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5 steps for getting the school day started right
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5 steps for getting the school day started right

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Buzz60’s Elizabeth Keatinge tells us how to get kids ready for the upcoming school year.

Mornings set the tone for the day ahead, and a routine is the best way to ensure the rest of the school day or workday goes smoothly.

Routines and schedules do more than help you feel organized; they also benefit mental and physical health, especially for kids.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, healthy morning routines benefit kids by:

  • Helping them feel more comfortable in their surroundings and safe to be themselves.
  • Giving them an understanding of who is in charge and who they can rely on for help.
  • Offering a sense of stability, so they can focus on learning and engaging with others.
  • Helping them gain a sense of independence as they come to know what to expect.
  • Teaching them how to adapt and be flexible to obstacles or unexpected events that may interrupt a routine.

How to plan a morning routine‌

For the best results with a new morning routine, take some time to plan the schedule and tasks you need to accomplish.

First, think of all the steps you and your child need to take each morning, from waking up to walking out the door.

Next, consider the order of events. Does it make more sense to brush teeth immediately after waking up, or post-breakfast? Take into account mood, the layout of your home and which tasks tend to meet resistance in the morning. For example, if your child hates changing for school but loves packing their lunch, ask them to get dressed before coming into the kitchen.

Here are five steps to include in a successful morning routine that benefits the whole family.

1. Wake up with music‌

Playing a favorite playlist in the morning can help wake up the whole house on a bright note. Let kids design their own playlists, and place Bluetooth speakers in their rooms to help them wake up with songs they love.

2. Make a quick healthy breakfast‌

Breakfast

Breakfast being the most important meal of the day is especially true for kids heading off to school. A nutritious, filling meal will help them to focus, without a sugar crash or rumbling tummy.

Reach for healthy options, instead of processed, sugary breakfast foods. You can make oatmeal, chia pudding or whole-grain muffins ahead of time to warm up in the morning. Kids can add toppings like fresh fruit or nut butter.

3. Meal prep for lunches‌

Instead of scrambling in the morning to assemble a nutritious lunch, do yourself and your kids a favor by planning ahead.

Meal prep

Portion out lunch items the weekend or night before, making sure to include a variety of healthy options: a protein, whole grain, fruit and veggie, plus a treat and water bottle.

Bento boxes are a great way to portion servings of multiple foods in one handy container.

Include your kids in the meal prep process, too; they’re more likely to eat all their lunch if they picked it out.

4. Organize your space‌

No one wants to remember they left homework on the kitchen counter when they’re already halfway to school. To avoid forgetting important school items — like homework or gym shoes — organize your living space so that everything has a storage place. Items are less likely to be forgotten or misplaced with that system.

Keep homework in backpack folders, and keep the backpacks, along with jackets and shoes, by the door so you won’t forget anything on your way out in the morning.

Organized

5. Keep a household calendar‌

You may have appointments and meetings on your digital calendar, but with a large household calendar, you can get kids involved in planning and scheduling.

This helps keep everyone on the same page with activities and helps little ones gain a sense of independence and involvement in the family schedule.

Go for a large weekly or monthly dry-erase calendar, and make it fun with multiple colors or dry-erase markers.

Lizzy Briskin is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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