5 Meaningful Things I do with My Toddler Every Morning
On our morning drive to the babysitter, I used to listen to podcasts or music while Gray ate breakfast. I soon realized that those twenty minutes were precious quality time that I needed to make the most out of. I don’t listen to anything until after I drop Gray off, and now we have a little morning routine with games and practices that we both love. Our morning drive has become something I really look forward to so I wanted to share a few of the things we do in case you guys want to try them!
1. Morning Mantra
Gray tends to wake up in a bit of a grumpy mood. A few months ago I was listening to a podcast and the guest said that before his feet hit the ground every morning he says “I love my life.” I thought it was such a simple but great idea so I started implementing it into our morning. First thing when I wake up, I say it. When Gray wakes up (about an hour and a half after I do) I make sure that it’s the first thing he says also. Then I usually will ask Gray was kind of day it’s going to be and he replies “a great day!” I think it’s so important to incorporate these types of practices into Gray’s life as such a young age, and I wish I learned them sooner.
2. Practice gratitude
So the first thing we do is that we take turns saying three things we’re grateful for. I feel like this really sets the tone for the day, and I’ve been gradually explaining to Gray why it’s so important to be grateful for all of the great things in our life. I know that he’s still a little young to completely understand, but I’m so happy to be teaching him a practice that he’ll be able to use for the rest of his life. He started out just saying he was grateful for mommy, daddy and his toys (typical 4-year-old). His gratitude list has gradually gotten longer and now he also says he’s grateful for clean water, a bed to sleep in, food and things like his daddy taking him to the movies. It’s been so fun to watch him start to grasp the concept of gratitude more and more every day!
3. Daily affirmations
Our affirmations are my favorite part of our morning routine. I usually start and say my affirmations, and then Gray goes next. At the beginning I had to help Gray with his, but now he does them on his own. Sometimes he will randomly tell me that he thought of a new one to add, and it makes me so happy to see his mindset shifting. We both add new affirmations when we think of them, and sometimes he will use some that he heard me say (how cute right??). I started doing this because I thought it would be great for Grayson, but it’s had such a positive effect on both of us.
Some of Gray’s favorite affirmations:
- I am powerful
- I can do hard things
- I am fearless
- I am smart
- I am brave
Some of my favorite affirmations:
- I am rich in opportunity
- I am a good mom and wife
- I make money easily and effortlessly
- I am successful
- I choose joy
4. I Spy
I’m sure everyone already knows this game, but it’s one of our go-to games to play in the car. Hearing Gray say “I spy with my witto eye” never gets old. We usually play a game after we do our gratitude list and affirmations, and I always let Gray pick which one we play. It’s also a good incentive for Gray to do his gratitude list and affirmations since he knows we’ll be playing a game when we’re done.
5. The dinosaur game
I think I just made this one up one day, but it’s Gray’s favorite game that we play. We basically just take turns describing a dinosaur (Gray is obsessed with dinosaurs right now) and then the other person has to guess which one it is (for example I’ll say: I’m a dinosaur with bony plates on my back and spikes on my tail then Gray would guess that it’s a stegosaurus). Gray has gotten better and better at this game and sometimes at night we’ll look up new dinosaurs to add to the game.
5. The school bus game
So this is another random game I made up. Since school is back in session we started playing a game where we yell “school bus!” as soon as we see one. The person who sees the most school buses each morning “wins.” We play this the whole time we’re driving so I feel like it teaches Gray to multi-task while we’re doing our other morning games.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post! Let me know if you try any of these things on your morning drive 🙂
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These are such great tips! And my little boys are also obsessed with dinosaurs! LOL 🙂 I don’t get it. Anyway thanks for the great tips and I loved the affirmations! Your pictures are really wonderful too!
Thank you so much! It must be a boy thing! lol I know about more dinosaurs than I ever thought possible haha. You’re so welcome, I’m so glad you liked them!! Thanks for reading 🙂
Your pictures look amazing and I LOVE your routine so much!! I just had my first full week of spending mornings with my toddler and I wish we could get into a nice routine too soon! Although I know it won’t be until his sister is born.
Aww thank you so much! It’s made such a huge difference for us! I would suggest adding one thing at a time so it’s more doable! How exciting! When is your daughter due?
I think I will take the idea of the morning gratitude but especially the affirmations.
Yess those are my fav parts of our morning routine! I hope they’re helpful for you! 🙂
What a great way to start the morning with your son… it’s a series of routines you’ve created, and kids love routines! I have to start doing this with my son.
Emily | The Multitasking Mom
These are great ideas! The first three I do for myself, but I never thought of incorporating them into my kids morning. Love that idea!!
Thank you!! It’s so nice doing them together and it’s such a great habit for them to start now! Thanks for reading 🙂
I LOVE the morning mantras! It’s all about setting your mindset for the day! I may just have to implement this in my kids’ lives sometime soon! That dinosaur game sounds so fun! I bet I could change that to fit my kids’ interests as well!
Thanks for the reminder mama, I need to establish a positive routine with my little ones. Love these ideas ❤️
Of course! I’m so glad they were helpful! It really makes such a huge difference in your whole day 🙂
What a great way to start the day! I love that it starts the day on a good foot and helps the child have a positive mindset! How old was your little boy when you started the affirmations?
I love these. Super cute ideas and a great way to start the day for both me and the kiddos!
Thanks mama! It definitely sets the tone for the whole day! Thanks for reading 🙂
Love the affirmation, I choose joy!
That’s one of my favs too!! 🙂
Sonja - Too Much Character
I absolutely love that you start your day with gratitude and affirmations! What great ideas for me to try out with my little man.
Thanks so much Sonja! It’s made such a huge difference in the way we start our day. I hope you both enjoy it! 🙂
I love these ideas. I love how you spend this short amount of time setting the tone for the day and playing fun games. Great way to get a 4 year old in a good mood for the day!
Thanks Jennifer! I try to make the most of the time we have together since I’m at work all day! It definitely helps us both start our day in a good mood 🙂
I LOVE the idea of getting a mantra to chant! This is even helpful for adults but teaching kids at an early age to do that will be very helpful
Yes exactly!! It’s been SO helpful for both of us and it’s such a good habit to have!