I am a full-time working mom who occasionally rushes in the morning. There is so much to do such as packing my three-year-old’s lunch and snacks, exercise, get myself and son dressed, and so much more.
When I am in a hurry, it does not transfer well to my son. He is probably thinking, “Why do I have to do everything so fast?”
One way I have solved this problem is by getting up earlier and playing games to lighten our morning routine.
Below are some of the games we play…
Stop (Freeze) and Dance
Have your child dance in between self-care activities. Below are examples…
- DANCE to the bathroom then STOP to use the toilet.
- Do a little DANCE to the sink then STOP to wash hands.
- DANCE while at the sink.
- STOP when they have to brush their teeth.
My son loves this game. It helps him to get dressed faster. When he STOPS, it provides an opportunity to focus on his self-care activity. Plus, this game encourages us to laugh in the morning.
Race against the Clock
Tell your child they have a certain amount of time to do a task. Then challenge them to beat the clock!
- Tell your child they have 45 seconds to take off their pajamas.
- Count to 45 and see if your child has beaten the clock.
- Count in different languages if you are teaching your child to be bilingual.
- If you see your child struggling with a task, count a little slower to give them a better chance to win.
- You may also help your child with the task, so both of you are racing against the clock.
This is a fun and educational game in the morning. For young children, it is a great time to practice counting. Once your child becomes more efficient in a self-care task, they will complete it faster. My son really concentrates during this activity because he wants to beat the clock and he is competitive!
Chant to put clothes in hamper or wherever they belong
Say a chant to encourage your child to put clothes in the hamper
- Our chant is “Shirt, pants, underwear, and socks in the basket!”
- We repeat this chant loud while marching from the bathroom to the bedroom.
This is a great way to incorporate song and movement in the mornings! The repetition in the chant helps the child to concentrate on one task at a time without getting distracted. Sometimes, we will clap and stomp our feet to make the chant more musical.
Storytime to keep child still while brushing their hair or putting on lotion
Tell a quick story that will interest your child and keep them still.
- I usually tell silly stories about skunks, elephants, cartoon characters, and cars.
- Create child friendly stories that will keep their attention.
After dancing and chanting, my son usually wants to move around. In order to settle him, I tell a story that interests him. He likes stories where a problem is being solved. Sometimes, I will ask him to fill in the story details to ensure he is paying attention. This is a great activity to help your child listen, focus, and use their imagination.
Race Against You
You and your child have to put your shoes on before going out the door, right? Why not make it a friendly competition?
- We start the race by grabbing our shoes.
- My son says “Ready, set, go!”
- Then we both hurry to put our shoes on.
- The person to put their shoes on first, wins!
This is another friendly game that gets my son moving in the mornings. Sometimes, I forget to mention this game before putting our shoes on. However, he does not let me forget and reminds me every time!
Another Chant to Move Things Along
We say a catchy chant to go downstairs or to get dressed.
- Our chant is “LET’S GO FLOW JOE, LET’S GO!”
- We repeat this chant to help us get things done in the morning!
This chant is a reminder to us both that there is a certain task we need to complete. It helps us get finish quickly and more efficiently. We are definitely more focused when it is time for this chant!
Incorporate these games in the morning and make it a fun time! It has definitely help us to lighten our morning routine!
Happy Morning Play!
What are some tactics used in your household in the mornings?