Learn how to create a morning routine that works for you and your family with our seven must-haves to create a successful morning routine for kids.
1. Getting Proper Sleep
Sleep is as important to overall health as eating right and getting daily activity. Without proper sleep, the whole family can feel agitated and out of balance.
It’s important for not only your little ones but also for you to get enough sleep each night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, here are the recommended nightly sleep durations for all ages:
- Newborn (0-3 months of age): 14-17 hours
- Infant (4-11 months of age): 12-15 hours
- Toddler (12 months-2years of age): 11-14 hours
- Preschool (3-5 years of age): 10-13 hours
- School Age (6-13 years of age): 9-11 hours
- Teens (14-17 years of age): 8-10 hours
Check out our latest blog to learn more about healthy sleep habits and the components of good sleep your child needs for optimal rest each night.
2. Prep the Night Before
The first step to a successful morning routine actually starts the night before. In addition to getting a good night’s sleep, prepping the night before will help keep you organized for the day ahead.
Here are just a few of the things you can do the night before:
- If you drive, fill your car with gas the day before. Don’t get caught without fuel in the morning!
- Make lunches and store them in the fridge for easy grab-and-go tomorrow.
- Lay out the next day’s outfit. Get your child involved by letting them pick what they want to wear or give them options to choose from.
- Plan breakfast for the next morning.
- Pack backpacks, diaper bags, and work bags and leave them by the door to avoid the last-minute scramble out the door.
Another way in which you can prepare the night before is by planning ahead for potential issues and building in extra time for the inevitable distraction, lost item, tantrum, or power struggle. As they say, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”
3. Set Aside ‘Me Time’
Before your kids wake up, make sure you have time to yourself first! It’s important to practice some self-care and enjoy even just 15 minutes of me-time before the busy day begins.
Here are some ideas to help get you started:
- Sit with your morning cup of tea or coffee without interruption.
- Spend 15 or 20 minutes going for a jog or doing a quick at-home workout.
- Practice morning mindfulness activities.
- Enjoy 5 minutes of quiet meditation.
- Read a chapter of your favourite book.
If you don’t mind waking up early, you can also spend time getting yourself ready first to avoid running out of time when your kids need your help staying on task and getting ready themselves.
4. Start Your Day With Gratitude
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of a chaotic morning routine. Allotting some time in the morning to practice gratitude with your little ones is a great way to set a positive tone for the day ahead.
Try these activities to start your day with gratitude:
- Wake your child up with some snuggle time. Use the first 5 minutes of the day for cuddling and bonding with your child.
- Practice saying positive affirmations together.
- Take turns saying what you are thankful for and looking forward to in the day ahead.
- Play the “Unfortunately, Fortunately” game. For example, “Unfortunately, it is raining today and we can’t play outside. Fortunately, we can spend time inside playing games as a family.”
5. Limit Screen Time in the Morning
In addition to limiting screen time before bed, it’s also important to limit the amount of screen time during morning routines for kids. Technology can serve as a distraction to children and divert them from the tasks in front of them, such as brushing their teeth and making their bed. Not to mention, limiting screen time in the morning can limit (or hopefully, avoid) the inevitable temper tantrum when it comes to putting the screens away. Save the screens as a treat for later in the day once the morning routine and afternoon chores are out of the way.
6. Fuel Up Right!
It’s no secret that breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Fuel your little ones (and yourself!) with a healthy and well-balanced breakfast that will keep them going all morning long. Try to include ingredients that are low in processed sugar and high in protein, healthy fats, and fibre.
For breakfast, try one of these delicious recipes:
7. Stick Your Routine
Getting in the swing of your morning routine for kids might be a challenge at first, for both them and you! However, with time, practice, and repetition, you’ll find a balance and routine that works for you and your little ones.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Keep your morning routine simple and easy to commit to. By overcommitting or making your routine unattainable for your lifestyle, you’ll be much less likely to stick with it.
- Be consistent. Consistency will be the key to your child learning the expectations in the morning and getting in the habit of doing the same tasks each morning.
- Make it fun! By making your routine fun, you’ll find your children are more engaged and will put up less of a fight each morning when they look forward to parts of their morning routine.
- Responsibilities first, then play. Not that you are necessarily rewarding your kids for checking off tasks on their morning routine, but by leaving the more fun parts of the morning routine for the end, you’re teaching them to prioritize their responsibilities first and they will look forward to more enjoyable elements when they’re done.
- Give choices. Children are much less likely to put up a fight and will be more engaged if they are involved in the process and can take ownership of their decisions. Give them choices for things like the snacks they want to pack with their lunch or what shirt they want to wear with the pants you picked out for them.
- Use visuals to stay organized. Whether you prefer a poster, a chart, a checklist, or cue cards, having a visual to refer to will help your child stay on task and know what to expect each morning.