Updated: Feb 10
Are you struggling to create or maintain a morning routine with your kids?
Maybe they have trouble getting ready for school, or you feel they are using too much screen time.
If you're looking for a creative way to engage kids in more than the latest mobile app, try morning baskets.
The concept of a morning basket is quite simple. Create a basket of non-electronic options (i.e. books, brain teasers, a small craft etc.) that your child can use as a healthy (and educational!) alternative to turning on the TV or playing on their phone before school.
Not only with this reduce their screen time, but will allow them a chance to 'wake up' their brains before school in a healthier and more engaging way.
According to an article from Exploding Topics written by Josh Harworth in September of this year, "Almost half (49%) of 0 to 2-year-olds interact with smartphones." and "Gen Z averages around 9 hours of screen time per day".
Additionally, "overall, daily screen time is up 13% (49 minutes) since 2013" and will likely continue to increase, especially with how interconnected mobile communication is to our core society structure.
Not to mention the pandemic. In an article posted by CTV in November 2022, a study was conducted on 30,000 children ages 3-18. This study determined that " Kids' average daily screen use increased by 1.5 times during the pandemic from a baseline of 162 minutes a day before the pandemic to 246 minutes during the pandemic".
Of course, it is not fair to say that all of that screen time is spent on games and social media. E-books have gained in popularity over the years as well as podcasts, which can be both educational and informative digital sources for mobile users of all ages.
So, how can a morning basket help? Providing your children with healthy alternatives will allow them to feel less stress/anxiety when starting the day. Being bombarded with information first thing in the morning can be very overwhelming and agitating.
You can also structure the basket as a reward. Being able to read a few pages from their favourite book or colour a picture in a colouring book is their treat for completing the rest of their morning tasks on time and without fuss. This might be a great solution for those kids who are less motivated in the mornings or are always feeling rushed/panicked in the mornings.
Finally, the basket can be a great reinforcement tool for instilling long-term habits. If your children are older, hold them accountable for missing tasks. If they decide to sleep in and miss completing everything before the bus arrives then they don't get to choose something from the basket. If this is a chronic occurrence, then further refinement to your morning routine may need to be made so the reward is in fact, achievable.
Remember, the organization does not come naturally to everyone, especially kids. It is hard for them to understand the importance and impact being organized can have on their daily routines both at home and at school without encouragement and guidance from their parents.
The simplest way to get kids involved is to model the behaviour you want out of them with your actions. If kids see their parents enjoying the behaviour, they will too!
Morning Baskets for Adults
As easy as it is to pick on the youth, adults can also benefit from their own morning baskets as part of their daily routines.
We tend to be glued to our phones or computer screens from sun up to sun down because of how vital it is to complete our day-to-day jobs. Providing opportunities to give our eyes (and minds!) a break from the screens will, over time, result in improvements to our mental and physical health.
There is a direct correlation between screen time and stress/anxiety, and don't you want to start your day off feeling relaxed and in control? Creating a morning basket that may include either a book, a journal or items for meditation/yoga might be just what you need to feel refreshed and motivated to take on the day.
As I mention for kids, you can make this either a part of your daily morning routine or as a reward for completing all of your morning tasks before leaving for work.
It's easy for us to reach for our phones as soon as we wake up (especially if they are our alarm clock!) try to resist the urge to turn on your phone until you've completed your daily morning routine and are ready to action the emails or make phone calls.
Starting the day off right is the best feeling in the world, and if you are not a morning person or struggling to get motivated in the morning, a morning basket might be the perfect solution to all your troubles.
Now that you have the 411 on morning baskets, I encourage you to try this for yourself or with your kids and incorporate this into your normal daily routine.
🤞🏻 Remember, organizing is a process. Learning new routines and strategies takes time, however, the more you repeat those processes the more likely it is that you will see long-lasting results!
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About the Author: Brittany Smith lives in Ottawa, Canada with her husband and feline furbaby Zoey. She is a Certified Professional Organizer, Owner, and Founder of Control the Chaos, a Professional Organizing business that provides personalized in-home, virtual and digital organizing services aimed at transforming anyone's chaos into calm.