Thursday, September 13, 2012

Establishing a Morning Routine

The Early Childhood classrooms are off to a great start.  The children come in with smiles and are excited to start working. We want your children’s time at school to be successful and enjoyable.  A great way to facilitate this is to establish a morning routine.

The best place to start is bed time.  It’s easier to wake up cheerful in the morning if we sleep well the night before.  The US News Health website has an interesting article on sleep.  <>.  According to this article, a child younger than 6 years of age needs 12-13 hours of sleep per night.  Interestingly, the article said, "Our results indicate that a modest but chronic reduction of just one hour of sleep nightly in early childhood can affect the child's cognitive performance at school entry," says Dominique Petit, a sleep researcher and coauthor of the study. She thinks there's a critical period in early childhood when the lack of sleep is particularly detrimental to development, even if sleep habits improve later on.”

Waking up at the same time every day establishes a good routine.  The children know what to expect and are ready to start their day.

Eat a good, healthy breakfast.  Little brains need energy to think and learn.  It’s difficult to focus if you are hungry.  An article on the Mayo clinic website has suggestions for what foods make a healthy breakfast.  <>.  The article lists ways a healthy breakfast helps young children – children concentrate better, have better problem-solving skills and miss fewer days of school, among other benefits.

Use the bathroom before leaving for school.  This helps children get right to work. 

Find a special place for your tote bag and put it there when you get home from school.  That way you always know where it is in the morning.  It’s important to bring your tote everyday so messages can be received or wet clothes can be brought home.

Try timing how long it takes to get to school so you know what time you need to leave.  Arriving on time helps children have a peaceful morning.

The goal of a morning routine: to help establish a peaceful, orderly morning and bring smiles to children’s faces as they learn and grow in a safe environment.

Submitted by: Lois Burns

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