Stay Home: Starting a ‘Morning Time’ routine with young children during isolation

I expect many of us are searching for a little structure to our days at home right now. Our children, especially, will be craving the predictability that their weekdays ,usually comprised of school, nursery or groups and playdates, bring. Mornings that used to involve the simple act of getting up and getting out of the house now look very different, especially if you are in a part of the world that is enforcing a lock down.

Carving out some time either during or after breakfast to gather as a family and establish a few rituals such as sharing books, art appreciation or learning a language, can help foster the calm and consistency we might be craving.

An easy way to introduce ‘Morning Time’ is by putting together a ‘Morning Basket’. For us this looks like a few picture books for my 3 year old and some board books for my 18 month old, I might include non-fiction books centred around a topic my 3 year old is interested in (at the moment it is snails and insects). She is also very interested in learning letters and numbers and so I often include these Montessori letter work and number work books and an opportunity for emergent writing practice or colouring.

We usually play music or start with an audio book whilst we finish breakfast, but if your children are a little older you might try reading a chapter book aloud and continue whilst they are engaged in something they have chosen from the morning basket.

Morning time might also be when older children decide to tick off some tasks set by school such as reading or some literacy or numeracy work but if this is something they aren’t interested in doing straight after breakfast then don’t push it. You want morning time to be light, flexible and most of all enjoyable so your day gets off to the right kind of start. It is more about making time for connection than academics.

It will look different for every family. There isn’t a set length of time that you should be aiming for and sometimes we skip our morning time altogether in favour of self-directed play.

Start small and keep it simple. Grab a few books and pile them up on the dining table or next to the sofa before you go to bed tonight (you don’t actually need the basket) and make yourself completely available at some point during the morning. It might take a few tries but the consistency and predictability that comes from you showing up every morning, even for 5 minutes will make a huge difference to the rest of your families morning and even the rest of the day.

For more on ‘Morning Time’ I recommend visiting the authority on all things ‘Daily Rhythm’ Eloise, over at I have included links to some of her posts below

Rhythm in the home: Our morning time rhythm + favourite resources

Morning Time FAQ

I would love to hear how mornings work in your home right now and how you are approaching all that white space in your daily rhythm…

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