The evening routine
Because routines reassure children
All aboard the Dreamland Express
Picking up your kids in the evening feels like starting another day. It might be shorter than the first, but it’s not necessarily any easier! So as soon as you head through the front door, take a deep breath, get ready… you’ve got this.
Your kids are on the go all day, learning and exploring, developing any number of new skills. They can’t help but feel worn out sometimes, and it can be difficult for them to express all of their pent-up emotions. At the end of a long day, they need cuddles and reassurance
What helps to calm them down is coming home to a welcoming, soothing environment, getting some much-needed attention and kicking off their evening routine.
What are the best steps to help them feel soothed, safe and ready to have a good night’s sleep?
1. Quality time – with a smile!
Before bombarding them with questions about their day, what they ate for lunch, or what kind of activities they did in class… spend a few minutes of quality time with them (with a smile!) and give them some kind of relaxing activity to do, like a picture or a puzzle you can work on together. They don’t need cartoons or videos to enjoy themselves or bribe them into doing what they’re told. Their interactions with their environment are the best way to soothe and stimulate them all at once.
Screens can actually be counter-productive, especially in the evening before a school day, and too much exposure to screens at an early age is associated with any number of problems, from issues with sleep, concentration and focus to difficulty managing their emotions and behaviours.
We’re not saying you should organise a craft marathon, just something fun and simple you can do together: reading a story or dancing to their favorite music can be all you need to lead into the next step… bathtime. We love our little darlings but they do get quite grubby after a long day at school! So off they go to the bath for a proper scrub.
The whipped cream wash gives the little animals silky-soft coats and makes it less of a hassle to untangle their wild manes. The name says it all: fun and frothy and ready for bathtime fun.
No more grumbling about soap disappearing in the bath, water getting in their eyes and ears… once the whipped cream wash is all frothed up, bathtime turns into a truly relaxing game. There’s always the a slight possibility that the bathroom floor turns into a giant puddle, but either way, they’ll get clean and everyone will have a good laugh – mission accomplished.
2. Everybody in the kitchen!
Time to head to the kitchen. It’s the perfect moment to chat about your day and theirs, as they play on the floor, draw pictures at the table, sit at the counter watching you cook, or even join in, putting vegetables in the pot and sneaking a few bites while they’re at it.
For a quick and healthy dinner that sets them up for a good night’s sleep, whip up something simple with a few veggies and healthy grains. Just boil or steam some veggies, whatever’s in season, whizz them up in the blender for a vitamin-rich sauce that’s great for picky eaters, then mix it all up with some pasta, quinoa, rice, polenta, or whatever you have on hand. Slosh in a bit of olive oil, sprinkle on some grated cheese, and voila!
3. No more shouting “Brush your teeth and go to bed!”
Once the kids are clean and well fed, it’s time for the highlight of the show: brushing their teeth, washing their faces and applying moisturiser.
They’re used to seeing us cleansing, using face cream, putting on make up, and then telling them off because for the fifth time in three weeks they’ve destroyed our lipstick by slathering it on halfway across their cheeks so they can look “just like mum”.
It happens to the best of us.
But imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It’s how they pick up good habits, you just need to help them get it right. That’s where OUATE magic comes in, to help kids build good habits and learn to look after themselves.
Once their teeth are brushed, you can start on a soothing routine to wash, hydrate and protect:
– the gentle cleanser, a miracle product that you apply with a soft touch using a cotton pad or face cloth, turns cleansing into a game that leaves their skin soft, with a delicate jasmine scent.
– After cleansing, it’s time to moisturise. The moisturising cream is an olfactory journey, an awakening of the senses. Each of the scents is a story that brings back memories, ours and theirs: picking flowers in the garden, mum’s perfume, dad’s shaving cream… No more used-up creams and messes on the floor from tiny hands scooping out all the contents at once. This way they have their own products and their own little night-time rituals. They’re fast learners and they easily get the hang of it: one pump for each product, so everything is easy to handle and they always receive just the right dose. OUATE is about more than just teaching them to look after their skin. It’s a ritual you share with them, a way of helping them learn and grow day by day.
4. All Aboard the Dreamland Express
For a worry-free night, with no nightmares or terrors or night wakings, it helps to go around the room making sure there aren’t any monsters, not even nice ones.
Once they’re settled in bed, choose a couple of stories to read together. Then it’s time for a nice big cuddle, and of course you must say goodnight to each and every one of their teddy bears and plush toys.
The evening routine helps them feel secure and becomes a fun habit, a special shared time when you can feel proud watching them grow and develop their self-confidence and independence.
Feeling safe and calm, cuddled and clean, they’re ready to head to dreamland for a solid night of peaceful sleep.