    OR..."Flash your light on the letter that makes the ** sound" (you could do beginning or ending sounds)...Your oldest could connect the sound of the letter to the picure.

    OR...I Spy a picture/letter that is curvy and looks like a snake (S)...Now you've got me thinking that I should go try this out! :)

  9. I actually LOVE this idea! I'm going to try it with my son to see what his reaction is and I'll let you know. I like the idea from Ras who said to affix Dollar Store items to the ceiling. Maybe you ask to find an object that starts with the Letter "X" and have them find the object. My son loves letters so I'm anxious to do this. Awesome idea and thanks for sharing!! Brooke

  10. You guys have such great ideas I'm encouraged to try this again!

  11. lol about watching an imaginary Zamboni! I would leave it up for a while and see if they get interested? Although, I got (what I thought was) a cool shadow book for the kids, and they don't seem to care for it much...

    Thanks for linking up to Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

  12. Love your bedtime book list. Going to have to look for some of those. :)


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!