Building Routines

From sun up to sun down, fill your child’s day with predictable routines.

As a parent, you see the value of routines. When the day is organized and predictable, your Sproutlet thrives - and so do you.

Ever wonder why? Here are a few basic reasons:

Routines decrease anxiety. Young children often worry about the unknown. When change occurs in the context of routines, children have a familiar safety net.

Routines reduce tantrums. Melt-downs often occur when children are caught off guard. Routines eliminate the element of surprise. Power struggles are also diminished with routines. In a young child's mind, a routine stands on its own: "Mom isn't telling me what to do; it's just that time of day."

Routines build skills. Just as musicians practice the same measure over and over again, repetition helps your child practice important life skills… like buttoning a shirt, brushing teeth or setting the table.

Routines give kids control. So much of a child's life is not in her control. In the context of a routine, a child is free to take control. "It's time for bed. Would you like to wear your red or blue pajamas?"

Routines establish healthy rhythms. Eating, exercising and sleeping are all part of a healthy lifestyle. When these things happen with regularity, your child's body will naturally eat, play and sleep better.

Routines give purpose. Young children can accomplish great things when they know what to do and when. Routines give your child the chance to look forward to a favorite activity and the drive to carry through.

Morning Routines

Chica, on The Sunny Side Up Show, knows her morning routines. Whether it's checking the weather or getting dressed, Chica has simple morning habits your child can follow.

Ensure a successful start to the day with Chica's Get Ready for School printable. You might fill your Sproutlet's chart with the following tasks:

  • Get dressed
  • Make bed
  • Eat Breakfast
  • Brush Teeth

Evening Routines

Bedtime can be a challenging time for little ones. Your active little Sproutlet may not want to wind down from all the daytime fun. Some children may fear the dark or worry about separating from you for the night. Routines can help. 

Nina and Star from The Good Night Show do stretches, read stories and sing bedtime songs to wind down for the night. The Pajanimals use a favorite "Brusha, Brusha" song when brushing their teeth. They also hear a routine message from Mom each night: "Good night. Sleep tight. See you in the morning light." Try some of these nighttime rituals, or establish your own.