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Setting back-to-school routines

Young child backpack next to a school bus

Back-to-school is a time of transition and exciting new experiences for children but it can also be difficult for some. A consistent routine at home can help students, particularly young children, ease into a new school year while learning important life skills. That’s because routines bring structure that is crucial for your child’s cognitive development, independence, social skills and success.

Benefits of routines for children

Children thrive and prosper when they know what is going to happen and when. Structure and routine help children feel secure and comfortable while fostering a sense of independence and responsibility.

Routines also guide a child’s developing brain to know how to organize and manage daily activities. Children can better understand time and create healthy lifetime habits, such as brushing teeth and waking up on time, when routines are in place.

Research tells us that children learn best when we embed learning activities into their regular routines because they are repetitive and predictable and give children many opportunities to practise their skills.

Be consistent

Children do best when routines are regular, predictable and consistent. You can create well-planned routines by identifying important times during the back to school period that would benefit from having a routine and starting these routines early. 

Get a good night’s sleep

We all know that a good day starts with a good night’s sleep. To be as healthy as possible, children need adequate night sleep. A consistent bedtime and enough sleep are very important for healthy brain development and can help with children’s physical health and emotional well-being.

The Public Health Agency of Canada’s current guidelines recommend:

  • Nine to 11 hours of sleep/night for children aged five to 13
  • Eight to 10 hours of sleep/night for children aged 14 to 17

Setting a healthy bedtime routine includes adjusting wake up and meal times at home to match the school day, going to sleep at the same time every night, putting an end to screen time at least an hour before bedtime and creating a relaxing wind-down routine, such as a bath or reading a book.



Back to school,York Region Back-to-school is a time of transition and exciting new experiences for children but it can also be difficult for some. The Regional Municipality of York en-US News

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