5 Ways to Get Kids Moving in the Morning
School is back in full force! I don’t know about your family, but now that it’s been a couple of weeks, the initial excitement is pretty much over and everyone is back to their old, slow ways in the morning. My two older boys have a bus to catch in the morning, so there is no time for too much fooling around in the morning, which my kids are apt to do. Here are 5 ways to get your kids moving in the morning, avoid meltdowns and even avoid telling everyone to hurry up every five minutes!
Prepare the Night Before
Prepare as much as you can the night before. This includes packing school lunches, checking the weather reports and having weather-related necessities ready and having outfits and shoes by the ready. No matter how young your child is or how much help he might need in the morning, you can tamper a lot of morning-time craziness and headaches by having as much as you can have ready the evening before. This goes for you, too. If you enjoy some alone time in the morning like I do, put the clothes that you’re planning to wear aside the night before so you have one less thing to think about in the morning.
Gamify the Morning
Everyone loves games, right? Make getting ready for school into an adventure! Hide their favorite stuff outside in the yard to get them into the fresh air for a few minutes. Tell them that they need to find their stuff if they want their backpacks for school. Or give everyone points for doing their to-do list as fast as they can. Whoever gets the most points at the end of the week gets something fun. 🙂
Chart it Out
I used Canva to make bright, colorful morning charts for each child. I used a combination of pictures and words so the non-readers can get familiar with seeing these words and learn them. Your mileage may vary, but we avoid checklists and too many items on the chart. I like to keep it as simple as I can, with four or maximum five large pictures of things for them to remember to do.
No Screens for Anyone!
I’ll admit it: This approach might not work for everyone – there are some who find that allowing their children to have the incentive of a screen while getting ready or after getting ready works well for them. But I have to tell you what works for us. No one, including parents, gets any screen time until the kids are off to school and kindergarten. It’s just way too easy to fall down multiple rabbit holes when you’re in front of a screen, even a simple check of email can be a real time suck. Try to use these precious morning minutes to connect with your children and spend quality time with them.
Routines for All
This one may go without saying, but even the youngest members of your family should know, more of less, what’s going to happen every morning. My two-year old expects to get a diaper change, breakfast, brushed teeth and get out the door. Surprises aren’t often the best way to get kids moving in the morning! They are, at best, distracting. If your child has a doctor’s appointment or some other reason the morning routine will be changed, try to let them the night, or a couple of nights before.
Which of these tips will you introduce to your house? All of them? 😉 I hope they are helpful to you and your family!