The "Going to Bed" Routine has always been a big deal for us and our kids. Not that our older two go right to sleep or anything, but I think that having a routine is a good way to calm them down (or at least to try to calm them down.) As the kids have gotten older, the routine has become more and more involved. It now has (I counted) FIFTEEN parts!
Every night we either have a bath or a "wipe down," brush teeth, and put on pajamas. Both Jacob and Naomi can dress themselves now which is wonderful. Then Nate reads them a story, they go potty one last time, and they get a sip of water. We pray as a family and then fan goes on and lights go off as Daddy leaves and says "Good night!" I stay for a few minutes to sing a lullaby or hymn, say the Lord's Prayer with them, and sing the Doxology. Then I make my way to the door as they both come up with creative ways to keep me in the room. Naomi often wants a second (or third) kiss and hug and Jacob always has a story to tell me about falling off something. Finally I stand at the doorway and say "I love you both" and blow them big kisses.
Whew, what a routine! Imagine what it will be when they're sixteen. It will probably take all night. : )