I always thought that if you tire a toddler out physically with a ton of running, jumping, and climbing outside, she’ll fall asleep easily. People on the playground go, “wow, you are not going to have any trouble putting this kid to bed tonight.”
But it’s not true! It makes zero difference for sleeping how much she gets to be physically active. (Although it’s obviously extremely important for everything else and I’m obsessed with providing physical activity for Klara.)
There is something that helps, though. It’s activity books. There are these activity books for kids that have some basic sums, tracing, some basic exercises for logic (spot 8 differences or which object in this lineup doesn’t belong or labyrinths), and it’s all done with favorite characters. We have a Santa activity book, unicorns and rainbows, ballerinas, etc.
We did an hour with the activity book yesterday, and she conked out before 9 pm, which is unreal. Turns out intellectual effort is more tiring than physical. Plus, I love the activity books because they aren’t boring to me.