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Reading Corner: How to Get Kids to Bed on Time (with activity!)

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Ask any mom or dad what is one of the most frustrating things about parenting and I think most of them will agree…getting kids to bed on-time!

There are a couple of things parents can do:

Set a schedule in place and be consistent.

Make sure you are leaving enough time for your child to put things away, get undressed and get washed.

Establish soothing routines and rituals…calming music, sing a lullaby, prayers, bedtime story.

Here’s a hilarious picture book story that parents and children will love!

Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready For Bed?

Written and illustrated by Barney Saltzberg

Publishers: Candlewick Press

Ages 2 – 7


Mastering tasks and skills, bedtime routines and father­-son relationships.


“Cornelius P. Mud, do you know what time it is?”


It’s bedtime at the Mud household. Cornelius’ father asks if he is ready for bed. Cornelius answers “yes” to each of his father’s questions. Did you put your pajamas on? Did you feed your fish? Did you brush your teeth? The hilarious illustrations reveal that Cornelius and his father have different ideas about what constitutes getting ready for bed. Should he really be feeding his fish chocolate chip cookies? But the most important thing Cornelius needs to remember is that his father truly loves him.

Why do I like this book:

This is a story that every parent and every child can relate to. Many parents have trouble establishing bedtime routines. And most young children LOVE to procrastinate and put off going to bed. During my Show Me How Story-time programs, the kindergarten children can’t wait to talk about what is wrong with Cornelius’ pajama choice. They love counting the pile of books that Cornelius has chosen for his father to read…nineteen! And they gasp with horror as they watch Cornelius put chocolate chip cookies in the fish bowl. The book is funny, but it encourages children to think about what activities they need to perform as they get ready for their own bedtimes. It also sends a beautiful message about a father’s love for his son.

Related Activities:

Young children love arts and crafts activities and doing them extends the learning experience started with the story.

No Tick-Tock Clock

Telling time is an important skill that young children need to learn…even in these days of digital clocks. Here is a simple clock with movable hands that a young child can make and set to a special time…lunchtime, playdate time or bedtime.

You will need: 1 dark piece of construction paper, 1 circle cut from light construction paper (about 6 inches in diameter), 1 metal paper fastener, 2 “hands” cut from dark construction paper, marker or crayon, glue stick.

1. Poke a hole in the center of the construction paper circle.

2. Write the numbers in the correct order around the inside edge of the circle…draw the 12, 3, 6 and 9 first…then fill in the other numbers. If the children are doing the numbers themselves, this will help them leave enough space for the rest of the numbers.

3. Glue the circle onto the center of the larger piece of construction paper.

4. Poke through the center hole and also the two “hands” and attach the hands with the metal paper fastener. The hands should be able to turn.



Would you like to win a copy of an award-winning children’s activity book for your local library? Twenty-five copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking are being donated to libraries across the country to help celebrate National Library Week. To enter, just leave a comment on Vivian’s Positive Parental Participation blog telling why your library should receive the book.

Vivian Kirkfield is a mother of three, an educator and the author of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. She lives in the Colorado Rockies and is passionate about picture books, enjoys hiking and fly-fishing with her husband, and loves reading, crafting and cooking with kids during school and library programs. To learn more about her mission to help every child become a reader and a lover of books, please visit her Positive Parental Participation blog or contact her at

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