Top Five, High Five

  by Andrew Wolgemuth

There’s a lot that I want to teach my kids, and I’ve found that straight lectures—no matter how well grounded in experience—aren’t usually that effective in conveying these lessons. The best way to learn—it seems—is via practice and the best practice—generally speaking—is the kind of practice that’s fun to do.

That’s why I love a little end-of-day, bedtime routine practice that fellow dadcraftsman Erik developed. It’s a little something he calls/we call “Top Five, High Five.” It’s simple and won’t feel like formal practice to you or your kids, but it provides a bit of reflection on the events of the day, encourages gratitude, and celebrating wins.

It goes like this: Kid-by-kid (with Dad mixed in there), five highlights from the day are noted and dramatically counted.

Kid: Well…I spelled all the words correct on my spelling test.

Everyone Else: ONE.

Kid: Dessert was great tonight…I love cookie dough ice cream.

Everyone Else: TWO.

Kid: Volleyball practice was fun. I got some overhand serves in.

Everyone Else: THREE.

Kid: The book you read to us before bed…that was great.

Everyone Else: FOUR.

Kid: And…the weather was beautiful and we got to play outside after school!

Everyone Else: FIVE! That’s a Top Five…

Kid: High Five!

And hearty high fives are thenceforth exchanged.

That’s it…the Top Five, High Five. If the Family Pep Talk Huddle marks the commencement of a day, Top Five, High Five is a great part of the close.

And, of course, for those nights when it’s late and everyone needs to be asleep ASAP, consider the abridged version: Top Three, High Three.


We love thoughtful traditions and routines like the Top Five, High Five. After all, routines become habits and habits shape character. And fun bedtime routines; that’s good too.

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Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash