7 real reasons kids don't want to go to bed—and what to do

As an adult who treasures that moment at the end of a long day when you can finally fall into your bed and close your eyes to welcome sleep, you may have a hard time understanding why your little one resists bedtime with such vehemence.

So let's discuss the typical reasons children don't want to go to bed, and you can determine which affects your children.

1. They're not tired

There is nothing worse for a child than being put to bed when they're wide awake! They'll do just about anything to prevent you from shutting out the light—one more book, one more glass of water, one more trip to the potty.

To determine if this is the issue for your little one, take a good look at your child's nap schedule, since a nap that occurs too late in the day will keep your child refreshed and alert far past the time for bed. An adjustment to time or length of daytime naps, plus more activity in the early afternoon, including outdoor play when possible, may help your little one to actually be tired when it's time for bed.

2. They're overtired

Often, children become tired quite early in the evening, around 6 to 7pm, but parents think it's just too early to put them to bed, or the family gets busy and two hours fly by without you realizing it. What happens in this case is that your child becomes so overtired that they get a second wind—propelling them into a wired-tired-can't-sleep state.

They're running on adrenaline and will need some help to wind down enough to allow their condition to transform into sleepiness. The solution to this dilemma is an earlier bedtime, preceded by a peaceful, hour-long pre-bedtime routine.

3. Too busy

Chasing a kid around for a day can wear out a triathlete, but these amazing little people never seem to want to stop their continual activity. They view the world as an endless supply of entertainment created just for them. The idea of giving up the next exciting endeavor—whatever that may be—to go to bed doesn't appeal to them in the least.

Creating a consistent and pleasant bedtime routine, plus avoiding any new or exciting toys or events just before bedtime can work wonders to help a too-busy child cooperate at bedtime.

4. Too curious

Children sometimes have a vision that when they are confined to their bed there are magical things happening in the rest of the house. As they lie in bed they are listening to people's voices, the television and sounds of activity in the house. Something convinces them that they really need to find out what's happening, since they are certainly missing out on something wonderful.

If you can keep the household quiet after your child is in bed, and use pleasing white noise or soft music to mask enticing noises, you may be able to keep your curious little one from coming out of bed to see what they're missing.

5. Is afraid of something

The dark, monsters lurking under the bed, the troll in the closet, the sounds of dogs barking outside, or the roar of a truck passing by. Because of their emerging intelligence and their active imagination this is a common age for fears to surface.

6. Lacks an enticing bedtime routine

I've already mentioned in previous posts (okay, I'll admit it... repeatedly) the importance of a bedtime routine for any child. If your little one resists getting ready for bed, the key word I've added for you here is enticing. A "good" bedtime routine is one that's reliable and predictable. A "great" bedtime routine is one that your child looks forward to each night and willingly participates in.

7. Wanting to be with you

The dark, quiet, lonely night is a time that separation anxiety often surfaces. Kids want to be with the people they love the most and with whom they feel safe and secure. Given a choice between being with their family, or being alone, almost all little kids will choose company.

The solution that unravels most bedtime battles

Parents today have demanding schedules and juggle tasks all day long. There's too much to do, and never enough time to do it. The bedtime routine often gets slotted as one more "thing to do" after which we can get on to yet another task on our never-ending to-do list.

I'd like to present you with a new way of looking at your child's bedtime routine as a wonderful opportunity for a nightly ritual of quiet connection and bonding. Sort of like a forced savings account—a daily slice of time out of a busy day, given to you so that you can bask in the joys of parenthood and build the foundation for a close lifetime relationship. Pretty heady stuff, when you look at it this way, isn't it?

Simply said, you must get your child ready for bed each and every night. The time will be spent, one way or another. Would you like it to be peaceful, nurturing and bonding – or rushed and stressful? You have the power to set the tone of your evenings, so why not choose a pleasant routine? You will enjoy it more, and your child will no longer resist bedtime –won't that be marvelous!

Originally posted on Elizabeth Pantley.

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They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

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Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

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Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

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This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

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Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

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Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

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Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

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Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

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There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

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Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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