Children’s Routines: Healthy Habits for Happy Kids
In the whirlwind of parenting, establishing routines for kids might seem like just another task on the never-ending to-do list. However, beneath the surface, these routines play a pivotal role in shaping not only the daily rhythms of family life but also the long-term health and well-being of our children. From sleep patterns to meal times and everything in between, routines provide structure and stability, laying the groundwork for healthy habits that can last a lifetime. In this blog post, we delve into the importance of routines for kids and explore how they contribute to overall health and wellness. Whether it’s promoting better sleep, encouraging physical activity, or fostering emotional resilience, discover how routines can be a powerful tool in nurturing happy, healthy children.
Help your children make their beds until they can do it on their own. Start by having them put their stuffed toys back after you’ve made the bed, then move on to fluffing pillows and folding blankets. Teach them to fold their pyjamas or put them in the hamper for washing. Get them in the habit of putting away toothpaste, toothbrushes, hair conditioner, brushes etc. after using them – including hanging up the hand towel!
Decluttering & Organising Routines
In play areas, help kids by sorting and boxing their toys by type (make it a fun teaching moment). Add pictures and words to the boxes – great for language development and teaching vocabulary to kids learning a first or second language. In bedrooms, give toys, craft supplies, books and clothes set places. Keep a donation bin in their closet so they can declutter too-small clothes/shoes and outgrown books/toys. Give library books their own spot separate from owned books.
Tidying & Cleaning Up Routines
Kids can easily take out more than they can tidy away. That’s normal, but generally have them choose 1-3 toy types (trains and Barbies or a game and puzzles) and tidy those away before getting out more. Set rules on what toys can stay outside and what needs to be brought in by day’s end. This teaches responsibility, care and respect for belongings and the environment.
After School/Outing Routine
Empty school bags and diaper bags when kids get home. Have them put dirty lunch dishes in the sink or dishwasher and bin any leftover food or trash. This helps spot left-behind items (especially coats!) and stops kids bringing things home by accident. As they get older it also avoids the morning “due today” homework surprise.
Like the morning routine, the evening one is important. Keep items they need access to at their level and use a step stool if needed to help them tidy up. Use toy nets on the bath wall so toys can dry but be tidied after play. If reading is part of bedtime, encourage choosing just a few books, not taking them all off the shelf. Since they’ll be in bed, it’s fine to leave books out overnight – just have them put them away in the morning!
Implementing routines for kids is not merely about maintaining order in the chaos of daily life; it’s about nurturing their holistic development and promoting a foundation of health and well-being. By establishing consistent rhythms in sleep, nutrition, physical activity, and emotional regulation, we provide our children with the tools they need to thrive. Routines offer a sense of security and predictability, helping children feel grounded and supported as they navigate the ups and downs of growing up. As parents and caregivers, let’s embrace the power of routines to cultivate happy, healthy children who are equipped to face life’s challenges with resilience and vitality.