Getting the children out of the house and off to school can be a struggle at any time of the year, but dark and cold winter mornings can make it even more difficult. Motivating them to do well in their school work can also seem harder during the winter months when energy levels are lower.
Little ones may just not believe it’s time to get up when it is so dark and gloomy outside (even if 6am is perfectly acceptable to them on a Sunday morning!), or they might be reluctant to crawl out from under their cosy duvet. Simple things, such as having the heating set to come on a little earlier, or leaving their dressing gown and slippers right next to the bed could help. You could even try leaving their school uniform on the radiator so it’s toasty when they put it on. Pop their bedroom light on and open up the curtains to let as much light into the room as possible.
A healthy breakfast is next on the list. Porridge is ideal as it will warm them up and release energy slowly, keeping your child going throughout those tiring first few hours of the day. It might seem dull after a while if you serve up porridge every morning, but trying a variety of toppings like fresh fruit, honey or jam can make it a bit more appealing. It’s important to eat healthily, especially during winter, to keep energy levels up and also avoid all those winter bugs. A nutritious fruit smoothie alongside breakfast will give the kids a little extra energy and you can even hide one or two vegetables in there if you have a picky eater!
Try and avoid any screen time in the mornings, as it will be much harder to peel your child away from the TV or tablet when they’re warm and comfortable on the sofa. Instead, put on some uplifting music and encourage them to get moving around rather than sitting still – they could even help you with household chores to warm themselves up!
Have shoes, coats, hats, gloves and scarves all laid out by the door so you’re not searching around for that missing glove at the last minute. If the kids are still reluctant to leave the house, try to make the school run as fun as possible! With little ones, you could look out for Jack Frost, or search for winter wildlife along the way. Use what is happening outdoors to teach your child more about the seasons. See if they can tell you why it is darker now in the mornings, why there is frost on the ground and why you can see your breath when you speak. The small things they notice every day can make for interesting conversations and children can learn so much about the world around them by looking at the changes between the seasons.
We have 100 Snap Science posters of ‘our changing world’ to give away, so if your child loves looking out at the changing seasons, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address and we’ll pop one in the post to you.
This time of year can be a real challenge when trying to keep your child motivated, but spring is just around the corner and, fingers crossed, it will bring warmer weather and brighter mornings!