Happy Friday afternoon! Just a little post to show you what I’ve been working on….So, mornings at my house have been…well, let’s just say, a little challenging. My positive questions, use of timer, and redirects have only been getting me so far. As in…nowhere.
Boo. What to do? Do you have children? How are your mornings and evenings going? As much as I wanted to continue nagging (I know..BAD), something had to be done. Of course, with my passion for planning, I thought why not start a routine board for my son. From teaching, I know kids thrive within routines. It brings a sense of ownership and security. So, a routine board it is. You know what? It is working. YAY! My son wakes up ready to complete his morning routine and in the evening, he just can’t wait to move a card from the “start here” column to the “completed” column.
Love it! The cards are helping him associate more words with images, he is practicing his reading, he is taking ownership and pride in his actions, and he feels a sense of security with knowing what is coming up next. Now, is every afternoon the same? Not necessarily. I believe it is important for me to teach my son to be flexible. A routine is great. I’m ALL about planning. But I know this life doesn’t always go the way we planned and it is important to be flexible and not get worked up if something is not going the way we think. Even at soon-to-be 5 years old. He loves it though. That means I love it. I love the fact I’m not nagging telling him what is going to happen in an hour. He knows. It feels great. My hope is that he does become familiar enough with his routine. To the point of not needing the board. He knows what the general expectations are and if something needs to be randomly changed, it can without too much stress.
In thinking about the set-up of the routine cards, I knew the cards had to be highly engaging. So, I made these cards colorful and fun. After starting them, I thought ‘why not put them up in the store to share’?
Parent conferences are coming up and I can’t tell you how many times a parent asked me what else they could be doing at home. Well, if a child is struggling to keep it together at home, this would be the perfect resource to refer parents to. REALLY, it can be used by any child. Not necessarily someone who is trying to keep it all together. I believe because of the graphics, these would be best for a child between the ages of 3 to 8. However, you know your child or the child best. You know if this could be something they totally get into–like my son. If you are a parent and struggling with morning or evening time, I think these are worth a try.
For now, I have listed these in my etsy shop. What?! An Etsy shop? Yes, last year, I opened up a shop and had just a few things I thought moms would find useful. It was great but I was WAY too busy. The items I had in the store were seasonal so after I took them down, I just didn’t have anything to put up.
I created a set with boy characters and blue/yellow plaid and I created a set with girl characters and pink flowers. The set includes a ton of different tasks you might have for your family. It also includes some blank cards for you to hand-write any other tasks which are specific to your family.
For my family, I bought a magnetic chalk board from Target. I printed the cards on regular printer paper, laminated them, cut them out, and then added a strip of magnetic tape to the back of the cards. I heart them. I really do. They have made our mornings and evenings so much smoother.
Do you have a way of tackling the morning grind? I would love to hear your ideas.
Have a great weekend!
PS Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to Oriental Trading. Contest ends on Sunday.