Bedtime Routine for Kids: Now I lay me down

bedtime routine prayerAs a child, my mother would tuck my siblings and I into bed each night around 8pm. The routine would fluctuate slightly, but always end the same.

We might have indulged in a small bedtime snack – which was always a scoop of plain vanilla ice cream. We might have watched an episode of Wheel of Fortune together as a family – back in the day when Vanna White still flipped the letters around and always wore a sparkly cocktail dress. And we may or may not have had a bath – depending on the type of day we had.

But regardless of whether or not we had ice cream, TV time or a bath, we always ended the day the exact same way. One short and sweet story, and a bedtime prayer. The prayer was simple and very recognizable:

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep…

Have you heard that one before?

Thirty years later, this very routine that was such a large part of my childhood has come full circle. I’m now the one with four little kids, and it’s bedtime stories and prayers each and every night around 8 p.m. for our household too.

The bedtime storyteller is my husband, and he does a mighty fine job, oftentimes complete with character voices and all (you should hear his princess voice!).

Our home library collection is extensive, and we’ve devised a loose “calendar” of sorts when it comes to what will be read and when. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings are stories from our storybook bible, Tuesday’s story choice belongs to my eight-year old, and Thursday’s bedtime story choice is picked out by my six-year old. Saturday and Sunday are wildcards – typically of dad’s choosing which is more than likely another story from the children’s bible.

After the story has been read aloud, it’s off to the bathroom for last drinks and potty before it’s time for hugs and prayer. Since I skip out on story time (typically I’m packing lunches for the next school day and cleaning up the kitchen from dinner), I come up for last hugs and prayer.

And just like I grew up, those same sweet words are spoken.

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep…

My husband and I are slowly working on teaching the girls to use their own voice to talk to God, but for right now, Now I lay me is more often than not the words whispered up.

It’s beautiful to slowly see their faith evolve, much like my own journey into accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior. And every evening, I very much look forward to the end of the day where we say our good night with a prayer.

And let’s be honest, I kinda love the few hours ahead when the house is quiet, and my own soul can rest and rejuvenate.

Just starting out with bedtime stories? A great addition to your end-of-the-day collection is God Bless You and Goodnight by Hanna Hall. I urge you to check it out!

Your Turn

A bedtime routine for kids may look different in every family, but that doesn’t make it any less special. What are the essentials of your bedtime routine with your kids?