Bribe, threaten, negotiate, reason... whatever it takes, just PLEASE go to sleep.
Sometimes it is necessary to think of something spur-of-the-moment to induce a desire in your children to finally check-out for the night. Upon arriving home from work late last night, I learned that my wife had promised the children a treasure hunt in the morning. Don't worry, she assured me, all I had to do was come up with clues, hiding locations and figure out a treasure before I went to bed.
:) <---- (that's her "I know you won't let the children down" smile)
So, I drew up some clues (only my oldest can read so everything has to be visual), hid them around the house, and at the suggestion of my helpful wife made some drawing books out of happy yellow paper (complete with personalized covers).
You would have thought it was Christmas morning. Nikki had told the kids they couldn't do the treasure hunt until 7 a.m. so we had to send expectant little ones back to bed a few times. Finally the moment arrived and a couple wide-eyed youngsters, trailed by a very sleepy and disoriented 3-year old, zipped from clue to clue and exclaimed happily upon discovering the ultimate treasure. Thank goodness they are easily impressed.