Five top tips for finding a routine
1. Ease into a routine at the end of summer
This is by far one of the best ways to get back into your routine. Why? Because it will get you and your children back into a rhythm of structured activities, bedtimes, eating times etc, so when the school day comes around and you’re fixed to certain timings, the transition is easier. Below we have suggested an example summer routine for you to look at and tweak based on your family ages, where you live and what activities you like to do. Having a rough but consistent plan of when you’re eating, when you’re napping and when you’re playing will allow your children to understand fixed time and will make the school transition much smoother.
2. Get your children involved in the routine and understanding times
Part of getting into a routine is letting your children be part of the process and helping them understand why a routine is necessary. Of course, the more they do it, the more they get used to it, but it might be a good idea to let them help you draft up the summer schedule. Ask them what they’re favourite activities are and draw up a chart of the time you will do it and how long you’ll do it for. This will allow them to see how a day is made up and understand the concept of minutes/hours. Use stickers, coloured pens and have a creative session to get them involved in drawing up a summer routine. Then they might be more excited and inclined to stick to it!
3. Ease off sugar and caffeine in the afternoon
One of the most important parts of a successful routine is getting a good night sleep! If you’re attempting to implement a summer routine ahead of the school term, make sure to ease off the caffeine and sugar in the afternoon. Both of these prevent sleep and will make it harder to stick to the desired bedtime.
4. Understand the importance of a consistent bed time
During the lovely summer nights, the nights are long and bedtimes probably chop and change every day. This is a luxury to be absolutely enjoyed, but become incredibly difficult when you need to get your kids in bed at a specific time ahead of school the next day. Towards the end of the summer, try to encourage a regular bedtime that is similar to a school day. It may sound boring, but will be so worth it!
5. Maintain structured activity during the summer
Playing in the park, getting creative and being outside are all the absolute best parts of the summer holidays – so should be wholly enjoyed. However, there is one sneaky way to maintain some kind of routine, which is to engage in structured activities, which your children understand as such. These activities involve following specific instructions or completing a task – similar to a school class. This could be a craft challenge, a physical challenge in the garden or even cooking something in the kitchen.