Thank you Juicy Juice for sponsoring our school night routine.
Now that we are in the full swing of school, I thought I’d share our school night evening routine. People are always surprised when I say bedtime at our house is 7pm. Just last week a friend told me she has about 2-3 hours in the evening with her kids but somehow it never goes well, her kids end up going to bed so late and everyone is miserable. When I told her we have about the same amount of time evening she asked “How do you do it?”. It is and for the most part we stick to this all year long, even during the summer. Of course there are exceptions but overall our simple school night routine stays pretty consistent.
Our School Night Routine
Right after school we either hit the playground to burn some energy or run a few errands at least a few days a week. During that time we talk about our day and I give the kids a quick snack because they sure are hungry or as they say “hangry” after a full day of learning. Their snack is usually something protein rich like cheese, a smoothie or our new favorite Juicy Juice + Protein drink. Z likes the orange flavor while E prefers the fruit punch. What I like? Just like Mitzi Dulan, I like the protein element of this juice. According to Mitzi, protein helps kids grow, build muscle and keep their immune systems strong.
Trust me, one of the main issues with getting in the rhythm of a school night routine is hunger. No one is happy when they are hungry. A protein rich snack is probably one of the most important parts of our routine.
If we don’t stop at the playground, once we get home the kiddos empty their book bags and then we all head up for showers. An early shower/bath is a game changer for us. My kids like getting it out of the way. And this mama swears it helps to keep the germs at bay. It also starts the wind down for the rest of the evening. After that we usually sit out on the deck for a while to relax. It still counts as outside time and sometimes works better because they need the calm more than they need to get the wiggles out.
While I prepare dinner, the kids usually work on homework, play a game or have some art creation time. We eat together and depending on the day (usually Friday) I give them a little treat during dinner like juice or ice cream. When it comes to juice, our goto is Juicy Juice Fruitful Organics because they contain 1 serving of fruit while having less sugar than other brands. We also like the Juicy Juice Waters which I sometimes back in their lunch bags as a surprise along side regular water
We eat and sometimes we do our night time stories right at the dinner table. Try this if your littles are antsy or overly tired right at bed time which can make for a cranky story time.
If we do story time at the table, the kids have free relaxed play time while I clean the kitchen. Most often we have light music playing and the lights dimmed which also helps them wind down. Relaxed play simply means they play a game or play with toys that do not get them hyped up. We are a screen free during the week family unless a school assignment requires them.
Once the kitchen is cleaned we all head upstairs, brush teeth and do the end of our night time routine (a mantra the kids say) plus hugs, kisses and subtle high fives. Sometimes we call a family member to say goodnight too. The kids love that.
A quick note: Yes I clean the kitchen before we head upstairs. My belief is that when we go upstairs all housework for the day is done. Mama is either ready to head to bed or just relax with a book or even scroll her social.
Then it’s night lights on and good night.
Be mindful of the time you have without stressing it. It’s why I say bedtime is 7pm give or take 15-20 minutes. The only night we don’t go to bed at 7 is Wednesdays but on that day bed time is 8pm and we pretty much follow the same format. If bedtime gets pushed back a bit because we were having a laugh fest together then so be it. Honestly, those short moments are priceless and necessary.
They key is to get the must do items out of the way so they can have some fun time. It’s the same thing we do in the morning. Get the things you have to get done first so you can enjoy a fun thing you want to do after. It works for us and we get some quality talks, reading and fun in before bed time. It also makes me feel less like a drill sergeant mom.
Give it a try.