Prepare the Night Before
The ultimate secret to having a stress-free morning is to prepare as much as you can before going to bed. The more you can do the night before – the less you have to do in the morning!
Pick out clothes.
In order to avoid the typically drawn out process of choosing what to wear every morning, simply have your children pick out their outfits the night before. You can even get uber-organized by making tags for each day of the week to put on hangers and then hang the clothes they choose to wear.
If this is a bit too proactive for you, simply designate one hanger with a tag that reads “Today I’ll Wear”. Having that visual makes the prospect of choosing clothes for the next day more interesting for your little one.
Pack up book bags.
The night before, make sure each book bag is packed with homework (hopefully completed), folders, library books, permission slips, etc. Leave the bag by the door. You should also pack up any bags necessary for extracurricular activities.
Prepare school lunches.
To make lunch prep super easy, always have containers ready to catch supper leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. Otherwise, organize your fridge with bins containing lunch prep essentials, such as a sandwich bin with mayonnaise and cheese or a fruit bin with pre-cut fruit. In your pantry, make snacks ready-to-go by having them already placed in containers or bags – such as trail mix or crackers.
Establish a Morning Routine
Oftentimes children left to their own devices are going to flit about all willy-nilly before actually getting ready for school. Hammering down a simple morning routine will ensure that everyone stays on track.
Getting little ones of out bed is usually not that difficult, but as your children grow older they have an innate instinct to stay in bed all day. You should begin waking your child up with an alarm clock at an early age to accustom them to the routine. You can also get creative by purchasing alarm clocks that roll away when activated and must be caught to be turned off, or alarm mats that require your child to stand on them to shut them off.
Organize bathroom time.
If you have more than one child, especially older ones, then you know all about the Bathroom Wars. Nothing can hinder a morning routine like waiting for one to finish in the bathroom so that the other can get ready.Try organizing everyone’s bathroom essentials into individual baskets, so that everything they need is ready to grab and use. Considering purchasing a time specifically for the bathroom to make sure everyone has fair time getting ready.
Charts and checklists.
If you struggle to have your child follow a morning routine, give them a checklist of all the things they need to do to get ready on time. Most of the time, children love checking things off or using stickers to track progress and will likely find this activity fun.You can even bump up the morning motivation by allowing your child to gain rewards by completing a chart of expectations. You can decide whether they receive this reward daily for being ready on time or weekly.
Getting Out the Door
The end-game, of course, is to get everyone out the door on time. Even with night-before preparedness and a fool-proof routine, this
final step can oftentimes be a hindrance for staying on schedule.
If you need to be out the door by 8:00am, set an alarm for 7:50am – ten minutes early will give your family that extra wiggle-room to leave on time.
“Don’t Forget” list.
Post a list of key items by the door to ensure that everyone brings everything they need with them. Include items such as keys, wallets, cell phones and homework.
Go go go!
Yay! You made it! Get out the door, dinosaur!