Bedtime Books for the Active Child
Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary copies of the books reviewed here; however, all opinions are my own.
My Monkey loves to move. He simply cannot sit still. My dad gets a kick out of watching Monkey read or watch TV because even then, when Monkey is so concentrated, his body is constantly in motion: lying on his belly on the floor, upside down on the couch, hanging over the armrest, doing a headstand against the wall – you get the picture!
Ever since he was little, this constant drive to movemovemove has created problems at bedtime. How to help this motion machine to wind down and rest?
I mentioned my problem to my good friend Giselle Shardlow, author of the wonderful Kids Yoga Stories. Imagine my delight when I discovered she was writing a nighttime yoga book for kids!
Soon after, she wrote a wonderful post for me on Acts of Kindness. Some of you may remember that she mentioned a book of children’s meditations she used with her daughter at bedtime. When I expressed an interest, she kindly put me in touch with author Carolyn Clarke, who very generously sent me a copy to try with Monkey.
As a result, I have been able to use both of these incredible resources with my very active preschooler, and they have been wonderful! If they can get my restless Monkey to calm down, just imagine what they can do for your child!
Good Night, Animal World by Giselle Shardlow
Monkey and I were already big fans of the Kids Yoga Stories, so we were excited to read another. If you are unfamiliar with these books, what makes them unique is the author’s ability to weave yoga poses into an engaging children’s story, complete with visuals, so that kids (and adults!) can move along with the characters in the stories.
In Good Night, Animal World children are taken on a bedtime tour of the animal world, saying good night to furry friends as they do relaxing poses that help them wind down for the night. The text and the movements work in concert to help body and mind gently tune into nighttime rhythms. A bonus for fans of the series is that you will see many of your favorite characters, like Sophia and Luke!
Monkey loves this book, and I feel only a little sneaky using it to help him fall asleep 🙂
Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids by Carolyn Clarke
This book is absolutely brilliant. The gentle stories it contains are designed to not only relax the body but also calm the mind and open the heart. Teaching our children how to relax and center themselves will not only help at bedtime but serve them throughout their lives in moments of stress or uncertainty.
Each meditation is short, only about a page long, and contains guided imagery relevant to children – going up in a hot air balloon, floating in a bubble, and growing into a tree.
As children practice simple yoga poses, the meditations help them to release the tensions of the day and find their own calm center.
The images are so beautiful and relaxing – I have even used them for myself!
Have you tried yoga or meditation with your children? I’d love to hear about it!
Thank you so much for sharing our yoga bedtime book, Leanna! I’m so thrilled that Monkey is enjoying the yoga poses before bedtime. My little spirited toddler is loving it too. Miraculous! Carolyn Clarke’s book is gorgeous too. Thanks for recommending both of our books for bedtime rituals. 🙂