Madison recently graduated from preschool and is on her way to kindergarten. With the help of a letter felt board from Hobby Lobby, I was able to show her how proud I was of her. However, with back to school looming on the horizon, I want to share how to create a back to school routine that will keep your kids on track and how a letter board can help.
There’s something about back-to-school time that seems to throw everyone off. To keep the peace, establish a routine and stick to it. Kids crave seemingly monotonous schedules, whether they admit it or not. Knowing what will happen and at what time gives them a sense of security and helps establish trust. This doesn’t mean we can’t be flexible, but studies have shown that if we stick to a basic schedule, our kids will thrive. Development and behavior are both impacted by this stability. Here are a few tips for creating a back-to-school routine.
Wake the kids up at the same time every school day. You can even begin teaching them how to use an alarm clock. Allow time for some resistance, in case they struggle with actually rising and shining.
Stick to some semblance of a morning routine. For a lot of people, weekday mornings are a mad rush. It will be a lot easier if you do things in a certain order from the time your kids enter Kindergarten, but it’s never too late to begin. You can even make a poster to hang so your children can follow along with what needs to happen next. This is as simple as, “First, we get dressed. Then, we make the bed. Next, we eat breakfast. Then, we clean up the table. Now, we brush our teeth and grab our backpack…” Save yourself some frustration by being able to send them over to the poster to find out what they need to do next. (They likely have a similar system at school.) Our letter board from Hobby Lobby came with enough letters to make that happen.
Make a smooth after-school transition. When the school day is done, your kids may be stressed, excited or tired. Give them some time to decompress by scheduling absolutely nothing (and instituting no screen time) for the first 15 to 45 minutes to that they are home. Let this include snack time, and when your child is ready, he can go through his bookbag with you. This is an important element in the daily routine so that important papers and assignments don’t get lost. Create a specific schedule for when homework is to be done. If she doesn’t have any, make it reading time.
Avoid overloading kids’ schedules with activities. It’s critical to kids’ development that they get time for unstructured play, so you’re not doing your child any favors by over-committing her to classes, sports, activities, and commitments after school. Try to limit these or save them for school breaks. If you just can’t help yourself, at least try to wait until a month after the school year begins, when your kid has had time to adjust to a new grade level, new teacher, new friends, and other firsts.
Establish a dinner routine. Whether you make dinner at home, order in, or eat out, attempt to have dinner at the same time every night. Sit down as a family and enjoy each other’s company. Talk about the day or what’s on the agenda for the next day. Include your kids in the process of making dinner and cleaning up afterward to teach them skills for life (including gratitude).
Nighttime is the right time. Bathing, teeth brushing, storytime and bedtime should all be pretty standard by now but the key is to do this at the same time every night and to keep it at a decent hour. They likely won’t fall asleep right away, so start the bedtime routine earlier. Kids need about 8-10 hours of sleep a night and we can’t expect them to follow through with the rest of the routine if they’re sleep deprived.
Most of all show them that they’re appreciated and loved. I kept mentioning our felt letter board that I purchased at Hobby Lobby. Whether it’s their first or last day of school, create a photo moment that will create memories for years to come! These trendy felt letter board helps create a perfect photoshoot sign with details about your little that doubles as home decor with a changeable message that is social media-worthy every time! This cute and colorful felt letter board will help get the entire family excited for back to school and the year ahead. Don’t forget to fill them with inspiring messages of love.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hobby Lobby. The opinions and text are all mine.