Last Updated on September 2, 2021.
It’s nighttime, and you’re on your way to bed. You look over to your kitchen table and see a pile of books, half-finished homework, and the latest project on the computer screen. Sound familiar? If so, it may be time to implement night routines for school! Night routines can help kids stay focused on their work during the day by providing them with structure at night. What should these night routines include? Read on to learn more about how to set up night routines for school that will keep you or your child organized all year long!
What is a Night Routine?
A night routine is a series of actions that help prepare for sleep time and for the next morning. Night routines can be as simple or elaborate as you want them to be, and they typically include:
- cleaning up the bedroom area so it’s neat and tidy
- brushing teeth (and other oral hygiene)
- reading books before bedtime
- playing a bedtime game
- a nighttime snack
- playing soothing music or sound to help relax
- preparing book bags and/or lunches for the following day
- picking out clothes for the morning
Why is a Night Routine Important for School-Aged Kids?
A night routine is important for school-aged kids because it helps them fall asleep more easily, stay awake during the day, and work on their academic skills. It also provides a feeling of security that they need in order to be at ease with themselves before bedtime.
Kids who have a consistent nighttime routine are more relaxed in the morning, less likely to be irritable, and less demanding of the parent.
How to Create a Night Routine that Works for You
Make a checklist of morning prep tasks
Write down all the tasks you can do the night before to prepare for a busy school morning. You might include:
- Getting school books and supplies into your bookbag
- Packing a lunch
- Picking out clothes (including socks and shoes)
- Prepping for breakfast
Make a list of nighttime tasks
Make a list of things your child must do before bedtime. This might include:
- A nighttime snack
- Brushing teeth
- Putting on PJs
- Reading a book
Train your child to do each and every task
It’s important to get your child on board with night routines from a young age so they can establish responsibility and independence. Kids will be more cooperative when night times are predictable, which helps them sleep better at night!
Train them on how to correctly do each task, then let them practice while you watch. once you’re confident they can do it on their own, set the expectation.
Create an accountability system
Kids are less likely to stick with night routines without some form of accountability. Set up a chart or calendar where they can track how many nights in a row they completed their night routine tasks successfully. Give them a checklist or task cards to help them remember each task.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best routine for school?
The night routine that works will vary from child to child. Some kids may need more time in the morning, while others might need less sleep at night! The best way to figure out your perfect routine is to make a list of tasks that need to be done before school, then experiment with doing those tasks before bed, or in the morning.
What time should kids go to sleep on a school night?
The amount of sleep that kids need will vary depending on their age. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nine to twelve hours for elementary-aged children, tweens should get eight to ten hours, and teens can have anywhere from seven to nine-hour night’s sleep. Check with the AAP for recommendations for your children.
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The Bottom Line
Night routines for school, while they seem silly and unnecessary, are actually extremely important. They help set kids up for success in the morning by allowing them to get a full night of sleep without waking up early or being tired all day long. Oftentimes it’s just about planning ahead and making sure that your child gets enough time before bed to wind down and relax.
What You Should Do Next…
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