Activities for a four-year-old who has to be up in the middle of the night
September 21, 2008 10:03 AM   Subscribe

Midnight activities for a 4-year-old that he wouldn't get a chance to do during the day? My son is having an EEG tomorrow during the day. They want him sleep-deprived so he'll sleep without sedation. I'm supposed to get him up for the day at 3:30 am. He's not a morning person at all, so to keep him awake I'm looking for exciting things to do/observe/etc. that wouldn't be possible during his normal waking hours. We're in the east end of Toronto near the Don Valley, so both big-city and nature/wildlife type activities may be possibilities.
posted by winston to Education (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Star-gazing is already on the list, but I'm not sure how much we'll be able to see tonight (and/or in the city)
posted by winston at 10:06 AM on September 21, 2008


This bowling alley is open until 2am.

Have a little midnight picnic on the beach?

Maybe this NOW magazine on late-night places can give you some more ideas.
posted by typewriter at 10:16 AM on September 21, 2008


My brother used to have to do this, and it was always exciting to watch Mary Poppins at 3AM.
posted by melodykramer at 10:19 AM on September 21, 2008


Pancakes and Pie and an all-night diner?
posted by piedmont at 10:21 AM on September 21, 2008


Toy shopping at 24 hour Walmart?
posted by chicken nuglet at 10:26 AM on September 21, 2008


Buy some fireworks and head out into the country.
posted by nitsuj at 10:27 AM on September 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


PRESENTS!
posted by Hildegarde at 10:59 AM on September 21, 2008


Bake cookies or muffins.
Explore the back yard with flashlights.
Go to the playground and have it all to yourselves.
Go out for breakfast at an all-night diner.
Draw some chalk pictures outside his friends' houses for them to discover when they wake up.
Be first in line at the donut shop when they open.
Drive someplace with a view to the east and watch the sun come up (sorry I don't know Toronto to suggest a place).
posted by Kangaroo at 11:24 AM on September 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Big City/Nature and Wildlife? Here's a nice little story to get your ideas spinning.
posted by Science! at 11:26 AM on September 21, 2008


Do a scavenger hunt. Does he like bugs? Matchbox cars? Hide some plastic bugs or little cars all over the house for him to find. It will be like Easter in September!

Have him take a bath with bathtub crayons, toys, and bubbles.

Bake cookies together.

This floor piano mat always gets my almost 4-year-old moving.

Shopping at your nearest 24-hour discount store for toys.

Shakes at your local 24-hr diner.
posted by Ostara at 11:28 AM on September 21, 2008


We had to do this for our 4 year-old just a few weeks ago. It may be too late, but do you have some friends / relatives you can invite round for dinner and allow him to stay up? That bought us an extra hour and a half, and we stretched it further with baking a cake and then letting him eat a bit too much of it while enjoying a late 'showing' of his favourite film on DVD. Then we looked at the moon and stars for a bit, and read more books than usual at his eventual bedtime.

Good luck with it, and I hope the results provide you with some answers.
posted by dowcrag at 11:51 AM on September 21, 2008


Flashlight tag? Or laserpointer games (both try and hit that sign way over there sort of thing)?
posted by internet!Hannah at 11:59 AM on September 21, 2008


Draw some chalk pictures outside his friends' houses for them to discover when they wake up. That is so cute.
posted by radioamy at 12:15 PM on September 21, 2008


If it's dark enough, grab some wintergreen life savers and head to the backyard - they should spark as you chew them. That could be cool for a 4-year-old.
posted by Sfving at 12:32 PM on September 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


My friend had to do this with her daughter-they were at wal-mart in the wee hours of the morning.

I recommend the toy section.
posted by konolia at 12:56 PM on September 21, 2008


Just a quick suggestion. Keep your car trips limited or else he'll catch cat naps in between. I only say that because my daughter only needs about 2 cat naps to feel well-rested and stay awake past her 8pm bed time.
posted by czechmate at 1:36 PM on September 21, 2008


Teach him to stand on his head (I'm still learning); take him on a shoulder ride around the block; ask him if he thinks it's possible to count to infinity; look at photo albums of him as a baby; play "I'm going on a picnic, I'm going to bring a and on and on. Good luck.
posted by emhutchinson at 5:45 PM on September 21, 2008


Teach/play cat's cradle or other string games.

I've heard that video games sometimes keep people up late :)
posted by amtho at 6:11 PM on September 21, 2008


Thanks everyone!
posted by winston at 1:23 AM on September 22, 2008


Birdwatching or small-furry-creature watching is generally pretty good around forested creeks around dawn.
posted by singingfish at 3:06 AM on September 22, 2008


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