Do you feel like you’re constantly rushing your kids out the door in the morning? Are mornings a chaotic mess? I have one son who is up right on time every day. He is dressed and ready for the day. He has never missed the bus. And then I have another son who is barely alive in the morning. He is slow to get dressed, slow to eat breakfast, and absent minded at a time when we need him to be getting things done. His brain just doesn’t work in the morning. A morning routine checklist for kids can help get everyone on track and make mornings more peaceful. Let’s discuss some ideas for creating a morning routine and how to use a morning checklist for kids. I’ll also include a free printable (and editable) morning checklist for you to use!
Choose a realistic wake up time
The first step to creating a morning routine that will work with your family is to choose a realistic wake up time. If you have young kids, they may need to wake up earlier than older kids. Choose a time that will give everyone enough time to get ready for the day without feeling rushed.
Need more ideas? Read: Create a positive morning routine for kids
Create a list of morning tasks
The next step is to create a list of morning tasks that need to be completed before leaving for the day. This will be different for every family, but some common tasks may include:
- Wake up
- Get dressed
- Make bed
- Put dirty laundry in the hamper
- Go to the bathroom
- Brush teeth/floss
- Eat breakfast
- Clean up breakfast dishes
- Put on socks and shoes
- Make lunch for school
- Pack backpack with homework/lunch
- Fill up water bottle for school
- Do chore
- Feed pet
- Read a book
Your 4-year-old will need a different morning routine than your 10-year-old. When you sit down to create your list, think about what each person in the family will need to do to get ready for the day. Take into account the different temperaments and tasks of each child.
Make it visual
One way to help kids (and adults!) follow a morning routine is to make it visual. You can do this by creating a morning checklist or simply writing out the tasks on a whiteboard or piece of paper. Place it in a spot where everyone will see it. I like to put ours on the fridge.
Set a timer
If you have young kids, setting a timer can be helpful. Let them know that when the timer goes off, it’s time to move on to the next task. This will help them stay on track and avoid dawdling.
Give kids a choice
If you have kids who are resistant to following a morning routine, give them a choice. For example, you can let them choose what they want to wear for the day or what breakfast they would like to eat. This will help them feel more in control and motivated to get ready for the day.
Remember to be flexible
There will be days when the morning routine doesn’t go as planned. That’s okay! Be flexible and go with the flow. Mornings are typically hectic, so try not to sweat the small stuff.
Use a rewards system
If you want to really motivate your kids to follow the morning routine, use a rewards system. For example, you can let them pick a toy to play with for 15 minutes after they finish their breakfast or brush their teeth without being asked. This will help them see that there are benefits to following the routine.
How to create your own morning routine checklist for kids
There are many options for creating your own kid’s morning routine. You can make it as simple or as complicated as you need. Here’s some fun ideas:
Draw one. If you’ve got some artistic skills, this could be a fun task. But, even if you aren’t artsy, a morning routine checklist can be hand written on a piece of paper that you tape to the fridge. Easy peasy!
Pick up a pre-made magnetic chart. I love this chart from Amazon! It would be easy to implement!
Create a chart on a chalkboard or whiteboard. You might even have one hung up in your home already. Add a few tasks for your kids to cross off and you are done!
Make a digital one. If you want to get really fancy, create a digital chart on the computer. You could even add some fun graphics or photos of your kids next to each task.
Grab our printable morning routine checklist for kids! Grab it below! It’s easy to download and use.
Our free printable morning routine checklist for kids
This free printable is editable with Adobe Reader (for free). Simply open with Adobe Reader and edit the blue boxes!
Tips for using our morning routine chart with kids:
Print on cardstock. It’ll hold up better than regular printer paper.
Laminate it! I like to use these laminating sheets that don’t require a laminator! That way the kids can use a dry eraser to mark when they’ve finished a task!
Involve your kids in creating it. Ask them what tasks they think should be included. This will help them buy-in to using it.
Make it fun! Use stickers or markers to check off each task as it’s completed.
Put it in a spot that makes it easy to see and use! Our kids have theirs in the kitchen, but you could also put it on the fridge. It’s nice to be able to give it a quick glance and know what is left to do.
Make it a habit. Remind your kids every day to use their checklists! After a month or so, they will be doing it on their own!
Do it with them! Brush teeth together! Tell them to beat you dressed, and eat breakfast at the same time.
Reward your kids when they use their morning routine charts! This can be as simple as a game night or date with mom or dad! Or if you need something more substantial, grab our kids coupon book or reward coupons for kids here (Free Printable Kids Coupon Book).
Using a morning routine checklist for kids is a great way to help them get out the door peacefully. It will give them a sense of responsibility and ownership while also teaching them important life skills. And, it’s easy to create your own! Just grab a piece of paper and start writing down some tasks. You can even involve your kids in the process. Be sure to put the checklist in a spot that’s easy to see and use. And, don’t forget to reward your kids when they use it!
Do you have any other tips or tricks for using a morning routine checklist for kids? We’d love to hear them! Leave us a comment below.