morning-routineMornings! Need I say more?

Some people love them and others hate them. For me, it depends on the day.

It took me a while to figure out our Tot School morning routine. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to include in our routine, when I wanted to do it, or even how I wanted to do it.

Some days I just wanted to give up on a morning routine all together because Sicily wouldn’t sit and listen. I’m glad I stuck with it because I finally figured out what works best for her.

Our Morning Routine

Before we even head downstairs we all get dressed. This way when we walk down the stairs in the morning we are ready to start our day and it can flow with ease.

Sicily and I start our morning with making breakfast together. Usually we make eggs, bacon, sausage, or pancakes. Sicily helps cut her fruit for the morning.

Once breakfast is ready, we sit at Sicily’s little table. I usually sit on the floor because my butt is too big for the chair. As we eat, I do our circle time activities.

We start with our schedule. I printed schedule picture cards, laminated them, put a magnet on them, and place them on our whiteboard. We talk about the main events the day holds and some of the smaller things we will do in each event. So when we talk about school time, I’ll give her a heads up of the activities we will do during school. morning-routine-scheduleNext, we move onto calendar. I don’t do a full calendar with her yet. It’s hard for a two year old to wrap their minds around a calendar. For now, we start with just reading the date.

We point out letters and numbers in the date that we already know. Next is weather where Sicily goes and looks out the window to see what’s going on. We end calendar time by talking about how she feels today. Our Mickey Mouse calendar board helps us display all this information. morning-routine-calendarAfter calendar, we talk about the letter or number of the week. We go over our letter of the week word cards and sometimes we do a small activity with our letter. At the end of our breakfast circle time we read a book that relates to our theme, number, or letter of the week. morning-routine-wordsOnce we get cleaned up, it’s time to start school. We walk down to our learning area together. Before she is allowed to free play, we go over the days activities. I model the activities then set her free. The rest of the day is hers to play.

I don’t force her to do any of the planned activities. Once I show her how to do it, I leave it out for her to do as she pleases. Some times she goes to a planned activity several times and other days she won’t touch it.

Related: Play and Learn: Can You Do Them at the Same Time?

Now is my time to clean, work on the blog, or workout. About an hour later, I usually set up an invitation to create or explore. I just leave it on the table until Sicily notices it and wants to do it. Don’t mention the activity or point it out. Just quietly set it up and wait.

When she is ready, I help her get started and walk away again. Some times she wants me to play with her so I do, and other times I just sit and watch. We play for a few hours before we head outside on a nice day.

The Reason Behind Our Routine

Before I started this routine, we wouldn’t get ready and into our learning area until 10am. By that time the day was almost over and we didn’t get a lot done. Sicily spent the morning watching TV while I cleaned or worked on the blog. We were not productive!

Getting dressed before coming downstairs has really set the tone for the day. We feel ready to start our day and productive when we get ready first.

Calendar time use to be a struggle as well because Sicily was more interested in playing than calendar time. Since doing calendar time during breakfast, I’ve noticed more excitement from her to participate in calendar activities.

With this more productive morning routine, we now get into our learning area around 8:30. Sicily has become more independent since starting this routine, so while she plays I can work on the blog or clean without having to “keep her busy.”

As with anything else that I show you, please keep in mind that every family is different. I encourage you to play around with your routine to find what works best for you. What works for me is not always going to work for everyone else.

Happy Playing!