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Now more than ever, helping your child keep a routine can make an incredibly positive difference in their overall wellbeing. Children thrive when they know what to expect in their day. Establishing a routine and trying your best to stick to it will help create a sense of safety and excitement for your child.

The days ahead have many unknowns. Let your plan evolve to ensure it is working for you and your family. Check in with your kids to see how it’s going and encourage them to offer up new ideas. Each family must decide what works for them and, if you need to change things up, go for it!

Consider including the following in your family routine:

Hygiene time – Shower, brush teeth, get dressed in clean clothes every day. Keeping regular hygiene is important for health and wellbeing.

Exercise time – If you are able to safely go outside with your kids, get some fresh air and get everyone’s bodies moving to burn off energy and stress. It’s great for  physical health and mental health to get 30-60 minutes of exercise each day (it doesn’t have to be all at one time). Get creative with your exercise and mix it up with activities such as walking around the block, jumping jacks, a dance party in your living room, family yoga, etc..

Play time – Creativity and play are important for child development and promoting positive behaviors. Keeping your children busy, entertained and engaged can help prevent disruptive behavior and create more positive, memorable experiences. Need some ideas for playtime? Check out these fun activities from First 5 California!

Mealtimes – Keep regular mealtimes, including snack times. Eating healthy, nutritious food such as fruits and vegetables keep your body and mind healthy and reduce stress. Limit high-fat, high-sugar foods and beverages containing caffeine, like soda. If you need assistance accessing food for your family during this time, check out our COVID-19 resource page for help.

Sleep times – Stick to regular times of going to bed and waking up each day. Create a calm place for sleep that is cool, quiet and free of distractions. Consider adding a nightly routine of reading a book or bedtime yoga.

Mental wellbeing – Take moments throughout the day to talk about feelings. Consider a routine where you talk about, write out or draw three things you are all grateful for each day. Adding 20 minutes of this kind of mindfulness to your daily routine can also soothe and reduce stress. Learn more about communicating and connecting with your child during this time to reduce stress with part one of this blog series.

Keeping as much structure as you can will be helpful for your child and your whole family, but remember to be kind to yourself if it doesn’t always go as planned! Take a look back at our blog Caring for Yourself to Care for Your Family for some additional tips on how to take care of your own wellbeing during this time, and visit our COVID-19 resource page for more information and resources.