Tag Archives: structure

Daily Planning

23 May

Now that the big activities and events are on your summer calendar, it’s time to look individual days.

If you have younger children, you probably have a regular routine that you can continue during the summer. However, if you have a mix of younger kids and school age kids, it might not be so easy. Your school age kids aren’t used to being home with you every day and will want a plan that revolves around what they want to do.

Here are some suggestions to make everyone have a happy summer, and remember, this is a routine so it needs to remain flexible.

Before 9:00 Parents can do their things and the kids can have breakfast, sleep in, watch some cartoons, etc.

9:00 Everyone is out of their pjs, breakfast eaten and ready to start the day.

9-10:00ish Get in some time outdoors, play a game, do a simple art project, science experiment, run some errands, etc.

10:00-11:30ish Major day activity: Library, Volunteering, etc. Depending upon the age of your kids, you can incorporate the 9-10 time with this time.

11:30-12:30ish Make, eat and clean up lunch. The kids should help with all aspects of this

12:30-1:30ish Quiet time for everyone, even mom! Everyone retreats to their room for some time away from each other. This may mean naps, resting, reading or other quiet activity. We don’t recommend video or hand held games during this time because kids need to learn how to relax their body and mind.

1:30-4:30ish This is our get outside, learn how to play independently, go to the pool, have a friend over, tire the kids out time. Summer may seem like kids should stay up until all hours, but you will have less meltdowns and drama if the kids go to bed at a reasonable time. So use this time to get the kids worn out.

4:30-6:30ish Clean up, dinner prep, quiet play and dinner. This is a great time to have the kids help clean up after the outdoor activities. They can also help you prepare for dinner. At 5 years old, we think kids are ready to plan and cook a full meal with you at least once during the summer. Having them help you prepare daily meals will prepare them for making a meal on their own. It also gives you great time to talk to your kids. Younger kids can “cook” by playing with old spices and mixing bowls. Older kids may want to make pictures using left over cereal, dried beans, etc. while you cook. (Check out this idea our faculty member, Gretchen Stout, did with her kids at dinner time prep.)

6:30-7:30ish Special time with a parent. This is a great time to spend with mom or dad if they work outside the house. Or, you can spend individual time with just one child.

7:30-8:30ish Bath, bed and story time. Just because the kids went in the pool for the day doesn’t mean a bath isn’t important. The point of the bath is to set a bedtime routine and relax them for sleeping. You can make the bath fun by putting some glow sticks in the water and turning out the lights or fill the bath with lots of balloons. We’ve pinned a few fun bathtub ideas on our Pinterest board. Because it’s summer, you also don’t have to rush bath time, so let them play. After the bath, have the same routine about brushing teeth, putting on pjs and reading a story. Again, you don’t have to rush.

9:00ish Lights out and the grownups can spend some time together.

Home Routines Improve School Performance

17 Aug

Ask your child what their routine is at school and they can list every activity/subject for every moment of the day. They love it because they feel safe in knowing exactly what is going to happen throughout the day. Having routines at home will only improve your child’s learning at school.

Morning Routines

Your morning routine is probably the same everyday. Now it’s time to set a morning routine for your kids. Talk with your kids about what they need to do before they go to school every morning; brush teeth, comb hair, get dressed, eat breakfast, make bed, etc. Provide your child with picture and word prompts that will help them remember their morning routine.

Breakfast Routine

Set up a routine for what you will be having for breakfast each day of the week; eggs on Monday, pancakes on Tuesday, etc. This will make it much easier for you in the mornings because you will already have a breakfast plan. You can even make breakfast items the night before or freeze them (egg casseroles, muffins). Fiber, meat, fruit/vegetables and dairy products should be included in breakfast meals because will keep your kids’ bodies full of food and energy.

Homecoming Routine

Whether your kids come home right away or spend time in after-school care, it’s important to have a homecoming routine. Provide a healthy snack and 15 minutes of quiet time for everyone. This will give kids and parents an opportunity to regroup after a long day.

Dinner Routine

Families are finding it much harder to sit down to eat together but it’s an important routine in a child’s life. As often as you can, enjoy a family meal together and converse without the added noise of television. Try to eat around the same time every night.

Bedtime Routine

This is probably the most difficult routine to adhere to because it’s at the end of the day and everyone is exhausted. Try to begin your routine at the same time every night. Turning on quiet music can be a signal to your kids that it’s time to start getting ready for bed. Use picture and word cards so that your child knows exactly what tasks need to be accomplished before they fall asleep. Remember that getting ready for bed should be a peaceful activity and roughhousing should be done earlier in the day.

Routines provide an outline for the day and a sense of security for your child, but are not set in stone. There are days where your routines will change but good communication with your child will make any changes easy.

For detailed information about all of these routines, visit the Smart Mom University campus. Routines, Breakfast

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