Mornings before school are notorious for being rushed and hectic, but with just a bit of prior planning you may be able to enjoy a calmer before school morning routine that sets the family up for a successful day.
Here are some of our favorite tips for a calmer before school morning routine and a free printable morning routine checklist to help you get started:
1. Consider School “Uniforms”
Hear me out on this one. Instituting school uniforms for my kids was probably one of the best decisions I EVER made for a calmer morning routine. My kids are not required to wear school uniforms at the school that they attend, but we use traditional school uniform clothes anyway. Here’s why — By simply having a designated drawer for pre-approved school clothes, we have virtually eliminated almost all arguments and frustrations over what to wear to school each day, our back to school shopping was simple, and the laundry is a breeze.
2. Limit the Variety of Socks
This kind of goes along with the uniform idea, but try to limit the variety of socks as much as possible. Inevitably, my kids’ socks would end up in a huge mismatched pile that my kids would have to dig through to try to find a match. This wastes valuable time! Luckily, I have two girls and they happen to wear the exact same size in socks. So I bought several pairs of only one kind of sock, donated all of the rest, and they still kept about 2-3 pairs of socks they consider to be their personal favorites.
3. Prep the Night Before
This truly is the secret to a calmer morning routine. In our household, prepping the night before includes:
- having the kids help to pack their own lunches/snacks and placing them in the fridge
- packing backpacks with completed homework assignments or other paperwork (sometimes a library book or two depending on the day)
- the kids lay out their clothes (including socks, shoes, and hairclips) for the next day.
The morning is not the time to be rushing around the house searching for lost shoes or library books!
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4. Self-Serve Breakfast Tray
I started this out of complete laziness on my part, but two or three times a week, the kids will use a self-serve breakfast tray to pour their own cereal and milk. I love how this helps foster their own independence, and they don’t have to wait for my husband or me to make breakfast for them.
To make this as easy as possible for them, we use a tray set up with:
- up to two cereal containers (sometimes they enjoy mixing two different kinds of cereal together in their bowls),
- plastic BPA free bowls
- a jar with some spoons
- small glass pitcher with a lid that is filled with milk and kept in the fridge.
The kids look forward to self-serve breakfast days the most — even more than my husband’s waffles! I love that the cereal containers are so easy for the kids to close and keep the cereal fresh longer.
Don’t ever underestimate the power of motivation that comes from checking a task as completed on a list! To make out checklist, we use:
- a simple clipboard
- a laminated before school morning routine checklist (download the free printable here)
- a wipe off crayon for each child
The list is completely reusable. This is such an easy but powerful way for kids to build good organization habits, and a quick glance at the checklist helps us to see if there are any tasks that still need to be completed before the kids head off to school.
More Morning Routine Resources:
- Playful Ways to Connect with Your Kids in the Morning
- Healthy Breakfasts To Go for Busy Families
- 5 Ways to Connect with Your Kids Tomorrow Morning
- Pajama Breakfast Picnic
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