Children of all ages thrive on routines. It helps them schedule their day in their minds, so they know what to expect and when. The predictability of daily routines also help children feel safe.
What types of things should you schedule into your child’s day? Besides meals and bedtimes, here are 7 daily routines that will enhance your child’s day.
7 Daily Routines to Add to Your Child’s Day
Silent Reading Time
Reading is such an important skill, and all to often kids learn to hate reading. Building a set silent reading time into your day will help your child learn to love reading and look forward to a quiet moment to read to themselves and enjoy books.
Silent reading time comes in all shapes and sizes. It can look like a 1 year old sitting on the couch with a pile of board books. Or a teen curled up on their bed with a favorite novel.
Reading level isn’t important to this daily routine- what matters is that the child has books they love to either read or look through at their own pace.
Quiet time is just that- a time where everyone in the house goes their separate ways and finds quiet activities to do on their own. This time is great for recharging everyone’s batteries and reduces bickering between siblings and allows mom to get some self care time in.
I suggest adding quiet time to your days as early as possible in your child’s life. Read 7 Tips for Successful Quiet Time for tips and tricks- plus more information on why you should have a daily quiet time in your home.
Too many kids- and parents- spend all of their time indoors or on screen these days. Daily outside time is so important for your health and a child’s development.
There are so many exciting activities and skills to be learned outside- riding a bike, gardening, climbing a tree, learning to swing, playing tag, and other sports- making sure you get at least one hour of outside time everyday is a must in every home.
This goes for ALL seasons. Get outside early in the morning or in the evening in the heat of the summer. And bundle up and get outdoors in short sessions in the cold winter.
Chores are SO important to a kid’s growth into adulthood! And it’s never to early to start.
Kids should be included in all household chores in some way. When they are very small they can simply help or follow simple directions. Older kids can take on more and more responsibility.
Remember it’s your job to make sure they have all the skills they need when they are off in the world alone- and the earlier you teach them the skills the longer they have to perfect them
Related Reading: 17 Chores for Your 3 Year Old
A Family Walk
Exercise is another often overlooked family activity. And adding a family walk to your daily routine is a great way to connect as a family while getting your body moving and your heart pumping.
In our house, we takes walks with the goats around the large pasture.
In the heat of the summer we have after dinner “Popsicle Walks”, with a frozen fruit juice to help keep everyone cool.
It’s also looked like mom and day walking while the bigger kids zoom around on their bikes.
When my oldest child was a baby, we took daily walks down to the mailboxes in our townhouse complex.
Whatever your walk looks like- make sure it happens everyday. I guarantee your child will come to expect it, and be disappointed if you have to miss a day.
After Meal Clean Up
So many time the one who makes the meal, is left to clean up afterwards. And that’s just wrong!
In addition to daily chores, every home should have after meal clean ups. This includes helping to unload and load the dishwasher. Putting away supplies. Wiping down the counters and table.
This daily routine helps keep the kitchen cleaner- and mom more sane! Plus it teaches a lot of life skills to your children.
I already mentioned how important reading is, but in addition to silent reading, you should also build in daily read alouds.
Most often this time comes as part of a bedtime routine, but it doesn’t have to.
And don’t limit yourself to reading picture books to toddlers! You can read aloud to your children even once they start reading for themselves.
It’s also a great way to encourage your children to read outside of their perceived favorite genres. Plenty of times they have balked at a title, but if I start reading out loud, they end up finishing it on their own because they just have to know how it ends!