In just a few weeks, the kids will be back to school, the weather will get cooler (hopefully), and pumpkin spice everything will make it’s annual debut. (YESSSSSS!) If you’ve been at home with the kids all summer, chances are you’re ready for school to start… but are you prepared?
Transitioning from summer fun to school year requires a few steps and now is the time to get started! Adjusting bedtimes and routines is the first place to start, but making mornings easier with kids also means getting your kids to be more independent.
Yes, this really is possible… and in only an hour or so a week.
I know what you’re thinking… “HOW?!” Well, I’ve composed a list of ways to make your mornings easier and have included a helpful (and cute) FREE PRINTABLE to actually make it happen. You’re welcome. 🙂
So enough of the intro- Let’s get onto it. Here is:
How to Rock Your Kids’ Morning Routine
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I’m not sure about you, but mornings in our household definitely get hectic when the school year begins. Between getting ready, eating, and getting out of the door on time, it can be stressful. To make mornings run easier and smoother when getting into the back to school routine, you need to take some of the responsibility off of yourself and place it on them.
You can do it and they are ready for it, Mom! Here are a few ways to eliminate the stress and get to school on time:
Seems simple, doesn’t it? But you would be surprised how many parents I talk to that don’t have an alarm clock set up in their child’s room! You can make getting up early easier by putting them to bed early (obviously) and putting an alarm clock in their room. If your children are younger, they won’t know how to hit the snooze and getting them to get up on their own alleviates some pressure off of you.
Make sure you place the alarm clock away from their bed so that even if they figure out the snooze function, they’ll need to get up to hit it. You’ll probably already be up but getting them used to getting up on their own will definitely reap rewards for you later! A fun way to present this new found independence is to get them their very own (special) alarm clock. Check these out:
This is the most important thing to have to make mornings run smoother!! Have the kids get themselves dressed. I know this sounds scary- In fact, I have quite a few pictures of “interesting” outfits they’ve chosen for themselves in the past- but it doesn’t mean what you think it does. You can have a week’s worth of outfits chosen and ready to go if you give yourself a quick 15 minutes on Sunday night to get it all together. The secret? A “clothes cart”.
A clothes cart is a set of drawers (minimum of 5) labeled by day. You place one outfit in each drawer so there is no guessing what your child will wear in the morning. All you have to do is grab your iPhone/mobile device/weather channel (or whatever gadget you use to get the weather) and the school calendar.
Using both the calendar and the weather forecast, you and your kiddo can pick out outfits for each day of the week. The school calendar comes in handy to plan for Pajama days, team shirt days, etc… that way you don’t forget when these days come along (and you’ll have the items clean and ready!).
Having outfits ready for the entire week saves you time each day and helps to make your kiddos more independent in the morning. No more last-minute picking, choosing, or fussing! For more tips and to learn how to make your own clothes cart, check out: How to Simplify Your Morning Routine with a Clothes Cart.
If you’re interested in the “clothes cart” drawers we purchased, it’s this: Double Storage Cart w/12 Drawers.
Ready to Rock Today Free Checklist Printable
Add independence to your kids’ morning routine. There are a few things that need to happen every day in the morning before school that they can do on their own. Instead of barking multiple commands at the kids every morning, have them fetch their own things, complete their own chores, and be ready to go with this handy printable. You’ll be Rockin’ and Rollin’ in no time.
(TIP: Print this sheet out, place it in a sheet protector, and have them mark the completed tasks off with a dry erase marker. To make it more exciting, you can also offer them a reward for getting everything done!)
Get this Ready to Rock Today Free Printable.
Lunch Assembly Line
While the kids are getting themselves ready, you’ll have more time to make their lunch… OR you can show them how to do it themselves. According to ChooseMyPlate.gov, a well-rounded meal includes a plate made up of half fruits and vegetables, and half grains and protein. Assembling the proper portions in each category can be done ahead of time (on Sunday night) and all the kiddos need to do in the morning is choose one item from each category themselves. This will also help them to learn healthy ways to eat and how much of each they’ll need.
Karrie from www.HappyMoneySaver.com also created a post with some great ideas on how to prep cold lunches. Check it out: Make Ahead Cold Lunches.
Even if you prefer to make sandwiches fresh daily, you can still make mornings easier by at least prepping lunch snacks for the week. Preparing snacks should take a max of 30 minutes on Sunday night, saves you from buying overpriced individual snacks, and can be Earth-friendly.
You’ll save by buying an item in bulk and dividing the snack into smaller portions. For example, instead of buying individual snack packs of pretzels, you can save money by buying a big bag and dividing them into reusable snack bags or containers. (Buying reusable bags or containers saves you money on plastic bags, too!) It also allows for healthier snack options that might not come readily available in individually wrapped containers. This makes your morning smoother because you (or they) can just grab and go in the morning.
Another way to foster independence in your kiddos (and make mornings easier) is to make things easier for them to do on their own. Kids can choose their own breakfast and make it in the morning with just a little guidance (prep work) from you. If your little ones aren’t quite ready for this, that’s fine- you’ll be saving yourself time in the other categories to be able to make breakfast for them- but if you wanted to try this out, you might be able to have time to eat yourself!!
Some parents have reservations about having kids serve themselves because of what they will eat, but if you give your children a short list to choose from, this can eliminate bad choices and wasted time. Let them know what their options are and go from there.
If cereal is an option, leave it in pre-portioned containers in a cabinet that is safe and easy for them to get to. Also, make sure that your milk or orange juice is in a small plastic pitcher and near the bottom of the fridge so that they can easily get it themselves and serve themselves without making a huge mess.
If frozen pancakes are their thing, teach them what to press on the microwave, or make a cheat sheet that you can hang on the fridge for them to be able to heat up their own breakfast. If you’re worried about them toasting their own food, create a cheat sheet and leave it next to the toaster (and don’t forget the toaster tongs so no one burns a finger or mistakingly puts a fork in there!). Giving them the option to be independent will come with a plethora of benefits for you, too. Who knows? They might start doing other things on their own.
Making Mornings Easier with Kids
These are just a few of the things that we are doing to make mornings easier around here. You’d be surprised how much time we save (especially with the clothes cart!) and it eliminates so much stress in the morning. I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to defer them to a list to get things done than to have them constantly come to me for direction.
Making kids more independent can save us Moms so much time and stress. Think of how much time you could save and you might even be able to eat or have coffee peacefully once you have them performing these tasks on their own.Are you ready for #BackToSchool morning routines? Find out how to rock mornings and get out on… Click To Tweet
Do you have something to add to the list? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.