Looking for ideas to create a daily routine chart for kids? This sample routine is for school aged children 5-11 years old. It is a good way to help children independently manage their everyday activities and schedule.
A daily timetable or even a simple checklist without timing can help children see by themselves what comes next in their day. School going children benefit by knowing their morning routine before school and also what they should do after they get home.
Routines teach children responsibility, trust and accountability, while at the same time building their independence and confidence. The routine that I share below is in the form of a checklist. It is a step by step daily routine that children can confidently carry out on their own.
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Why our children need a daily routine
According to research, one of the best ways to build our children’s confidence and self reliance is to give them more control over the day to day dealings of their life.
From toddlers to teens, routines help build self-reliance
When my eldest was three years old, we were ready to transition from his toddler routine to a more grown up school time routine where he would know what he had to do each morning- when he got up, in the afternoon -after coming from school and in the evening at bedtime.
Kids don’t understand time. Also, having an adult after them every time makes them feel like they are totally dependent on us. A routine with steps that explains what they are to do next, helps them easily carry out their tasks by themselves.
Related: If you would like to see the Summer time schedule see here. We also have a toddler routine that we use for our three year olds here.
Daily Routines help children know what is expected of them.
My daughters were 4 and 5 years old at that time. They had just come home from school.
Leaving their bags in the door way, one went straight to her room in her shoes. The other demanded that she be allowed to go next door to play.
They hadn’t even had their lunch or changed their uniform. The morning had been a chaos with me running around looking for a notebook that the elder one had misplaced. I couldn’t handle any more trouble that day.
Compare these two to their brother.
Sharply at 3pm, their 10 year old elder brother walked in.
He placed his shoes in the cabinet, washed his hands at the sink and wiping them on the hand towel pulled his bag to his room. A few minutes later, he emerged in clean clothes. All the while talking about his day and asking me about mine, as he sat down to have lunch. Half an hour later, he retired to his room for quiet time.
I couldn’t believe my girls were so different from their brother.
Then I remembered: He is the child who knows what he supposed to do after he gets home from school. He had been learning and practicing the drill for five years now…
Daily Routine Charts help children keep themselves accountable
As I was saying, children thrive on routines. If they know what they are supposed to do and when to do it, it becomes easy for everyone. There is less stress and more cooperation. There is also more time for activities and play.
A happy child = a happy mother.
My daughters had schedules too but they had no visual reminders about what they were really supposed to do when they got home from school or woke up in the morning.
I would hep them with everything… reminding them what to do next.
A Daily Routine Chart that works from Preschool to Elementary
The routine chart that I am sharing today, I wrote it about nine years ago when my son had just started preschool. We have been following it all these years and when we had two more preschoolers, it was just a natural adaptation from the baby routines that they followed.
When I first started this daily routine with him, it was just a handwritten piece of paper stuck on his cupboard.
We had tried all the fancy illustrated and pretty chore-chart kind of schedule charts but he just took them lightly. So, one night exhausted , we wrote up this chart for him to follow.
It was easy. He could read simple sight words by then so, he understood the details. It was practical, step by step and everything in one place.
If your child is 4 years or older, print this out and give it a try. Explain to them how it works. You will have to help them adapt to it for a week or so. Gradually, they will learn to follow it all by themselves.
Let me explain the routines and why I have emphasize those habits.
Morning Routine Before School
Every morning, as soon as I get up, I ask my children to fold their blanket. We don’t do the spread the blanket and tuck into bed because my children play on their bed too. Folding blanket and placing by their pillow helps keep the bed tidy and easier to clean when they have to pick up the toys.
Next they move to the bathroom, freshen up and then get ready to go to school.
Kids need breakfast before school to maintain their energy. I give them points for breakfast. I believe in recognizing good behavior so we do a lot of star charts in our house. Also we talk often that eating their food means thankfulness.
Then they are off to school.
Related: Need the star charts? Get it here!
After School Routine for Kids.
When children come home from school, they are either very tired or they are hyperactive. My eldest, as long as he was in Kindergarten, was hyperactive but since starting grade school, he is always tired. We have a few must do things but mostly I leave them to themselves.
For example, washing their hands is a must! But.. I don’t force or nag behind them for other things because I know they are tired. They usually take things to their place themselves. If not, I do it for them half way.
Like for example: if they don’t remove their lunch bag or take their bags to the room then, I’ll just pull it myself while following them to the room. Once there, I’ll pull out their lunch box and hand it to them to put it in the kitchen. They’ll gladly do it. Most days, if I have forgotten or gone to the kitchen, they’ll come by themselves with it.
One thing that I try to do regularly, is to make sure they shower daily or at least spend sometime playing with water. We live in a hot and humid country and kids come home sweaty. I am sure you know how much dirt (and germs!) they bring home. It is so important that they cool off. I consider shower as essential sensory play for them.
In the past when my son was that age, I was always troubled how angry and cranky he would be after school. He didn’t want to nap as he was transitioning but he needed to relax. The time in the shower or playing with his toys and water was a great way to unwind. He would cooperate easily afterwards.
Bedtime Routine for Kids:
We have the 10 minutes to a clutter free morning routine every evening to save time. This is where their chores come in. I want them to only get their bags and stuff ready nothing more.
The Extras Daily Routines that I am particular about…
School going children need to change their underclothes everyday. It is very important part of keeping them healthy and keeping infections away. (more about this in a post on its own.)
I am also particular about how much milk they take. My eldest hardly ever drinks milk. Lil’ if I don’t set a limit on her, will drink milk all day. The youngest one goes days without milk but she needs it. So We have this rule. It keeps all three of them in their limits.
This is our daily routine chart that we follow with our children. It has worked for us for all these years.
Need help creating your own daily routine for kids?
The routine that I shared here is just an example of my kids routines. In the past 12 years, I have helped many families set everyday routines and habits with their children. If you are intereste din setting a daily routine for your kids that works, here is what you can do next:
Step 1: Sign up for our Perfect Routines Challenge to create a routine that is customized for your family.
I’d love to hear from you! Talk to me on this topic: daily routine chart for children. What is your children’s routine?