As a preschooler, your child already has a leg up when it comes to preparedness. He or she has already experienced spending the day outside of the home with other kids and adults. However, because the academic expectations of elementary school are far greater than those in preschool, now is the time to start teaching good habits that will serve your child well all throughout childhood. Here are some ways in which a morning routine can do just that.
The Benefits of a Morning Routine
A morning routine benefits both parents and little ones for many reasons. As a mom, dad, or caregiver, it is important to remember that consistency is the key to making mornings a breeze. The biggest benefit associated with creating and sticking to an age-appropriate morning routine for your child is the fact that you are building a framework for excellent behavior for the rest of the day. Routines are predictable; over time, your child learns to anticipate the next step. This can reduce his or her anxiety significantly, keep chaos and “morning battles” to a minimum, and help your child get off to the best possible start. It sets a positive tone for the rest of the day, as well.
Making a Morning Routine Chart
When it comes to creating a morning routine for your preschooler to help him or her prepare for elementary school, a sticker chart is an excellent tool. Simply create a chart with a list of tasks to be completed in the morning down the left side, then put each day of the week across the top. For each task your child completes successfully – and without fuss or tears – provide him or her a sticker. Then, determine how many stickers he or she must collect throughout the week in order to receive a prize, whether that prize is an extra trip to the local park, a favorite sweet treat, or even another hour of educational screen time.
Tasks to Include in the Morning Routine
When adding tasks to your morning routine chart, it is important to understand what you can reasonably expect from a preschool-aged child, but it is also important to remember that all children are different. Include all of the basics, which are:
- Waking up at a certain time. Waking up at the same time each day benefits children and adults. Give your soon-to-be elementary school child an alarm clock, then let him or her practice waking up in the morning at the right time for a few weeks prior to school.
- Making the bed. At the age of four or five, most kids are capable of making their beds by themselves. A made bed makes the room look neater, and it’s always nice to climb into a made bed at the end of the night.
- Getting dressed. Allowing your child ample time to dress in the morning is also important. (Tip: choose the day’s outfit the evening before with your child to avoid morning meltdowns.)
- Practicing good hygiene. Your child should be able to brush his or her teeth, wash his or her face and hands, and more each morning before school.
- Eat a good breakfast. Provide an opportunity for your child to eat a healthy breakfast before leaving for school.
As you can see, a morning routine is a phenomenal way to add some structure to your child’s day and get him or her off on the right foot. By incorporating a chart into things, especially a few weeks prior to the start of school, it is easier than ever to help your child learn to stick to a routine.