I am not a morning person and I hate that morning rush where you are trying to get up and out the door and the kids are whining and no one can find anything and you just end up feeling stressed and exhausted before the day as even begun. Because of this, I'm big on a morning routine- especially once school starts. You can get away with a bit more at preschool but school requires you to be somewhere right on time, with different bags, library books, sports clothes, projects and so on. It's exhausting. So below is my Kids morning routine checklist- with FREE printable to keep you on track.
Kids morning routine checklist step 1- make lunch (and anything else you can do) the night before
Making lunch for the kids (and yourself) the night before will save you so much time in the morning. Hey, if you are really organised, make lunch for the whole month using our frozen sandwich ideas! If you don't want to freeze lunches a great idea is to have 2x the same lunch box for your child and make two lunches at the same time. This means you are only making lunch 2-3 times a week instead of five. It's a massive time saver.
Try and get as much as you can done the night before. Don't try squeeze ironing or drying uniforms or finding things or finishing assignments to the last minute. It adds stress to the morning and you don't want that!
Kids morning routine checklist step 2- have a system
Have a system to where all your school stuff is kept. You lose valuable time looking for that lost shoe or the library book that fell behind the bed. Set up space your all your child's school possessions and make sure that's where they return to every day after school. The saying, 'a place for everything, and everything in its place', has never been more applicable than with school stuff.
Kids morning routine checklist step 3- allocate responsibility
Give your child responsibility for getting ready in the morning. School is about learning to do things for your self and take responsibility for yourself and your possessions and it's important to carry this over at home. I am a big believer in a chart to follow so that you don't have to nag them all the time. If your child responds well to 'incentives' (aka bribes) set up your chart as a reward system. Here, it's to get your pocket money.
To help you with this I have a free printable for you to download. If you frame it and hang it on the wall in your child's room they can use a whiteboard marker to tick off as they go, which means you aren't printing a new sheet every week.
Kids morning routine checklist step 4- no screens in the morning
Letting the kids watch TV or the iPad before school is going to lose you a lot of time. As soon as they see a screen kids become distracted and slow down. Then they don't want to leave until the end of a show or they just want to finish a level. The best thing you can do to increase productivity in the morning is banning the screen. Yes, they will complain at first, but they will get used to it and you'll find they are much more switched on in the mornings. Some people use screens as a reward once everything else is done but to me, that just adds a delay when you are about to leave and they don't want to turn it off.
Kids morning routine checklist step 5- leave enough time for everything
We all know that a stressed mum makes stressed kids and trying to squeeze 30 minutes of getting ready time into 20 minutes is going to leave everyone feeling stressed and frazzled. So make sure you get yourself and the kids up with plenty of time to get everything done. If you are constantly finding that you don't have enough time just set an alarm 15 minutes earlier. You may also find that getting up and ready before the kids is a time saver and will give you some time to yourself in the morning (unless they are super early risers- no one has time for that!)
Now, I know this all sounds like this is aimed at mums, that's because you're my readers, but dad is just as capable of doing all of these things! If he is around in the morning divide and conquer! He can do breakfast while you get ready then you can switch shifts. Every day will be different depending on early starts and what you have on but these steps will hopefully help you establish some order in the mornings!