Is your family living in chaos and tantrums? Do your children know what they are supposed to do when they get up in the morning or come back home from school? I am sharing the Daily Routine Chart for Children that we follow in our home. I am also offering a free printable version for you to download at the end of this post.
They had just come home from school.
Leaving their bags in the door way, one went straight to her room in her shoes. The other demanded that she be allowed to go next door to play.
They hadn’t even had their lunch or changed their uniform. The morning had been a chaos with me running around looking for a notebook that the elder one had misplaced. I couldn’t handle any more trouble that day.
Compare these two to their brother.
Sharply at 3pm, their 10 year old elder brother walked in.
He placed his shoes in the cabinet, washed his hands at the sink and wiping them on the hand towel pulled his bag to his room. A few minutes later, he emerged in clean clothes. All the while talking about his day and asking me about mine as he sat down to have lunch. Half an hour later, he retired to his room for quiet time.
I couldn’t believe my girls were so different from their brother.
Then I remembered: He is the child who knows what he supposed to do after he gets home from school. He had been learning and practicing the drill for five years now…
The REAL reason why kids need checklists
Children thrive on routines. If they know what they are supposed to do and when to do it, it becomes easy for everyone. There is less stress and more cooperation. There is also more time for activities and play.
My daughters have schedules too but they had no visual reminders about what they were really supposed to do when they got home from school or woke up in the morning.
The routine chart that I am sharing today, I wrote it about seven years ago when my son had just started preschool. We have been following it all these years and now that we have two more preschoolers, it is just a natural adaptation from the baby routines that they followed.
When I first started this daily routine with him, it was just a handwritten piece of paper stuck on his cupboard.
We had tried all the fancy illustrated and pretty chore-chart kind of schedule charts but he just took them lightly. So, one night exhausted , we wrote up this chart for him to follow.
It was easy. He could read simple sight words by then so, he understood the details. It was practical, step by step and everything in one place.
If your child is 5 years or older, print this out and give it a try. Explain to them how it works. You will have to help them adapt to it for a week or so. Gradually, they will learn to follow it all by themselves.
Let me explain the routines and why I have emphasize those habits.
Morning Routines for Kids
Every morning, as soon as I get up, I ask my children to fold their blanket. We don’t do the spread the blanket and tuck into bed because my children play on their bed too. Folding blanket and placing by their pillow helps keep the bed tidy and easier to clean when they have to pick up the toys.
Next they move to the bathroom, freshen up and then get ready to go to school.
Kids need breakfast before school to maintain their energy. I give them points for breakfast. I believe in recognizing good behavior so we do a lot of star charts in our house. Also we talk often that eating their food means thankfulness.
Then they are off to school.
Related: Need the star charts? Join my Resource Library to find them and more routine charts.
Back home from School Routine.
When children come home from school, they are either very tired or they are hyperactive. My eldest, as long as he was in Kindergarten, was hyperactive but since starting grade school, he is always tired. We have a few must do things but mostly I leave them to themselves.
For example, washing their hands is a must! But.. I don’t force or nag behind them for other things because I know they are tired. They usually take things to their place themselves. If not, I do it for them half way.
Like for example: if they don’t remove their lunch bag or take their bags to the room then, I’ll just pull it myself while following them to the room. Once there, I’ll pull out their lunch box and hand it to them to put it in the kitchen. They’ll gladly do it. Most days, if I have forgotten or gone to the kitchen, they’ll come by themselves with it.
One thing that I try to do regularly, is to make sure they shower daily or atleast spend sometime playing with water. We live in a hot and humid country and kids come home sweaty. I am sure you know how much dirt (and germs!) they bring home. It is so important that they cool off. I consider shower as essential sensory play for them.
In the past when my son was that age, I was always troubled how angry and cranky he would be after school. He didn’t want to nap as he was transitioning but he needed to relax. The time in the shower or playing with his toys and water was a great way to unwind. He would cooperate easily afterwards.
We have the 10 minutes to a clutter free morning routine every evening to save time. This is where their chores come in. I want them to only get their bags and stuff ready nothing more.
The Extras that I am particular about…
School going children need to change their underclothes everyday. It is very important part of keeping them healthy and keeping infestations away. (more about this in a post on its own.)
I am also particular about how much milk they take. My eldest hardly ever drinks milk. Lil’ if I don’t set a limit on her, will drink milk all day. The youngest one goes days without milk but she needs it. So We have this rule. It keeps all three of them in their limits.
This is our daily routine chart that we follow with our children. It has worked for us for all these years.
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I’d love to hear from you! Talk to me on this topic: daily routine chart for children. What is your children’s routine?