What is a Breakfast Invitation?
Breakfast Invitations are hands-on preschool activities that began with a problem I needed to solve.
I am a mom of three little boys, six and under. Mornings were not my favorite, and I felt overwhelmed by cranky kids watching morning television.
TV seemed to zap their imagination for anything that followed.
The truth is, I just wanted to wake up being able to drink my tea HOT and have children that use their imagination and play.
I had a baby in one arm, boys at my pant legs, and stepping on Legos as I tried to make breakfast.
IT WASN’T WORKING
So I dug deep into my teacher’s brain and found a solution.
We all crave a balance between taking on parenthood and enjoying the days that come with that tall order.
With Breakfast Invitations, we had finally transformed!
And this transformation is achievable for you as well.
Let’s Create an Environment You and Your Kids are Excited to Wake up to
Learn what to do and what to say so you can drink your coffee HOT while your kids play independently.
Breakfast Invitations FAQ
What is a Breakfast Invitation?
Simple set-ups that allow your child to work on low prep activities as you begin your day. Breakfast Invitations are designed for multi-age families and work well with siblings to align with concepts to come in Kindergarten. The Breakfast Invitation Startup Guide shows you how to restructure your day to help everyone feel more settled in their daily routine and increase independent playtime. Simply put, Breakfast Invitations help set the stage for the day you are craving.
So, what should my child know before Kindergarten?
How can we help prepare our children for their first big Kindergarten milestone? A child’s job right now is to learn through play and hands-on activities.
Remember, play can take many forms:
- Imaginary play to retell stories and life events.
- Constructive play to build and explore objects.
- Games with rules to understand winning and losing.
- Active play to better understand limits.
As parents, we can set up simple yet effective invitations that develop social, physical, cognitive, and language development in all of these categories of play.
“Breakfast Invitations have changed our mornings. After a year of COVID precautions we had gotten in the habit of watching TV in the morning. It was a fight to turn off and the kids were grumpy all day. I wanted to make a change but didn’t know how to start. Having quick set- up Breakfast Invitations were the reset our family needed! We got back into the habit of play in the morning – even when we don’t have an activity set up. During school breaks, quarantine or whenever I know I can fall back into these activities. I simply tell the kids there is a “Breakfast game” and they head straight to the table. The set up takes minutes and it’s easily adaptable for my almost 5 year old and my 3 year old. My 4 year old had significant trouble with pencil grip and scissor skills this year at preschool. I focused on those skills through Breakfast Invitations and his teacher could’t believe how much he’s improved! I just can’t say enough about this resource.”– Erin Buchanan –
Tell me more about these preschool hands-on activities!
I asked YOU on Instagram Stories to let me know what you wanted to know.
Best age to being hands-on activities?
Begin your Breakfast Invitations with play and exploration around 2-2.5 years of age. This is typically a turning point when children can maintain momentum and explore objects with stronger intention.
How young were your kids when you started preschool hands-on activities?
After my second child was born, I had a problem. We either started the day with endless amounts of TV, which set a cranky tone for the day, or I had a million requests before I took a sip of my hot tea. It wasn’t working. We began Breakfast Invitations when my oldest was newly two. When starting, begin with color sorting and shape recognition Breakfast Invitations. You also want to stay flexible and allow your toddler to take learning into their own hands. Start with concepts they have already mastered to help your child become invested with this new routine change. Try to stay consistent M-F with your Breakfast Invitations by having them set up at the same time of day. Some families use Breakfast Invitations as post-nap invitations or preparing dinner invitations. However, you chose to use them again to remain consistent on when they are invited to participate.
Could you list your most frequently used supplies?
You can see the entire supply list here.
You will see a list for the Startup Guide, along with a list of the Breakfast Invitation Cards. Keep in mind that you do not need to go buy out Amazon. Start small. The Breakfast Invitation Cards offer variations so you can get a couple of new supplies to begin and use what you have for the rest.
What do you do when your child is uninterested?
Don’t sweat it. Seriously. Some ideas are better than others, and kids are people too! What I have found is a total fail may be a complete hit when you try it again on a different day.
- Keep Breakfast Invitations out for the day. Allow children to return at a later time.
- As long as the television stays off, allow flexibility in what your child is working on. We have some mornings that the Breakfast Invitation begins after free play.
- Use the Breakfast Invitation Cards to help guide conversation. Each card has some key vocabulary to mention as your child takes the lead casually
How do you fit it in before school? What is your morning routine?
Our morning routine is super simple. The night prior, set up Breakfast Invitation in less than 5 minutes. Morning of, they begin as I prepare breakfast and make my tea. Children continue to explore their Breakfast Invitation as they eat. At this time, it may have gone in a different direction. My role is to listen and take note of how they think and learn.
What’s your background?
I am a mom of three with 13+ years of experience in elementary education. I have a Master’s Degree in Teaching Reading along with an add a certificate for teaching gifted.
Where do you store everything? Do the boys get into it?
The boys get into most of it. And I do that intentionally. I want them to take ideas from the hands-on activities and expand further in thier independent free play on thier own terms.
How do you get your preschoolers interested in hands-on activities?
I keep consistent. We have Breakfast Invitations set up Monday-Friday. On the weekends, they can decide how to start the morning. This gives us all a break and excitement for Monday to hit restart. My kids know what to expect.
- Speak their language. A perfect example of that is on this pumpkin post.
- Keep it light. No one does Breakfast Invitations the same. Perhaps your children mosey in after a little free play? Perhaps they rush down the stairs to get started? There is NO WRONG way to begin as long as it works for your family. Make this routine your own based on your family needs and personalities.
- Take the first week to sit a little closer with them as they gain momentum in this new routine.
- Understand that every day to be different. Some days you will teach them; most days, they will teach you.
- If breakfast doesn’t stick, know that there is always a snack, lunch, or dinner. You can keep Breakfast Invitations out all day for them to dabble in and out of.
- Remember that tomorrow is another day.
What types of vocabulary should a child understand to be ready for a Breakfast Invitation?
Your child does not need to know any specific vocabulary beforehand. Take the time to read the back of the Breakfast Invitation cards so you can have an idea of how and when to introduce new vocabulary. Don’t be afraid to use larger words such as primary colors and classify with your children. If you model what the words mean as you use them, they will catch on!
How are many preschool hands-on activities provided on the cards?
The set of Breakfast Invitations sold in our shop has 20+ activities on each set.
Which Breakfast Invitations work best for multi-ages?
This depends on your children. We do most of our Breakfast Invitations on one paper, and then I try to revisit the Breakfast Invitation with my three-year-old once my four-year-old is at school. I also prefer one setup because it helps my children learn how to communicate thoughts and collaborate. Some days things go smooth, and others can become an argument over who puts down the red bear where—all in good practice.
How can this work for working moms?
I get it. I was a working mom with Grey, and I know how difficult it can be to get out of the house before 7 am. Depending on the amount of time you have in the morning, you could use them the same. Some other variations for Breakfast Invitations:
- Use Breakfast Invitations as dinner invitations.
- Use Breakfast Invitations only on the weekend mornings.
- Share Breakfast Invitations with your nanny or caregiver.
- Use them as post Nap Invitations.
Which hands-on activity would you begin with?
- The Breakfast Invitation set has two suggestions for getting started. I would begin with concepts your child already knows how to master.
- Sorting by color is almost always a win!