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  • Hillary Einboden

Let your kids plan their day - step 2

Label your sticks according to what your child needs to accomplish that day. Include tasks like "Brush Teeth" or "Make Bed" as well as core academic concerns like "Math" or "Writing". Once the sticks are labeled, review them with your child and let THEM decide on the order of their day (it is nice for them to arrange this themselves on the table or another flat surface so they can refer to it as the day progresses). Since they chose the order themselves, this increases the likelihood that they will want to go onto the next task. Include things that are not seen as a chore, be it "Art", "Music", "Inventing" or "Dancing".

Another trick to making this process work better is to keep each task really short. You could even set a timer to ensure that your child moves on to the next "subject" before it becomes too onerous. You can always add more time as your child gets more accustomed to this structure.


Once all of the sticks have been put into the jar, your child has earned some free time. Yes, for most of our kids that will mean screen-time. But it is nice knowing that their free time was earned and that large portions of the day were spent in such a productive way!


*Note: if it is too challenging to get a hold of popsicle or craft sticks right now, you could label post its or strips of cardboard. The key is to have a labeled object your child can physically arrange and take ownership of.