In the Sparkle Sleepytime story “Sunny the Raccoon Kit,” Sunny is a raccoon kit who doesn't want to go to bed because he is too interested in the sun. After many weeks of long bedtimes, his father finally takes Sunny on a morning walk to watch the sun rise — and Sunny is at once amazed and very, very tired.
While human and raccoon parents have reversed days and nights, as the longest days of the year approach, I think all mamas and papas notice that bedtime gets later and later...and later every day. On one hand, I remember my perceived injustice as a child when my parents put me to bed when the sun was still up. On the other hand, I don't care how light it is, by eight or nine this mama needs her kiddos to be in bed.
To that end, our best friends at bedtime are routine and coziness. A cool bath to wash off the sunscreen and outdoor grime, soft jammies, a book or two read by lamplight, then it's lights out.
This magic sleep spray doesn't hurt either.
For anyone even remotely aware of herbal remedies, using lavender as a sleep aid is a no-brainer, but the addition of sweet orange oil makes this blend particularly lovely for children. Most other citrus scents can be overstimulating, but sweet orange is relaxing and soothing. It reminds me of the dreamy whiff of honeysuckle that sometimes gets carried into an open window on a summer evening.
In the recipe below, the essential oils are mixed with alcohol and distilled water. This isn't strictly necessary — you can use plain water — but both are preservatives that will help your spray last longer.
You'll also notice that I've mixed my spray in a tinted glass bottle. Again, this isn't required, but it will help the spray last.
Lastly, I tossed a handful of beads in my bottle to make it just a bit more special. Many recipes for kids' pillow or “monster” spray have glitter in them, but I just can't quite wrap my head around spraying sheets with glitter. The beads add a little extra fun without making a mess — a magic spray, indeed!
Lavender and Sweet Orange Magic Sleepy Spray
½ tablespoon vodka, rubbing alcohol, or witch hazel
20 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops sweet orange oil
A few beads (optional)
Add the alcohol, essential oils, and beads (if using) to a small, tinted, glass spray bottle.
Fill the bottle the rest of the way with distilled water. Spritz a few pumps into the air, then add a few more drops of either essential oil, as needed to suit your taste. Shake well before each use, and spritz 2-3 pumps into the air right between story time and lights out.
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.
When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.