Now that summer vacation is over, child care centers are struggling to establish a regular schedule for all the little ones we care for. But sometimes it can be difficult to get back into the swing of things. Children really do thrive on consistency and discipline – getting enough sleep is also important. Kids have a much easier time playing and learning at their child care center when they have had enough sleep and they know what to expect every day. We’ve listed some ideas to help you and your child get back into a routine that allows them to have fun while they’re also learning.
Morning Routines help a child get their day started off right and also teaches them how to take care of themselves. These routines can also be calming and comforting to a child if they are anxious about facing something new that day. Check out more Morning Madness Tips if you need more than these:
- Schedule different wake-up times for your little ones so everyone’s not in the same place (bathroom!) at the same time.
- Choose outfits the night before so there’s no scrambling for missing socks, shoes, or pants.
- Create a breakfast chart in advance so kids know what they’ll be eating on which day.
- Make older kids responsible for things they’re capable of, like brushing their own teeth and making sure their homework is in their backpack.
Bedtime Routines let your kids know that it’s time to start getting ready for bed. Read How to Develop Bedtime Routines for more ideas.
- Set a specific time for them to begin their nightly routine – and stick to it!
- A warm bath with no toys to play with can have a calming effect.
- Get pajamas on.
- Read a story, but choose only one book or one chapter.
- Sing a song that includes hand motions, like Itsy Bitsy Spider.
- Make sure your child has their favorite stuffed animal to sleep with.
- Limit any liquid intake (water, milk, etc.) so they don’t need to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom (or to eliminate accidents).
- When you say goodnight, keep it brief – and mean it!
These tips can help kids fare better when they are both starting and finishing their day. Help your child get back on track now that summer’s over and they will enjoy time at their child care center better.