Summer vacation is over and we are supposed to be back to our regular schedules at our child care centers. But sometimes it’s hard to get back into the swing of things. Children thrive on consistency and sleep. They have a much easier time playing and learning at child care centers when they have had enough sleep and they know what to expect. So here are some ideas to help you and your child get back in the saddle and giddy up!
Bedtime Routines help a child know that it’s time to settle down for the night. For more ideas, visit http://www.parents.com/baby/sleep/schedule/develop-bedtime-routines/.
- Set a specific time and stick to it
- Offer a small snack
- Give your child a warm bath
- Get dressed for bed
- Read a favorite story to your child
- Play soft music while you read
- Make sure your child has a fluffy friend to sleep with
- Limit or eliminate bottles
- Keep last “goodnights” brief
Morning Routines help a child get going in the morning and begin teaching them how to take care of themselves. These routines can also calm and comfort a child when they are facing something new that day. For more specifics on these ideas, go to http://childcare.about.com/od/behaviors/tp/gettingkidsup.htm.
- Stagger wake-up times
- Clothing wars can be conquered with proper planning
- Breakfast choices should be determined in advance
- Only do what’s really important
- Snatch and go theory really does work
- Exception mornings should be planned as well
- Instill self-responsibility
These tips are tried and true and can help kids (and parents) have less stress and more peace. If you are looking for a way to encourage kids to help with this process, there are tons of free printable sticker charts out there. Help your child get back on track and their days will go better, especially at their child care center.