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Last year I had a hard time getting Kiddo to cooperate when I was trying to head out the door, so at the the end of last year I made a plan. I would set a specific routine to help our mornings run more smoothly, and I would find a way to get Kiddo involved and invested in our schedule.
The inspiration for this project came from my teaching days. In my fifth grade classroom, I put up magnetic subject tiles on the chalk board so my students could see our schedule at a glance. On days when we had assemblies or other activities that changed the normal schedule, this was particularly helpful.
Not every strategy translates well from classroom to home, but I was sure this one would. Since Kiddo is just about to turn three and is not reading yet, I used some great clip-art from My Cute Graphics (which is a fabulous resource for adorable kids' clip art). And being the teacher I am, I also included written descriptions.
I love the way these turned out! Once I printed and cut the cards, I protected them using my personal laminator (similar to this one) and attached velcro to the back. My first plan was to attach the schedule cards to a framed piece of felt, but the velcro destroyed the felt over time. That's when I decided on a microfiber dish mat (similar to this one) at the Dollar Store, and it's been working really well. Eventually I would like put it in a frame, but I haven't found one for the right price yet. In the meantime, these magnet clips are working just fine.
What I Included:
- Everyday Routines: This includes meals, nap, brushing teeth, etc.
- At-Home Activities: Play activities like coloring, play dough, outside time, going for a walk, baking, etc.
- Away-From Home Activities: Grocery Shopping, MOPs Bible Study, Church, the park, etc.
- Chores: I honestly did this to encourage me to accomplish my daily chores. Kiddo likes to help, so it gives me extra motivation to do laundry, sweep, dust, vacuum, thoroughly wipe down the kitchen, and clean the bathrooms
Our New Routine:We've been using this routine for a few months and it's going fairly well.
- Wake up (We will probably add making the bed soon.)
- Eat Breakfast
- Dishes in the sink
- Sweep the floor under the table
- Get Dressed
- Brush Teeth
- Put Laundry in Washer (if a laundry day)
- Screen Time (Only if he gets his "jobs" done right away)
After these routines are complete, the tasks of the day vary. If we're heading somewhere, Kiddo gets his shoes on and we head out the door as soon as his show is over, and he eats a quick snack in the car (a motivation/bribe to get him moving). On the days we are at home our schedule looks pretty full. After screen time is snack at the kitchen table, then typically chores, followed by some play time outside until lunch if the weather is nice.
How It's Working:We still have tantrums and rough mornings, but things are running more smoothly now that Kiddo knows what our schedule will be. Sometimes he resists doing his morning jobs, but he knows if the timer goes off and they aren't done, he doesn't get his screen time. I'm excited to see how things work once Bible Study and MOPs start next week!
To download the free printable (2 pages), click HERE.