As kids head back to school (or begin school for the first time!), mornings can feel a little more hectic than summertime routines. Being prepared and planning ahead can go a long way in making school mornings easier, particularly for children and families with executive function challenges.
Here are five steps to set your mornings up for success and stay on time with less stress.
1. Prepare the night before
Preparing the night before is key is ensuring school mornings are less rushed. Plan ahead in the evening by taking care of baths, choosing outfits, making lunches, and packing backpacks with what kids need for the next day. This step is important for adults too–taking the time to shower, choose your own outfit, and tidy up the kitchen ready for the morning will lead to a smoother morning routine.
2. Prioritize sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential for happier mornings, for everyone! Follow a bedtime routine to ensure your kids are getting the rest they need to wake up refreshed and feel their best at school, and stick to an evening wind-down for yourself too!
3. Maintain daily routines
In addition to bedtime routines, setting up daily routines makes transitions easier and helps kids know what’s next. Keep clothes, backpacks, shoes, and so on all in the same place to make your mornings run on auto-pilot. An example of your kid’s morning routine might look like:
4. Create space for fun and relaxation
Start your day off on a positive note and make time in your morning routine for moments of fun and relaxation with your kids. Build a little space into your routine to eat breakfast together, chat about the day ahead and share what you’re looking forward to, or enjoy a quick family game. Rewarding your child with extra time for play when they get ready early is a great motivator for keeping everyone on track too!
5. Use a Time Timer visual timer
Using a visual timer can be a big help with staying on time and reducing overwhelm during school mornings. Give you and your children an easy representation of time by setting your Time Timer to support morning routines and to give your kids a sense of how much time is left to get ready, eat their breakfast, play, or know when it’s time to leave.