Back to the old routine for kids and parents
It may be summer, but the preschoolers enrolled at Little Newtons Early Education Center in Plymouth are hard at work.

Staff members say that one reason for their success -- and good behavior -- is that they're on a daily routine.

"And so they're used to getting up at the same time, being here at the same time every day," said Krissy Finco, chief operating officer of Little Newtons.

As September draws closer, most Minnesota students will head back to school and experts at Little Newtons say parents should be thinking ahead.

"Don't wait until the last minute to transition your children back into the recommended sleep hours," Finco said.

It can be difficult for children who've spent the whole summer sleeping in to adjust, so parents are encouraged to move their kids' bedtime up 10 or 15 minutes each night to make it easier once school starts. Failure to do this could have some unfortunate consequences.

"They're crabby, tired, they don't have enough concentration, or as much concentration as they normally would," Finco said.

Getting kids on a routine can also allow them time in the morning to eat breakfast.

"Making sure that you're giving them time in the morning so that they're not super rushed to get out the door, but that you have time so that they can sit down and eat breakfast and have that important brain food," Finco said.

Lunch on the brain

Speaking of brain food, experts say parents should get on a routine regarding kids' lunches. Meals should include a variety of whole grains, proteins, fruits and veggies.

"I pack their lunches the night before," Finco said, referring to her family. "So that everything is prepped. So that morning, time doesn't feel so chaotic."

Last but not least, no matter how busy parents get with back to school, time should always be set aside for exercise.

"It's one of the things I think gets put on the back burner a lot," Finco said. "There's a lot of simple things we can do."

Examples include, getting kids involved in sports, or setting up family time for exercise.

"It doesn't take a lot of time," Finco said.

Ultimately, these tips can help kids start the school year in a healthy way.

"A healthy learning environment as well as success in school in general," Finco said.

Delane Cleveland

Aug. 22, 2017


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