“Goodnight kittens and goodnight mittens
Goodnight clocks and goodnight socks
Goodnight little house and goodnight mouse
Goodnight comb and goodnight brush
Goodnight nobody/ Goodnight mush
And Goodnight to the old lady whispering “hush”
Goodnight stars/ Goodnight air
Goodnight noises everywhere”
Excerpt from Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, 1947
I read this book to my children every night when they were babies and toddlers. It was part of their bedtime ritual that soothed them before going to sleep. The book was a present after the birth of my daughter. Now that they are older, bedtime can be more difficult. Sometimes I laugh at the craziness! Regarding the difficulty, I’m not just talking about wanting to stay up later or needing “one more” drink of water. I am talking about fears. Fears of the dark and monsters that hide under the bed. Especially for my five-year-old. My son will ask me before going to sleep, “Mommy, are zombies real?”
I think that question originated from the zombies in Minecraft. (His new favorite game.) My son needs to have his Star Wars Light Saber night-light on before saying good-night. He also has stars that project onto the ceiling. (Something I wish they had when I was little.) I remember having fears at his age, but I had a 10 pound dog that slept with me very single night. Although she was the tiniest dog, I believed Sam would protect me. She had a huge personality! My younger sister, Melissa, also had fears as a child. My mom and dad would put Melissa in my bed after she would go into their room during the middle of the night. They were sneaky!
Fears are common at this age, especially with children who are grieving. We addressed this topic in our bereavement support group by creating pillow cases in October. We needed to have another activity on this topic. Shari Glaskin, a wonderful facilitator in our group, created a fun activity to cope with this issue. Our group constructed night-lights at our last meeting and it was a huge success!
We created the night-lights using mason jars with lids. Try to find jars that have a smooth glass. For the lights, we used battery operated tea lights. You can find jars and tea lights at a craft store or Target. We also used foam stickers, window markers, and sharpies. In my opinion, the window markers were on the messy side. However, they were washable and rinsed off easily on their hands. The sharpies are permanent, so be careful about getting it on your clothes and hands.
After they decorated the jar, we used a small piece of Crayola modeling clay to create a holder for the tea light. The holder will be placed on the bottom of the jar. We made sure the tea holder fit, took the tea light out, and allowed the clay to dry. Before they left to go home, they placed the tea lights back in their jars. The clay does not take long to dry.
The children were so excited about their new night-lights and they were easy to make. This would be a simple project to complete at home. I plan on having my own kids make these on a day off from school.
Have fun making your night lights. I promise they will be excited about going to sleep! Please e-mail a picture of your finished night-light. I would LOVE to post them on my website and Facebook page. My e-mail is listed below the pictures.
E-mail pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org