The Power of Routines
Turn ordinary moments into opportunities for learning
Routines are a central part of every child’s day. Now that school has started, your child may need to get settled into new daily routines and transitions. Here are some simple ways to help prepare your child for their day:
Make a Plan
With your child, talk through what you do every day in what order during your morning and/or evening routines to help your child keep a focused attention. On a piece of paper, they can draw pictures that represent each part of their morning and/or evening routine. A nighttime routine may have drawings of a bath
You can also use this printable to help you get started!
A printable tool to help children know what to expect in their daily routines and activities.
Self-talk or Song
Once a plan is established, use a self-talk strategy, such as a chant, to keep a focused attention until the task is completed. A morning routine chant might be: Wake-up, potty time, eat and brush my teeth; a bedtime routine chant might say: Soapy water, warm pajamas, brush our teeth, story time, then we say night-night!
Your friend Elmo uses a chant to help him get ready in the morning:
Together, you and your child can prepare their meals for the day. They can help spoon low-fat plain yogurt into their bowl and rinse berries to go on top. For their school lunch, they can help put together a turkey, cheese, and lettuce sandwich and place baby carrots into a small container. For dinner, they can help mix the ingredients together in a bowl for a vegetable salad.
When you model healthy habits and routines in all aspects of life (i.e., eating nutritious food, practicing good hygiene, getting enough sleep) your child can keep practicing healthy habits themselves, and they’ll continue to learn what they need to do to stay healthy and strong.
Here are some additional resources to help prepare your child for daily transitions, add structure, and maximize learning during routines:
Transition Time: Drop-off
Help children prepare for drop-off transitions with this audio-only moment!
Transition Time: Mealtime
Help children prepare for mealtime transitions with this audio moment.
Transition Time: Rest and Nap
Help children prepare for transitions into rest and naptimes with this audio moment.
Transition Time: Going Place to Place with Children
Help children prepare for transitions from one place to another with this audio moment.
Transition Time: Going Activity to Activity
Help children prepare for transitions from activity to activity with this audio-only moment.