School is starting soon, and everyone’s doing a lot of back to school organization. We’re all thinking about deciding how to organize our home for the new school year.
If you have a preschooler who is starting school this year, you’re probably already thinking about how you can set up systems at home to make their transition to school easier.
It’s been several years since our twin boys started preschool, but looking back, I realize that there were four major things we did that really helped their transition.
How to Set Up Systems and Routines for Preschoolers
1. Designate a spot for backpacks and jackets. I went out and bought a couple of inexpensive command strip hooks for hanging jackets, and we stored their backpacks in a large basket. These were set up close to our garage door, so it was easy for the kids to put their things away when they got home.
2. Work on creating consistent morning and evening routines for your children. If you haven’t already done this, now’s the time to start.
Going to school for the first time is a big change for our kids. By setting up consistent routines for them, you give them something they can rely on.
Even though their life feels like it’s in chaos while they’re adjusting to preschool, if they have clear routines and expectations at home, they’ll feel more secure.
This is also a good time to create good routines for yourself! Go here to read more about how to establish good routines at the start of the school year.
3. Create an after-school routine for your child and for yourself. I’m a big fan of having snacks in the car on the way home from school. By the end of the school day, kids are exhausted and they crave some quiet time. By giving them a small snack, you give them something quiet to do that also makes them feel replenished.
Also, think about how you want things to go when you get back home. After the first few days of school, you’ll probably be able to tell if your child needs some quiet time, or maybe even some outdoor play time immediately after school.
Preschoolers tend to bring home LOTS of cute papers and worksheets! Set up a system for going through the things your child brings home, cleaning out his/her backpack, and putting out things needed for the next day.
4. Make sure your child is getting enough sleep! Good sleep makes everything else easier – for our kids and for us. According to the National Sleep Foundation, preschoolers need 10-13 hours of sleep each night. Most preschoolers also benefit from a short nap or quiet time in the afternoon.
Why are routines important for preschoolers?
Routines help preschoolers learn time management and what to expect at different times of the day. It also helps them establish important habits like brushing their teeth, getting dressed, and eating breakfast.
Most importantly, routines give children a sense of security because they know what to expect. Especially in the preschool years, having a clear routine helps preschoolers develop confidence in doing things on their own.
How can I set up a reward system for my preschooler?
Preschoolers love positive reinforcement! We’ve used a family helpers jar with our sons in the past. As you’re developing new systems for your preschooler, positive reinforcement will motivate him/her.
Help! How can I get my child to behave at home/school?
If you’re having any type of behavior issues, I highly recommend reading the book 1-2-3 Magic. The book will help you set up a no-nonsense system that helps children regulate their own behavior.
Starting the system is NOT easy, but if you do it consistently, you’ll reap the benefits of it for years to come. We started using the 1-2-3 Magic system when our sons were in preschool, and it still works now that they’re in elementary school.
More Back-to-School Organization Resources