Routines are like a fine wine — they get better with time! Learn how to build a solid morning routine with your preschooler. 

It’s back to school season and whether your little one is in our preschool education program or in our DC daycare, chances are, the mornings are rough! When a child is not used to change — getting up and going in the morning — this can cause many meltdowns, friction, and stress on everyone. 

At the Community Education Research Group, we know how important routine is. So, as you’re preparing to swing by our Minnesota Ave, Good Hope Road, or Antioch facilities in DC, take a moment and get additional insight into establishing a morning routine.

Setting A Morning Routine With Your Preschooler (That Actually Works!)

Mornings are stressful, especially for your little ones who aren’t quite privy to what’s going on. If you’re starting your mornings taxed because you’re rushing around trying to get everyone fed, clothed, and out the door at a reasonable time, know that there is a way to make the mornings smoother! 

Establish a morning routine and watch your kids’ attitudes change from miserable and whiny to happy and energetic!  

Ensure sleep is a priority.

An effortless morning routine begins with what you’re doing the night before — getting enough sleep. We know how vital sleep is for everyone, so ensure your kids are getting enough sleep. Bonus points for establishing a bedtime routine!

Prepare for the day ahead (the night before)!

In addition to getting enough sleep, the morning can go a lot smoother when you minimize the number of tasks you have to accomplish in the morning. So, how can you prepare?

  • Make breakfast the night before, or have everything set up and ready to go.
  • Pack lunches and snacks
  • Set out clothes
  • Have all the preschool essentials — backpack, coat, etc — by the door and ready to grab for departure. 

Wake up before the kids.

10 or 15 minutes before your kids are up is the golden hour! This gives you a chance to ease into your morning, get caffeinated, and help get everyone else up and moving. You too need a routine, so make this time about you and tie up any loose ends or just take a moment to relax!

Create morning routine visuals.

Maybe your preschooler can’t read yet, so give them a morning routine chart with both pictures and words. Prioritize what they need to get done such as:

  • Eating breakfast 
  • Brushing their teeth 
  • Getting dressed
  • Grabbing their lunch and backing
  • Preparing to get out the door

Use the when/then method.

You know your kids, they can get argumentative and whiny in the mornings which puts a damper on the routine you’re trying to set. Instead, use the when/then approach. Perhaps they really love making breakfast but complain about putting on their clothes — this is the perfect situation to say when you put on your clothes, then you can make breakfast. 

This is great because the child is still responsible for everything, but they get to still be autonomous in choosing what they want to do first. 

Routines can be hard to navigate, but don’t give in and get discouraged. With a little consistency, a morning routine will be set in no time!

To learn more about preschool locations in DC — Antioch, Minnesota Avenue, and Good Hope Road — reach out today!