By: Sarah Meikle/
Happy Mornings, Make Happy Days!
It’s no secret, I wasn’t a big fan of my son starting Kindergarten. I worried about how it would affect him and me. I knew five days, all day, would be overwhelming for a while so I wanted to make sure mornings went smoothly.
It’s been almost two months now since school started and I have to say, so far mornings have been great! I’m a true believer that a happy morning makes for a happy day. It only makes sense if you start your day off right, you set yourself up for a great day!
So here is my recipe for a great morning. It starts out the night before where I lay out a few outfits from which each child may choose. The rule is once you pick out your outfit you cannot change your mind in the morning. The night before I also make sure the backpacks are packed and shoes are ready by the door, to avoid searching for the missing shoe! I prepack lunch except for the sandwich which I make in the morning.
I make certain that I wake up before anyone else. I like to have time to enjoy a cup of coffee and get my brain ready for the day. I give myself at least a half hour, more if I need to go into the office that day. I don’t dare try to tackle the day without my first cup of coffee. ? When it’s time to wake the kids, I try to do this as sweetly as possible, giving them a few minutes to wake up before carrying them into the living room. This is where routine comes into play. My son thrives on routine, so I try to keep the mornings the same, as much as possible. I give both kids a glass of orange juice and allow them to watch some cartoons, my son says this helps him wake up and not feel rushed. Daddy is also there to give morning snuggles before he has to go off to work.
After about a half hour of cartoons it’s time for a healthy breakfast. Oatmeal is always the choice in our house! During breakfast is when I make his sandwich and write his “special note”. On the first day of school I wrote him a simple note, “Have Fun Today Love, Mom” with some added stickers and put it in his lunch box. The next day I didn’t write a note and when I picked him up after school he told me he missed not having a special note. So every morning I write him a note and add stickers. Since he’s only in kindergarten, I try to use simple, easy to sound out words. He loves them and I love knowing that at lunch, I can make him smile even though I’m not there.
Here’s where we make the mornings really fun! After breakfast it’s time to brush our teeth and get dressed. To make it a fun game I will count to 100 while the kids get dressed. They try to finish before I reach 100. It’s a great way to learn numbers and to get them moving fast in a fun way! Sometimes both kids will race each other to see who can get dressed the fastest! Now it’s time for our morning stretches. We gather in the living room and stretch high to the sky and down to our toes taking in deep breaths. I also like to add midline crossing moves, like touching your elbow to the opposite knee. It’s a great way to get both sides of the brain working and ready for school. We end with everyone saying, “It’s a good day for a great day”!
Off to school we go. I can honestly say that mornings have been easy and enjoyable. I hope to continue to keep it that way!
Sarah Meikle has been a Parent Liaison for Lenawee Great Start since 2015. She was raised in Adrian where she attended Madison Schools. She now resides in Tecumseh with her husband Andrew and their two young children, Camden and Kaylee.by