Morning routine challenge for pre-schoolers

Your little one may need to be ready in the mornings to get to childcare before the rest of the family goes to work and school, or you may be getting into a routine to make sure you’re all school-routine-ready for term time.

Either way, ‘beating the beeper’ is a good game to get pre-schoolers used to getting ready on time, in a fun and rewarding way.

How to introduce ‘beating the beeper’ into your routine:

  • Choose a beeper, such as a travel clock, watch or mobile phone alarm, and show it to your little one.
  • Explain that you will be playing a game together in the mornings, to help with getting ready on time.
  • Plan your morning routine with your child and explain how you will have plenty of time to get ready together if you stick to the plan.
  • Make a list with fun pictures or stickers to help your child to remember all the ‘getting ready tasks’ they need to do, with your help. You can include things like eating breakfast, cleaning teeth, washing, dressing and packing a bag…
  • Discuss what rewards will be given if your child is ready in time and ‘beats the beeper’. There will be no rewards if you lose!
  • You can use charts or stickers to track rewards and progress, and rewards should ideally be quality time together, or activities, rather than sweet treats.
  • You can help your little one with certain tasks and counting down the time in increments, always being clear how long you have.
  • Allow your child time to check the list and do as many tasks as possible independently, as this fosters a great sense of self-achievement.
  • Give your little learner plenty of positive praise when they complete tasks on their own and encourage them to get quicker with practice.

If your yawning morning star doesn’t quite make it in time, there is no need to panic at the sound of the beeper—or to react negatively in any way.

As your preschooler gets a little older, this should become easier for both of you. The rewards system can come, perhaps, at the end of the week after a run of good mornings, all being ready in plenty of time.

Simply suggest that you both try again the next morning, and perhaps if you’re ready early you can get a double reward.

Remember, even school-age children, teenagers, and adults sometimes need to be given extra motivation to get into gear in the mornings and if you wish you can make this a rewarding game for all the family!

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