Now that the Summer holidays are on the horizon and the children are full of beans and not willing to settle down. It's important that you implement an effortless evening routine, to ensure your children get the sleep they need and you get your well-earned rest, of course.
Why is Routine Important for Children?
Whether you’re naturally organized or a free spirit, a regular routine can help tame the chaos, creating a more peaceful atmosphere in your home. The best evening routines are simple and flexible, yet offer some consistency. Every family will have a different routine that will suit their needs and how the household is run. However, every nighttime is equally as important.
5 Night Time Routine Activities For Family
Banish the 5 o’clock blues.
For most families, the first hour after arriving home is the hardest. Establish an after-school routine to smooth the transition. Create a space for backpacks, papers, keys, and laptops and put these items where they belong as you walk in the door. Turn on some peaceful music. Put out a light snack, such as crackers and cheese or sliced apples. Talk with your children about their day as you share the snack. Once their immediate needs have been addressed, children are ready to move onto evening activities. Need to check in with work? Talk as a family about carving out some time during the evening for this so that it’s intentional and doesn’t consume your entire night.
Establish family dinners.
Whether you love to cook or you’d rather order in, family dinner is as much about the company as it is about the food. Try to eat together at the table at least three nights each week. Enlist your partner and children in helping prepare the meal and cleaning the kitchen. Even young children can wash vegetables, spin a salad, or put bowls on the table. Keep a few frozen meals, prepped vegetables, or bagged salads on hand for busy evenings.
Set aside time for a ten-minute tidy.
It might be tempting to leave the dishes in the sink and the house in disarray, but you’ll sleep better and have a more peaceful morning if you tackle chores before you go to bed. Many families do a “ten-minute tidy” before dinner or bedtime. Pick up toys, pack backpacks, clean the kitchen, and prep dinner for the next evening.
Home can be a sanctuary for both children and adults after a busy day. Try building time to unwind into your evenings. This might include going for a walk, reading together, playing a board game, or watching a family movie. Warm baths and bedtime stories are a traditional part of the night routines of many families. Try to turn off all screens at least an hour before bedtime, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Screens suppress melatonin production, which is essential for healthy sleep.
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