Get inspiration for days at home!
Subscribe for epic craft projects, kid-friendly workouts, riddles and more
Daytime parenting battles can leave you exhausted, so the last thing you want as bedtime approaches is more battles, upset or tears.
Sadly imaginary night visitors can often wreak havoc with carefully planned routines. Being asked to check under the bed, inside the wardrobe and confirm windows are shut could all be a sign that kids have a fear of monsters, even if they're not able to vocalise it yet.
Sadly fear of monsters – or teraphobia to give it its technical term – is all too common in young children, though as they get older it does tend to vanish. To them, once the lights are out there is all manner of beasts lurking in their bedroom, Leaving a nightlight on can offer comfort initially, however it may also mean shadows in the room which to small children can quickly take on the form of the very monster they're afraid of.
But there is a simple and fun way to get rid of your child's fears - and any lurking monsters. Use our monster spray to calm anxiety in children who are afraid of monsters, with the added bonus that using the right scented oil can enhance sleep too. We love to use lavender for its sleep-inducing benefits but chamomile, ylang-ylang, bergamot and valerian can all help children nod off to sleep once night hits.
So for sweet dreams and calm kids tackle the problem head-on with this sleep-inducing formula.
You will need:
One clean spray bottle
Stickers or templates (find them online to download)
Step one: Get help from your child to make a monster spray label so they're involved. Cut out a piece of paper that will fit around your bottle for the label and then ask them to decorate it. They could draw a picture of the monsters being sprayed away, cover it in stickers or just paint it in their favourite colour.
Step two: Now you need to fill your bottle with the special monster spray itself. Our fail-proof monsters away recipe is to fill the bottle with water and then add 5-10 drops of lavender oil for every 220ml (8 oz) of water you use.
Step three: Screw the lid on, give it a shake and now you're ready to spray. Before bedtime, get your child to spray the monster spray around their room to scare away the monsters.
Getting children to sleep isn't the same for everyone so adjust your monster spray routine to suit your family.
Younger children may be comforted by a song to accompany the spraying action - something simple like "monsters, monsters stay away" is all you need. Develop a whole routine around using the spray to reinforce that their bedroom is a safe environment.
Show your child that you're taking their fears seriously rather than dismissing them by asking them to help you make the spray.
You could add extra ingredients to your spray - a sprinkle of glitter, food colouring or additional essential oils could all be used to jazz it up.
If your child is too young or isn't interested in decorating the bottle, see what label templates you can find online instead and print them out.
Allow them to keep the magic spray in their bedroom so they can access it if they wake up at night.
Cora Lydon is a freelance journalist living in Suffolk with her husband and two children. She’s also a children’s book author who loves finding activities and place to inspire her children. Her dining table bears the scars of many craft activities attempts (many unsuccessful).