After tucking my son’s feet in under his covers and helping my daughter carefully arrange her overwhelming stuffed animal collection around her bed, I said goodnight and turned off the light.

Moments later my daughter’s little head poked over the banister. “Mama…?”

A glass of water.

A scary dream.

A scratchy throat.

And ultimately, “I’m lonely when I’m in my bed without you” tugs on my heart strings.

This isn’t just me, right?

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I think this is why Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama Red Pajama became a classic so quickly. She so perfectly captures this bedtime struggle from both the child and parent’s perspectives.

Inspired by little Llama Llama we recently nipped this night time drama in the bud with a new sleep routine, a couple of tap lights, and some inspired loveys to hold on to at bedtime.

So grab a copy of Llama Llama Red Pajama for this month’s Virtual Book Club for Kids and the supplies below and hopefully you’ll be on your way to less resistant bedtimes soon too.

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney is a well known and loved book for this generation of preschoolers.

Our copy is well worn and beloved. It is one of our favorite bedtime stories.

Simply put, it is a story about a little Llama that gets tucked in bed and then wants his Mama. It is full of preschool emotions, a loving parent child relationship, expressive illustrations, and wonderful rhyming text.

When I was looking for something to use as a starting block for discussing our bedtime issues this one almost jumped off the shelf.

DIY Heart Lovies for Bedtime or Separations

Emotions are good. They communicate our feelings. Feelings help make us human. The emotions of preschoolers can also get a little out of hand sometimes.

Lately we have been talking about what to do with all these strong emotions. For example, when you are frustrated hitting your brother is not okay. Stomping your feet in a quiet space and taking a deep breath is okay.

When it comes to bedtime, my kids just don’t like to say goodnight and be on their own. They feel lonely.

Perhaps taking a little of mommy and daddy with them to bed would help?


Our kids have an abundance of huggies or loveys (ie. stuffed animals and blankets). In fact, my son has so many that it is occassionally hard to find him on his bed.

That being said, I still thought it might be nice to give them something with a picture of mom and dad to hold on to as part of our discussion about emotions and bedtime.

We started with the hearts. We talked about how hearts are a special shape and what they represent.

Then because we have done a tiny bit of sewing in the past and lacing cards have long been a favorite road trip activity, once I threaded the needle and tied a knot at the end of their yarn they were good to go. They sewed in and out all over their heart until they were content.

Then I took the tiny wallet sized photos of mom and dad and sewed a few loops to hold it in place. I’m sure someone with better sewing skills than I could do this better, but they worked. They held in place enough for our four year olds.

The resulting hearts fit perfectly in their hands and under their pillows. We talked about how sometimes we miss people we love. When they are missing mama and daddy they can hug the lovey or look at our picture and think of stories they want to tell us in the morning.

No more extra mama llama trips up and down the stairs. (Oh, and the tap lights. They are pretty perfect too)

More Llama Llama Inspired Learning Activities

Are you a member of the amazing Weekly Virtual Book Club community on Facebook? It is free and fantastic weekly fun. Together a team of co-hosts (including yours truly) share a favorite children’s book and related activities each week. Join our community of over 6,000 creative parents, teachers, and childcare providers!

These are the activities from our team of co-hosts this week! I can’t wait to see what you do with our bookclub book this week.

Literacy Activities

Math Activities

Art Activities

Science, Technology and Engineering Activities

Movement Activities

Llama Llama Red Pajama Inspired Bedtime Heart Lovey plus Bonus Learning Activities with the Virtual Book Club for Kids

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