How to Rock Your Kids’ Morning Routine (and a Free Printable!)
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:
Ok to Wake!, LEGO Alarm Clock, Cars2 Alarm Clock, Minion Alarm Clock, LEGO Batman Alarm Clock
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 time: Click To Tweet
I hope these tips help to make your morning run smoother. For more great tips and tricks, check out Teaching Kids Table Manners and Getting Kids to Listen Without Losing It.
Do you have something to add to the list? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
67 thoughts on “How to Rock Your Kids’ Morning Routine (and a Free Printable!)”
Is it terrible that I don’t have kids, but I still needed this list haha! Trying to get my a** in gear in the mornings is such a struggle, so thanks for the nifty list 🙂
Haha no problem, Aine!
These are all great ideas! Most of which I used when my kids were in public school. My oldest is off to college next month, and my youngest is homeschooled, so our mornings are much more relaxed now.
Hey Joanna! Thnaks so much! I’m glad you guys have a great routine in place already!
These are good tips and can help make the morning go smoother and easier. Helps so there is less chaos.
Hey Jeanine! You’re so right- it does make it a 100 times easier!
We have a routine down pat and totally rock our mornings in our house. The trick is doing as much as possible the night before.
Hey Robin! I agree- preparation is key!
Your routine is something I will need to revisit in a few short weeks. I love the checklist even if you don’t mark it, it is good to look at every morning so as not to forget the lunch again.
I love these ideas! We always try to have outfits picked the night before, backpacks ready to go, and easy breakfasts. None of us are morning people, so the easiest, the better.
Hey Amber! That’s definitely the way to do it. We used to do night before, but it got hectic with practices and other stuff. We would sometimes forget, so planning for the whole week in 20 or so minutes on Sunday became the deal- and it works so well!!
can’t believe school is starting soon! AGH. my daughter starts super early and I just don’t know how we will transition from summer to school! but your tips totally help
My kids aren’t old enough for any of this yet and I still got exhausted just thinking about all they will have to do! I’ll keep this in mind when they do start school.
Awesome tips for moms who are gearing up for the back to school madness! I don’t have kids but I’m a teacher so I totally get this, it’s important to have a routine that works for the family!
Hey Karen! Thanks!
Oh boy! My neighbors would benefit from this greatly! Their mornings are always a battlefield. Lol.
Hey La Shell! I hope this helps them. 🙂
Being organised and prepared with kids makes mornings much easier and they go a lot smoother!! I know my sister keeps a chart for the kids to tick off when they’ve completed teeth, making bed etc
Hey Cassie- It really does help so much to keep the flow going.
I love the idea of the clothes cart. That makes so much sense. Geez, I might want to do it for myself so I don’t have to think about my wardrobe first thing in the morning!
Hahaha! Right?! I’d love to have a week’s worth pf outfits picked out for me, too.
I love how organized you are! My son isn’t old enough yet but definitely will consider an alarm clock in his future! Great tips!
Thanks so much, Julie!
Although this was written with children in mind, and I’m excited to share this with my god-children’s parents to help with the coming school year, I can benefit from this list. I’d love to have a Clothes Cart and figuring my breakfast options each day. You know? Adulting at its finest. I’m really looking into the clothes cart. It’s very innovative.
Thanks Debbie! If it’s for you, I suggest getting something with bigger drawers. The only I have for the kids fits one small (kid-sized) outfit each, but for adults, I would suggest getting bigger sized drawers. 🙂
I love the list and how cheerful it is! I would be the kid who would want to color in the stars, though. I think that would be a fun activity!
Awww, Thanks Terri! All the more reason to put it in a page protector and give them dry erase markers to mark it off with… then they could color the stars in every day if they wanted. 🙂
Great post!!! Not only helpful for children. I will reach that to my husband who is struggling everyday to get me out of bed 😉
Hahaha, Stefanie! Happy to help.
Wow..it looks so organised. I also try to organise things and make time tables before school starts but in few days everything goes for a toss. I love the clotehs rack idea.Will give it a try.
Great, Deepa! I hope it helps your mornings run smoother!
