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If you are having trouble getting your young children to bed without a fight, try this bedtime shopping game to solve nightly struggles. Half an hour before bedtime, set a timer for 30 minutes and bring out the toy shopping cart. A grocery bag would also work.
Have your children shop for pajamas at the clothing store (dresser), stop at a restaurant for a drink of water (kitchen), go to the dentist to have their teeth cleaned (bathroom), and stop at the library (bookshelf). Then cuddle up with your children and read the chosen book(s). When the timer rings, the children know it's time to be tucked in.
Source: Better Homes and Gardens magazine, June 1999
By leanne chaisson from Williams Lake, BC
This is a massage technique I have learned from a few different sources (books and charts). This massage helps the child relax by stimulates important nerves and relaxing muscles they have been stressing all day.
I usually bend the front of the foot towards the middle of the foot gently to counteract the pressure during the day. Then I squeeze softly at the middle of the foot. This makes the muscles go against what they a have been doing all day, supporting their little body. Go to the heel and push it gently towards the middle of the foot also to counteract the weight of the day. Massage the ball of the heel.
Grasp the side of the foot, under the ankle and across from this spot all the way to the other side and gently kind of push both sides together,. This goes against the pressure of the foot from their weight bearing down on it all day long.
Softly push under each toe on the underside of the foot.
Go to the tip of the toe and softly apply pressure to each nail, then on the very tip of each toe which needs stimulation that it rarely ever gets.
Go the the back of the heel where the tendon is and softly squeeze that muscle and tendon. This part of the foot is always stressed.
By now you should be able to feel that the foot is more relaxed. Feel around on the bottom of the foot for areas that are not relaxed and push softly, as if you were shaping clay - not pushing, just kneading gently.
Usually by this time they are really relaxed and if this isn't new to them they might fall asleep.
It is interesting to compare the tightness of the bottom of the foot before and after each massage and see the difference it makes.
There is a lot of benefits throughout the body from foot massage, but I like it for just the relaxation benefits for the child. They get so stressed, muscularly speaking. They will look forward to this and it is a good way to have quality time with them, noticing their little toes and feet, They are young and you are able to be this close only for such a short time. They grow so fast!
By Robyn Fed from Hampton TN
"Kill 2 birds with one stone" in the laundry dept and place a child's favorite medium or large stuffed toy in the dryer to help absorb the moisture. If the dryer load is started before the child's bedtime, at "lights out", the toy comes out of the dryer warm and is even more snuggly and comfy.