Back to school happens fast! Now it the time to start establishing a sleep and meal routine, so that it’s not a total shock to your kids’ systems when they have to wake up and head to class in the morning. Here are our tips for how to make it as easy as possible.
Bedtime and wakeup routine
When it comes to getting into routine with kids, it’s better to start sooner than later. Giving yourself time to ease in will make the transition gentler for everyone, and reduce any sleep deprivation. So don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today!
Start by moving bedtime and waking time 15 minutes earlier. Stick with your new schedule for a few days, and then move it another 15 minutes earlier. Keep this up until you’re back on track with sleeping and waking times.
Food and meal routine
Over the summer, when kids are at home all day, they may be doing a lot of snacking. Unfortunately, at school they’re not allowed to eat all day long, and they definitely can’t just keep a bag of crackers at their side to munch on as the spirit moves them. This means that establishing regular meal and snack times is part of getting into routine for school. Start with breakfast – if they have a good meal to start the day, the rest will be easier. Add in a mid-morning snack, and then plan a healthy lunch. If kids fill up at mealtimes, they’ll be less likely to need to constantly graze. Finally, an afternoon snack around the time they would get home from school will finish off the meal routine.
You might also want to take this chance to experiment with snack foods and lunch options to send to school. Let your kids try some different foods at home, so that when they find them in their lunchboxes they’re already familiar.
Don’t Forget Activity
One important part of any routine with kids is building in lots of time to be active. Spending time outside playing every day will help burn off excess energy. Kids who have been moving their bodies are more likely to be hungry when it’s time to eat, and tired when it’s time to sleep. All of this will make getting into routine that much easier.