Does your morning routine for kids feel like crazy, out-of-control chaos? I don’t like it when mine feels that way, so we do a few things around here to incorporate the lighthearted along with backpacks, lunchboxes, and morning chores.
Mornings: The Other Witching Hour
Some mornings, I’m hollering. Other mornings, the kids are tripping over themselves and taking karate-like shots at each other. And still other days, they come down the stairs and stand as zombies in the kitchen, wondering how it the sun has come again, and having forgotten the entire morning routine they go through 180 days of the year.
But on other days, most days, we enjoy things a bit.
Try These Ideas a Little Fun With Breakfast
Set out the (packets of) sugar
I keep a box of sugar packets around for travel so I won’t be without when it’s time for coffee. I started setting out one sugar packet for each kid whenever we have brown rice cereal or oatmeal for breakfast.
Works for them: Kids have an innate desire to play with sugar packets in restaurants. Newborns grab and smash and try to swallow. Toddlers rip and toss. Preteens try to be all sneaky and inhale, then cough up their lungs in front of the waiter and God and younger brothers. They love sugar packets. The first time I did this they were like KIDS IN THE TOYS R US when it was still in business.
The breakfast hour is pretty much how we have read through most chapter books. Also, funny essays and book snippets and fairy tales. Comics, even. Breakfast time can be a great time for their attention: they’re sitting, they’re eating, and if they are listening to an interesting story, they have less time to kick their brother under the table.
Show a short video
Occasionally, I break the no breakfast-while-watching-television rule, but occasionally I pull up on my phone highlights of a football game they were interested in but couldn’t watch late at night, or a funny YouTube video they would like. Sometimes, it’s an educational something or other that I want them to see.
Crank some tunes
Playing music has been a real hit for my boys during those little transitions: putting on shoes, cleaning up mess. We love songs that are upbeat and catchy or slow and crooning. Fan favorites around here include: Footloose by Kenny Loggins, Perfect by Ed Sheeran, Say Hey (I Love You) by Michael Franti & Spearhead. They love Toby Mac songs and I’m introducing them to Roy Orbison. It’s all good fun.
What’s your biggest problem with your morning routine?