If you have little ones, you’ve already realized that routines are everything to them. They feel safe and secure knowing what comes next. Routines allow them to take “control” of their environment. They can establish autonomy when they know the sequence of events of their day (those Masters level child development and child psychology classes come in handy sometimes). More importantly, it keeps mommy and daddy sane when there is an established routine (can I get an “Amen”?).
While the school year is still fresh and new, I thought I would share my morning and night routine and kid friendly clock that will help your little ones know when its time to get up and get about their tiny business!
Tiny Tot Clock
If your child is in preschool or Kindergarten and has not totally mastered the whole concept of telling time, you should create what I call the “Red light, Green light 123 Clock” (catchy right?).
My kindergartner can tell time in terms of the hour and half past…we are working on the other minutes in between. Our three and two year olds are not there yet, so this clock is really more for them. My kids have a hard time sleeping past 6:30….I know I know, if they were going to school they would have to wake up at that time or earlier. BUT… we are homeschoolers, and waking up at 6:30 and proceeding to run around the house is not cool! That’s when I decided to make this lovely creation. We explained that when the little hand is in the red zone, that means stop and go back to sleep. When the little hand is in the yellow zone, that means you may get up but you must play quietly in your room. When the little hand is in the green zone, you can come out of your room and begin the morning routine. Very simple to make:
Find a simple, large, inexpensive clock. Bought mine in the lawn and garden section of Home Depot for about $8, but ‘m sure you can get cheaper ones else where. Flip it over and pop out the plexiglass. I used a knife to carefully pop it out. Emphasis on the CAREFULLY, if you break the notches in the back that keep the glass in place, you will be left with a glass-less and very sad looking clock (yes, clocks can be sad too).
Before I actually began to color in my zones, I cut up some pieces of construction paper and placed them on the clock to see how I should draw it out. This step is optional, my touch of OCD wouldn’t let me start writing on the clock unless I was CERTAIN that I wanted it this way (again, just a touch of OCD…a touch).
Next, grab a red, green and yellow colored pencil. You could use marker or crayon, but I prefer colored pencils. Use a ruler to draw out your “zones”. Your clock zones may be different than mine depending on when your kids wake or how long you want them to stay in their room. I chose to put my red zone between 5 and 6, my yellow zone between the 6 and 7, and my green zone between 7 and 8.
Morning and Night Routine
I printed up a morning and night routine list to be placed under the “Red light, green light, 123 Clock”. I explained to the boys at what time of the day we are to follow each routine. I specified that they are to begin the morning routine only when the little hand is in the yellow or green zone and with my assistance. The five year old got it, the three year old shrugged and the two year old laughed….I’m holding the five year old responsible for following the rules and keeping his three year old brother in line with the system. The two year old…well lets say we are still working on it :).
I decided to place the routines in frames and hang them in their room under the clock.
If you like my routine charts, you can get the PDF’s below! I’ve included two versions of each.
Our morning Routine A
Our morning Routine B
Our night Routine A
Our night Routine B
Its been working well so far…except for our 2 year old adventurer who gets up at 5:30 and has to be brought back to bed every.single.morning (sigh). Eventually he will grow out of it and conform to his brothers sleeping schedule (and sleep until a whopping 6:30am…whoo hooo -insert sarcasm).
Hope you find this helpful!