Last week I talked a bit about my morning routine, and the fact that I need one in order to survive! But, I do have one rather large problem that I have to contend with in my morning routine – early risers.
Both of my children have always been early risers. I do not know why this is. All I know is that we finally figured out it didn't matter if they went to bed at 7pm or 10pm, they would be up by 6am.
This isn’t always the case. Sometimes they will sleep later; sometimes they will wake up earlier. Recently, Emma has been on a 5:30am cycle, and that is too early. She is six and does not understand why mama can be out of bed but she cannot. The same goes for my little guy. He is actually better at sleeping in until around 7, but often he will be up early just because his sister is up.
I, of course, still want to have my quiet time in the morning. That is why I am waking up so early in the first place! It doesn't make sense for me to get up early just to have the kids follow me downstairs 15 minutes later. I would get nothing accomplished that way. So, my new idea is to make a Good Morning Basket for each of the kids.
I recently read about this idea on the Inspired to Action blog. I really liked all of Kat’s ideas, but with my kids being a little younger, I needed to change what was available to them in the basket.
One of the big things for my daughter is that she is starving in the morning. It seems that without fail she is hungry as soon as she wakes up – much like her dad. Jack likes to wait an hour before he eats breakfast – much like me. They are too little to get their own breakfast yet, and I typically make something relatively hearty like oatmeal or scrambled eggs and toast; neither of which they can make on their own. I decided that I would include a little morning snack that the kids can eat before breakfast. We are home all day, so I am not all that concerned about specific times to get out the door, if you are, then perhaps you will want to lay out what the breakfast is going to be for the morning.
The snacks that I provide are typically dried fruit, dates, nuts/seeds; kind of a trail mix without the chocolate.
Then there are the activities. I wanted something that the kids would find enjoyable, and keep them occupied for a little while. I also wanted to be able to show them how I was having quiet time, to give them something to model when they are older.
What I included in our Good Morning Basket:
- Puzzle – my kids love puzzles, and these are small and easy to keep together, mainly not a lot of pieces
- Coloring/activity book
- Fancy pens/markers – only for use with the Good Morning Basket
- Books – which I will switch out so they have something new to look at
- Journals – my older is starting to write on her own a bit, and my younger likes to pretend he is writing on his own
- Early Reader’s Bible – for Emma who is reading now, but still needs some help. I thought this might help her to be more intentional about a quiet time for herself
- Mini Magna Doodles – my kids love these
Now, most of these items I found in the $1 section at Target, so it was not a lot of money up front. I got quite a bit of stuff, but that was mainly so that I could switch out things as needed. I hope that this helps alleviate some of the stress in the mornings for when the kids wake up super early. If they have a basket ready for them, they should be able to self-entertain for 30 minutes without having the world crash around them (which it seems to some mornings!).
Just a note, my children are six and almost four, obviously you would not need a Good Morning Basket if you have a baby you are nursing, although it might be nice to make yourself one! Add age appropriate items if your children are older.
Next week I hope to give an update as to how this is working for us, as well as how I started getting up earlier to begin with!
Have you made a good morning basket for your children? Is it something that your children enjoy? Is it something you might try to make your morning run a bit smoother?