The morning routine for kids is a tricky one. You have to juggle how much they want to do, how long it will take, and how you can get them out the door in time for school. It’s no wonder that most parents end up settling on something like “I’ll wake you up at 7:30am and we’ll see how far we get.” But when your child doesn’t brush their teeth or gets dressed in pajamas because they’re too lazy, it starts to feel like more of a chore than anything else. We’ve found some great tips and tricks though that make mornings with kids easier! Here’s how to create a custom morning routine chart for kids. Follow these steps every day and soon enough your morning will be running smoothly–without any screaming!
Why Routines are Important
You might think that how your child spends their mornings doesn’t really matter. You’re just trying to get them out the door with some semblance of cleanliness, right? Wrong! A morning routine is important for many reasons–not least because it sets the tone for how they’ll act all day long. When kids are in a rush and stressed out, they aren’t able to learn as effectively. They get distracted and their behavior can suffer.
Routines help kids thrive. When they know how much time they have, what steps are coming next, and when it’s all going to be over, they can relax. It takes the pressure off of them when you make sure their morning is planned out in advance so that there aren’t any unexpected surprises!
Benefits of Consistent Routines
When you have consistent routines in place, kids benefit by:
- Getting to school on time. This is the most obvious benefit! Knowing how much time they have for each step and how long it will take them to get out the door ensures that this happens every day without fail, rain or shine (or snow!).
- Staying calm and ready to learn. Kids can be a little high-strung, so having a routine that they can rely on is important for their mental health.
- Having healthy teeth! When you don’t have a consistent morning routine, one of the first things to be forgotten is oral hygiene. When you have a set routine with all of your steps planned out ahead of time, there’s no room for forgetfulness.
How to Create the Perfect Morning Routine Chart for Kids
You need a routine chart that works for you and your kids. A generic routine chart will rarely do! Here’s how you can make a custom routine chart for your kids.
Make a List of Must-Do Tasks
Create a list of non-negotiable task. Keep the list as small as possible to begin with. If there are things you can add to your night time routine, do it! Your mornings will be less hectic if book bags are packed and clothes are picked out the night before.
Create a Visual
Most kids can pick up a routine quicker if they have some sort of visual to work off of. It could be a simple checklist, routine cards, or a fancy chart with graphics. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s obvious how the steps work together.
Use intrinsic motivation to encourage engagement! Kids are more likely to follow through with something if they have ownership over how it’s completed. Ask them how their routine might work or what order the tasks should take place in! Letting them be part of the process will make sure your kids want to do this themselves, without you nagging every morning.
Practice makes perfect! Give your kids the opportunity to practice their routine so they know exactly what’s coming next. Practicing ahead of time will relieve stress when you implement the routine. Plus, kids LOVE the role play reversal – where they get to direct YOU through the morning routine.
Add new tasks as needed
Once you’ve created the habit, you can add new tasks that will benefit your kids’ morning routine. You might find that it’s becoming too easy for them to get through, which means they’re missing out on some of the benefits! If this is happening, try adding an extra task or two and see how much more prepared your kids are when they start their day!
Tips for Successful Routines
- Allow plenty of time at first, until kids master each task.
- If your kids are old enough to handle this themselves, make the chart as simple as possible and let them take ownership.
- Use the when/then strategy to encourage completion of the routine. For example, you might say “when you finish your routine, then we can watch a cartoon before school!”
- If possible include a tasks that encourages connection between you and your child, such as reading together or eating breakfast together.
My Favorite Freebie Printable
We offer a free editable daily schedule template that you can use with your kids! Just download, edit & print!
The Bottom Line
Kids love routines. They know how to handle them and they find comfort in knowing what’s coming next. Creating a morning routine chart for kids can benefit your family tremendously!
What You Should Do Next…
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