Bringing Zen Back To Bedtime – Zenimal Kids Product Review
One thing that I recommend for parents of toddlers or big kids who are experiencing bedtime challenges is to incorporate mindfulness into the bedtime routine. Most parents are game, but some don’t know much about mindfulness, why it is important or how to teach their children mindfulness.
If you fall in that camp, let’s explore mindfulness basics below before diving into one of my favorite products…
If mindfulness is already your jam, click here to skip down to the Zenimal Kids section…
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is defined as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.”
Mindfulness activities for children and adults can include meditation, breathing exercises, mantras, gratitude, yoga and journaling.
Why Is Mindfulness Important?
There are many physical and psychological benefits for adult and children alike, including increased emotional regulation; reduced anxiety and stress; better memory and cognitive improvements. Plus cultivating things like gratitude and empathy, which are super important for us as parents, right?
Our little ones normally live in the present, but as children move into preschooler territory, nighttime fears develop, bedtime separation anxiety can peak and what I like to call busy brain (aka anxiety) is more common. This can turn into difficulty separating from parents at bedtime and needing a parent to be present to fall asleep or return to sleep in the night.
As children move into school age and older, there are additional stressors that can make sleep challenging and increase anxiety. This can result in difficulty falling asleep due to busy brain.
A mindfulness practice can help your child calm their mind and body. This can help your child to be a healthy, well-rested, independent sleeper.
How To Teach Your Child Mindfulness at Bedtime
You’ve likely heard of apps like Calm or Insight Timer. These apps and others have wonderful meditation options for children and adults alike, but they are all screen-based.
This throws up red flags for me as a sleep consultant because I recommend no screens at least one hour before bedtime. Blue light emitted by device screens tells the body it is time to be awake. This delays the production of our sleepy hormone, melatonin. Without this hormone, it is impossible for children to fall asleep, which will push bedtime too late, resulting in overtiredness.
So what can we do instead?
This is where the Zenimal Kids come in!
What Is Zenimal Kids?
Zenimal Kids is an adorable turtle-shaped, screen-free device that was designed to help children, adolescents and adults cultivate mindfulness through 9 guided meditations. It has a simple design that allows children aged 3+ to easily choose a meditation.
The 9 guided meditations cover a range of areas including sleep, gratitude, stillness, breath, creativity, relaxation, empathy, feelings and warmth (healing).
They also have a variety of different meditation memory cards so your child can have a variety of listening options.
The price is $69.99. That includes the device with a choice of blue or purple cover, plus one meditation memory card. See the discount code and link below.
Our Story Using Zenimal Kids
Even though I’m a sleep consultant and a parent coach, I don’t always get it right. We were having challenging bedtimes again and I found myself yelling on more than one occasion. (I apologize and try to do better, but I’m human and my kids and I are all learning together!)
One night, instead of getting upset when they were wild animals at bedtime, I thought…
“I’m going to go get the Zenimal. Tonight was the night – we are testing it out.”
I brought the box into the bathroom where my twins were taking a bath and I started unpacking it. In the box was the device itself, the charger and the meditation memory cards.
I told them that I had a new bedtime stories device to help them get really good sleep and they were excited to try it out.
(Side note: my twins are 7 and strong swimmers. If you have little ones, I don’t recommend leaving the bathroom at any time while your littles are in the tub.)
After our routine, we climbed into my bed, which is a normal part of our routine. Then we got all cozy and I turned the Zenimal on for the first time.
At first, they were still silly and were making jokes. But then they started to listen to the soothing voice coming through the speaker. They started calming their bodies and following along with the breathing exercises. After we finished the first ‘story’, I brought them into their room, tucked them in, and turned on another meditation before leaving the room.
I waited upstairs because they had been coming out of their room a lot. They needed one more thing or to tell me something. 10 minutes passed, the meditation turned off automatically and like magic, no one left their bed or their room. They didn’t call out for me. They were asleep! With NO DRAMA!
In the morning, I asked the boys how they slept and they said “amazingly Mom!”
My son Nick even asked if he could bring the Zenimal to school!
It quickly became a standard part of our bedtime routine, after reading a book together.
They like it so much, that I placed an order for more of the meditation memory cards!
The Benefits We’ve Experienced
To say that the bedtime routine is a calm and peaceful experience every night would be a lie! Twin boys, tired from the day’s activities and pushing buttons, can create a little bit of a three-ring circus! But we’ve seen major benefits at bedtime including:
- Calming down once the Zenimal meditation has started
- Settling into sleep without curtain calls
- Falling asleep faster and more peacefully
- They look forward to their meditation before bed
- They’re better rested
I also love knowing that the tools that they are cultivating at bedtime are tools that they can bring into their everyday lives to help ground themselves when they are feeling big feelings or having a difficult time. That makes my mama heart happy!
How To Purchase The Zenimal
If you are like “sign me up – I’ve got to try this!”, you can purchase the Zenimal and the meditation memory cards here. And you can use discount code BELLALUNAFAMILY for 5% off.
We are a part of their affiliate program because we believe in this product and feel confident recommending it for you and your family. I do receive a small commission for every sale, but it in no way influences my decision to recommend this product for you. After all, I use it with my own family!
If you decide to get one and post about it, tag us on social media at @bellalunafamily! We love seeing your bedtime success!
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