The predictability of routines is reassuring to children, giving stability and order to their day. Through repetition, routines also allow children to learn good daily habits and develop self-reliance. The most important of these are perhaps at the start and end of the day. By repeating the same actions at the same times, over time children become proficient at accomplishing morning and evening tasks on their own, allowing for less stressful transitions and more time for family enjoyment.
Of course, most children will need some help before they learn to take off on their own. Illustrated checklists, along with plenty of praise and simple rewards, work well to nudge them along. Download the illustrated list (complete with alien astronauts) that Sparkles! created, using it as a guide to help your little one remember the “launch code” for a great day, checking off each task as they complete it.
Launch a Great Day with Routines:
A good morning routine starts the night before. After dinner, prep a “Launch Pad” near your front door, where you place everything your child needs for school.
Prep the Launch Pad:
- Review Data Logs – Teachers’ Notes, Homework Assignments, etc.
- Prepare Rocket Fuel of Next Day’s Snack & Lunch
- Pack Flight Supplies into Backpack
- Layout “Spacesuit” for the Morning
Ready for Takeoff:
- Clean the Engines: Brush Hair & Teeth, Wash Face, Potty
- Spacesuit Up with Clothes Laid Out Night Before
- Fuel Up with a Healthy Breakfast
- Grab Flight Supplies and Rocket Fuel
- Rocket Launch…Off to School!
- Remove Space Dust at Bathtime
- Hang up the Spacesuit for Jammies
- Clean the Engines: Brush Teeth, Potty
- Decompress with Reading/Quiet Activity
- Power Down with Snuggles & Good Nights
Give some time (and plenty of encouragement!) for these routines to become habits and before you know it, “take off and landing” will go more smoothly for all, as your child grows more confident and self-reliant.