I am all about prep on Sundays. The mornings tend to take on some ridiculous energy on its own if we are not prepared. Great tips, especially the weekly clothing cart.
Thanks, Ayana! I hear you on the importance of preparing. It’s absolutely nuts around here if we don’t prepare!!
Great ideas. For my youngest, we have a drawer dedicated to outfits. We put the outfits together when we fold and put laundry away. She picks the outfit she wants to wear and lays it out the night before. really helps with getting going in the am.
Hey Marge! That sounds like a great idea, too! We do it for the week because, in all honesty, I’ll forget to do it nightly.LOL
These are great tips. I am definitely going to sort my son out with an alarm! My daughter is always up before me so no need to do it for her! I’m so pleased our kids wear uniforms for school…makes things a lot simpler!
Hey Nicola! UNIFORMS ARE THE BEST!!! I had to wear uniforms in school and loved the ease of it!
I like the idea of fostering independence. I agree that setting an alarm clock is a great way of creating a routine as routine is so important for anyone regardless of age x
I really like that printable! That would be a lot more fun than me “nagging” my kids every morning!
Right, Amber? That’s exactly why I created it. “Complete the list first before you ask to do anything else, please.”
You really do need a checklist and an assembly line in place for mornings. There never seems to be enough time so having a system really helps.
Isn’t awesome to have a routine that everyone can follow? It just makes everything easier especially for moms. These tips are really helpful.
Thank you, AnnMarie!
Checklist is a great idea for morning routine. But it’s kinda old fashioned. It didn’t work for Junior. We tried several apps. Now we use Happy Kids Timer app on the iPhone. Junior loves it. He can go through all the activities on his own. It helped him to become more independent.
Hey Steve- I’ve never heard of that app, but I’ll have to take a look. My kids are too young to have iPhones, so for now we have the checklist.
While I don’t have any kids, I like to keep my mornings as peaceful as possible. On Sundays I typically meal prep and assemble 7 outfits so that I still have an option during the week if I get bloated or something. Podcasts also help boost my mood and I call it “morning medicine”.
Ooooo… A Morning Podcast sounds good to me. I’ve tried finding a good one for the treadmill, but haven’t found exactly what I’m looking for yet.
I never understand the parents who want to hover over their kids the whole time. Certainly we want to protect them, but we also want them to learn. And in doing so we should be teaching independence ultimately.
Exactly, David! My parents couldn’t be there to do everything for me when I was younger (they both worked really hard), and guess what? It made me independent! It made me learn that if I wanted something or had to get something done, I had to do it myself. I touch on this a lot in Raising Self-Sufficient Children in a Needy World.
The most important thing after own morning routine.Habits from childhood help always.Loved this post.
I always keep clothes organized food prepped and bed time is set .
Hey Amrita! It makes it easier, right?
Our morning routine during school days is so hectic that there is not even a second to make the bed. We try to do 5 things out of 10 or so the night before just to stay sane lol.
Hahaha thanks, Shoshana!
I am loving the storage cart, you are so organized. And that def is a cute chart to keep the kids up and ready in the morning.
Thanks so much, Lynnette!
I love this! I am home schooling this year and I’m already noticing how hard mornings can be. Anything that can make it easier sounds good to me!
I don’t have an alarm clock set up in my sons’ room but I think it would not work since they sometimes set the alarms on their phones and still keep sleeping. I think teenagers and pre-teens are immune to alarm clocks.
Hey Maria! Some adults are immune to alarm clocks, too! I set it far away from their bed so that they have to get up and walk across the room to turn it off. That helps.
Thanks for this post we are Once again returning to routines after a few years off.
When my grandson was 2.5 yo I began many of the same routines. And surprisingly he was able to do most at 3!!! The prep steps we make allows the child to not only help out but gain Independence and Self confidence.
The difference of my g-son at 3 vs now at 8 is dramatic. For the few years we weren’t raising him and the routines were tossed out his independence and self confidence suffered terribly. He was more capable at 4 than at 8.
Making mornings as stress free as possible helps the kiddos (and the adults) begin their day so much more happy.
Hey Buffy! I agree. I’m sorry to hear that he’s gotten off track, but it’s definitely something that can be fixed with consistency. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!