Saturday, October 6, 2012

31 Days, 31 Smiles {Day 6}: Getting the Wiggles Out Before Bed

A little over two years ago, I was pregnant with Alaine.  That summer it felt like Brian was never home.  He works overtime every spring and summer, but at eight months pregnant, I was exhausted and overwhelmed with four other children, ages seven and under.  Bedtime and  dinnertime were tied for being the two hardest times of the entire day.  We lived in a small townhouse with not a lot of space for my little ones to let out their boundless energy.  Add to that the fact that it was one of the hottest summers on record. 

One evening I sat in my chair, willing myself to gather the energy to hustle everyone up to bed.  Their (happy) squeals and their skipping wildly around the room inspired me to gather them into a semi-circle in front of me and introduce our new before-bed activity: Singing Time.  I wracked my brain for every loud, action-filled song I could come up with and I encouraged them to wiggle and shout with purpose.  We repeated this every night that I had to do bedtime solo. 

Some of our favorites songs included:
  • The Itsy-Bitsy Spider
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Father Abraham
  • If You're Happy and You Know It
  •  The Hokey-Pokey
  • I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy
  • Old MacDonald
  • B-I-N-G-O
  • Deep and Wide

The key to this, though, was containing their energy at the end.  When they collapsed onto the floor after a loud rendition of  "Father Abraham," I quietly put my finger to my lips and began a quieter song or two.  Usually we sang "Jesus Loves Me" or "Rock-a-Bye Baby" or "God is So Good."  Then, as a group, we all tip-toed upstairs for bed. 

I'm not pregnant anymore and we don't live in a two-story house anymore either, but my kids still love when I occasionally gather them together for a before-bed, get-out-the-wiggles Singing Time.  It does wonders for the soul...and for the wiggles, too!


  1. I love this. We usually use those songs to get some energy out when the weather doesn't permit us to go outside, but I like the idea of a get-the-wiggles-out song session before bed.

  2. Great idea! Will be trying this with my wound-up kiddos at bedtime :)

  3. Hello I am visiting via the Nester's 31 days series. Your series is so inspirational and leaves me with such happiness.

    I too am participating in the series. My topic is "Decor To Adore~ finding your style". I would like to invite you to stop by anytime.

    Have a beautiful day and a wonderful fall season.


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