For some, school has started already, while many others start right after the Labor Day holiday. As we bid goodbye to summer, we have some easy morning routine ideas that will help the transition for the first day of school.
With the days getting shorter, it’s important to start putting children to bed earlier to be ready to wake up earlier. Say goodbye to the relaxed summer sleep schedules and be consistent with earlier sleep routines. Well-rested minds and bodies are more successful learners. If you need sleep tips or an idea of what’s the recommended amount of sleep for young children, feel free to refer to the blog post for July 16th (“How Much Sleep Do I Need?”).
Successful morning routines actually start the night before.
- Have children start a habit of picking out their clothes and shoes the night before. This will help eliminate power struggles in the morning of what to wear because the decision is already made. Hold them to it, “You’ve already picked out the truck shirt. If you want to wear the dinosaur one instead, let’s save it to lay out for tonight so that it will be ready for you tomorrow.
- Encourage children to help you prepare their lunches the night before so that they have a part in picking out their favorite healthy food items. The key is that the more prep you do the evening before, the less likely there will be moments of “frazzlement” in the morning.
- When you’ve finished preparing tomorrow’s lunch, have your children pick out the next morning’s breakfast while you’re at it. If they choose their cereal ahead of time, you can make sure that they have easy access to cereal bowls and spoons. Furthermore, go ahead and let them pour the cereal in the bowl, cover it with saran wrap, and have it ready to go with a pre measured cup of milk in the fridge. It’s all about raising independent kiddos, right? A little prep goes a long way when those precious minutes in the morning tick away like seconds.
- Designate a visual “grab-and-go” or “don’t forget me!” spot near the exit door. This can be easily marked off with a large laundry basket or with masking tape on the floor. Talk to your children about being responsible and making sure items are in that area the night before if it needs to be taken to school the next day. It will take a few fumbles of forgetting things but you’ll be surprised how quickly children start to rely on themselves use the area responsibly and effectively. If an item can’t be in the “grab-and-go” basket throughout the night, (e.g., refrigerated lunches) have a picture of the item as a visual reminder. Visual reminders might be a photo of their lunchbox, a favorite blanket or lovey, or even a picture of them brushing their teeth.
The Parenting Hub would love to hear about creative ways to instill routines in your household for young children. Please send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back to School: Transitioning Your Family From Summer to School
Preschool Prep: How to Prepare Your Toddler for Preschool
Back to School Time — Tips to Help Children Adjust
Streamlining the School-Morning Routine
Back to School: How to Get a Good Routine Going