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What’s a Good Daily Routine for Kids?

Photograph of a happy young girl brushing her teeth

One of the biggest benefits of a daily routine for kids is good behavior. A daily routine provides your kids with a sense of purpose and safety, which helps them feel comfortable and be well-behaved.

To avoid power struggles between you and your kids, try our tips for establishing and maintaining a daily routine for kids.

Establish a Morning and Evening Schedule

Core activities like brushing teeth, reading, eating and bathing should happen at or around the same time each day. We recommend a morning and evening routine. Specifically, your morning routine should happen in the same order each morning and your evening routine should happen in the same order, everyday.

A morning routine for a preschool-aged child might look something like this; wake up, go to the bathroom, eat breakfast, read one book, brush teeth, go to the bathroom and get dressed for the day.

Bedtime Routine for Kids

An evening routine should happen in the same order each day too, just like the morning routine. An evening schedule should start as you are picking your child up from preschool. Start with a check-in about their day. Ask a few questions. From there it depends on your unique schedule, but once you eat dinner you should have bedtime in mind.

An ideal evening routine for a preschool-aged child once dinner is finished would be to follow dinner with a physical activity. Nothing too rigorous, just something fun that doesn’t involve screen time. Play time in the backyard, a walk around the block, or a visit to the park are all good ideas. Then it’s time to start to slow it down for bedtime.

In order to prepare for bedtime, your child should prepare and unwind by taking a bath, using the potty, brushing their teeth, and reading in bed.

If you need to change your child’s bedtime, make adjustments in small blocks. Plan to make changes to your child’s bedtime over 2 – 3 weeks in 15 minute increments rather than all at once.

To establish and maintain a bedtime routine:

  1. Do the same thing every night, in the same order and end with closing the bedroom door.
  2. Don’t get sucked into ‘I’m scared,’ ‘I need to potty,’ ‘let’s read one more book,’ and other things that might come up. If your child has to go to the bathroom, let them do it without any fanfare. Then get back on track by saying, “Okay it’s time to go to sleep” and close the bedroom door.

Mealtime Routine for Kids

Mealtimes are an important part of a daily routine for kids. Before you start to eat dinner, ask ‘What was your favorite part of the day?’ This is a way to get conversation going. Everyone at the table should share their favorite part of the day, even guests. As a parent, now you know what’s going on throughout the day of your child and your child knows what you’ve been up to.

Interacting with your family is vital to family cohesion and routines. By sharing mealtime conversations, your child knows you are listening to them. The best thing about this approach is that it can happen anywhere, even if you eat out. Plus, everyone can participate, even visiting friends.

Screen Time

Limit screen time before sleeping. Kids benefit from high melatonin levels that help them grow and restore while they sleep. Bright screens can disrupt melatonin production.

Plan for Plenty of Sleep

Finally, it’s important for your child to get plenty of sleep. With an established bedtime routine, you can make sure your child is getting enough sleep. Here are National Sleep Foundation’s recommendations for sleep duration based on age.

Recommended Sleep Duration by Age

 

Age Recommended May be appropriate Not recommended
Newborns

0-3 months

14 to 14 hours 11 to 13 hours

18 to 19 hours

Less than 11 hours

More than 19 hours

Infants

4-11 months

12 to 15 hours 10 to 11 hours

16 to 18 hours

Less than 10 hours

More than 18 hours

Toddlers

1-2 years

11 to 14 hours 9 to 10 hours

15 to 16 hours

Less than 9 hours

More than 16 hours

Preschoolers

3-5 years

10 to 13 hours 8 to 9 hours

14 hours

Less than 8 hours

More than 14 hours

School-aged Children

6-13 years

9 to 11 hours 7 to 8 hours

12 hours

Less than 7 hours

More than 12 hours

Teenager

14-17 years

8 to 10 hours 7 hours

11 hours

Less than 7 hours

More than 11 hours

At Memories & Milestones Academy we know the value of a daily routine for kids. We make sure that kids stick to a routine. Additionally, we receive regular and positive feedback from parents on how this makes the time that their family spends together more positive and easier.


Memories & Milestones Academy is the 5-Star Family-Rated Childcare & Early Learning Academy in New Prague and Belle Plaine. We provide reliable infant daycare, toddler daycare, preschool, and early childhood education for children 6 weeks through 12 years.

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