We use routines in my house. I personally dislike being confined by so much structure but reality check, I NEED to use routines with my Littles to stay sane.
No really. It’s true. Right now we have a morning and evening routine that works pretty well for us.
These are awesome free printables from Viva VELTORO are super helpful!
Morning routine is typically before our normal school schedule but I like to sneak in a “circle time” during breakfast so we know what we are doing that day. (*However, I may switch this around due to Babystep 2…oi)
1st thing when they wake up is to Go potty. You’d think this is a no brainer but I don’t know how many times my Littles will wake up and start doing something else and then it’s like Armageddon to get to the bathroom because now everyone has to go “super super bad.” Oi.
Next is wash your hands. Yes, I have to include this step. I’m even contemplating making a chart specifically for hand washing too. Like the how to’s…maybe I can find one…
Next is to Make their B.E.D.s. This one is kind of a fun one for me because when I ask them if their beds are made then I know that more than one task is completed. We did a lot of coaching and practicing this one. I spent three days going over this habit with them and even went over the Five Senses too. What can I say, teacher skills work y’all. I bet you want to know what the acronym is huh lol.
Blanket. Is the blanket clean? Yes? Then fold clean blanket and put on pillow. No? Then throw it in the laundry room and ask mom for a clean blanket so to fold and put on pillow. This keeps things neat and I can make sure there’s no pointy/hard toys, food, or pee anywhere with a glance. Woot! And yes we practiced the smell test too.
Every night I need water. Does this happen to you too? I get them all tucked in and then they ask for water a million gazillion times. Nothing like your Littles turning into dehydrated philosophers once become hits. So this reminder gets them to fill up their own water bottles and set it by their beds! See which ones I let them use for bed here!
Do I need to trade my book or snuggly? This one makes my heart sad when they forget, but also drives me bonkers when it’s bedtime. If it’s part of their morning routine, then we’re more ready for evening routine.
All items have designated places too. Book under pillow. Snuggly on top of blanket. Water bottle on shelf. Designated areas helps them and me know if something is missing before evening comes around.
Once they’re done making their beds it’s breakfast time. Woot! All that hard work works up an appetite! But that doesn’t mean they are done with their morning routine.
After breakfast is the brushing. Brush teeth and brush hair. I made these bathroom passes that they must use when going to the bathroom.
Um…so I made a girl’s and boys’ pass but go figure we’ve misplaced the boys pass so I’ll be making a new one soon. This helps prevent fights over our 1 bathroom and I know who is where (when we use them lol) I’ve got a small house but you’d be surprised what kind of trouble they can get into….when the bathroom is in use, there’s a “waiting box”. 🙂
Next is getting dressed. This is a designated time for all and lasts about 5-10 min. My husband helped me make a lock of sorts for their closet. When this baby is open I am watching like a hawk, because Reality Check I’m tired of them taking ALL the clothes out! I have them throw their jammie’s in the wash and I put a clean set on their pillows when I inspect their beds.
See? I forgot to lock the stinking closet and they went straight away in their creativeness. Yes, those are diaper inserts that were in the liners. Hmmph. Some battles you just can’t win y’all!
Then the next step is to do their morning work. I have colored bins that have activities in it that keep them busy till I can pull them aside and work on more grade appropriate skills. This step is especially helpful for my older two.
Having a routine also helps because when my youngest is hangry, my older two can keep the flow going while I nurse. Then there’s a little bit of peace in the morning 🙂
How about you? Do you find routines helpful? Any reality checks you’d like to share?