Just when it seems your young child has drifted off to sleep for the night, a plaintive voice echoes through the hallway. “Mom! I can’t sleep. I think there’s a monster in my closet!” So you check the closet carefully.“Nope, honey. No monsters.” But it doesn’t help much. More drama kicks in.“I want a glass of water … I can’t find my teddy bear … Will you leave the light on, Mom, pleeeze?”
Whether it’s anxiety about school, monsters in the closet or navigating the change to daylight saving time, sometimes children need extra comfort to put closure on the day. Well, here’s instructions for a very special nightlight that your child can make and use. He can even switch it on and off without leaving his bed.
Before your child begins making the bedtime friend, have him think about what he wants it to be. An angel? Ladybug? Goofy alien? Leprechaun? Or, maybe a puppy or bunny with felt ears that stick out in funny angles.
Here’s what you’ll need:
— Standard-size brown or plain colored lunch bag
— Craft supplies to create your character’s face, such as construction or tissue paper, yarn, pipe cleaners, charms, ribbon, glitter,beads, etc.
— Household glue
— Hole punch (optional)
— An inexpensive standard-size, plastic, lightweight flashlight with batteries — Rubber band
First, cut out craft foam sheets or poster board in eye, nose and mouth shapes. Cut holes in the middle of the eyes and mouth pieces to eventually allow light to shine through. Glue the features to the front of the bag. When dry, an adult may use small, sharp scissors to cut out the center of the eyes and mouth on the bag.
Then add details for personality. Glue on rickrack eyebrows, attach lightweight junk jewelry earrings or pipe-cleaner antennae, depending on what you are creating. Outline lips with shiny beads or glitter. And don’t forget the hair — add braided yarn and fashion a style. It’s also fun to use a hole punch to make additional features or patterns on the bag that will be revealed when the flashlight is turned on.
When complete, carefully slip it over the top of the flashlight and secure with a rubber band, just above the switch. The nightlight will be on and off bedtime duty when you say so!
For older kids, it can be a simple whimsical glow to have on their bedstand in the evening. Or how about using it to light up a tent when camping this summer?