Why Animals Are to Thank for My Kids Going to Bed on Time

Animal videos are the key to getting kids to bed at night.Animal videos are the key to getting kids to bed at night.How do I get multiple young kids to race to bedtime every night? Simple: cheap psychological tricks, that's how.

I had to think of something to 'encourage them' to go to bed instead of just fussing at them and finally, in total exasperation, force them in bed. (Is it just me or does everyone sometimes dread the hour leading up to bedtime with kids?)

Remember when I told you about the For my Kids Tumblr where I collect nature and animal pictures? That one little collection of pictures and videos is what the kids absolutely love to see. When they go to bed each night I always spend time with each one. When I added the activity of spending 5 minutes looking at animal pictures to the bedtime routine, it was a huge attitude change. Bedtime was now officially fun.

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I can't say enough good things about how the three youngest guys race to bed to snuggle and look at pictures with me. They all want snuggles first, and will work hard to be the first one in bed to win the coveted 'first snuggle' spot. Many times the kids in second or third snuggle line falls asleep and misses his chance, so it's important for them to race to bed at 8:30.

The younger ones focus on the funny pictures, and the older ones love to find an animal that they have never heard of yet or that is endangered. I would tell you that even teens look forward to spending time with mom and looking at animal pictures every day, but it would 'make them seem uncool' so I won't mention that. It is such a hit in my house that we decided to continue to bring you and your family the best pictures and videos here (as curated by the boys, of course).

It is such a simple thing, collecting and looking at wildlife pictures and videos, but sometimes it really is the simple, fun activities that make life a little better.

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Here are the three videos that the boys loved this week: the baby chameleon eating worms, the shocked white mouse, and the porcupine that did not want to share his corn.

This first video is so wonderful. A family in South Africa found and fed a little baby chameleon and luckily for the world, shared this video. You will hear Afrikaans spoken in the background -- it led to a cool conversation about languages with the little guys. Natural learning opportunities = winning.

Oh, this mouse… Wait for it…Wait for it…

We all laughed hysterically at the porcupine that did not want to share his corn and it actually made the boys rowdy. It was a bedtime video fail. Save this video for a treat when you don't mind peals of laughter followed by 101 questions about if the porcupine was actually saying words.

What about you? Can you relate with that 'bedtime routine' dread that I mentioned? Which was your favorite video: chameleon, mouse or porcupine?

- By Alli Worthington
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