Former teacher and mom, Sara, is sharing all her tips for how to create a kids morning routine chart. And she created a FREE printable for you to use when you are getting your kiddos ready in the morning!!
Do you get overwhelmed trying to get your child out the door in time for school with their endless array of belongings? If so, you are not alone! Trying to gather a lunch, snack, water bottle, homework, library book, and even an iPad or computer can seem like one enormous task. Making sure your child has everything they need can make for a frustrating and hectic morning.
Here’s how you can change all that by using this simple kids morning routine chart!
MY FAVORITE SUPPLIES
My son started kindergarten this year so we are new to the early morning school routine. At the beginning of the school year, we barely made it out to the bus on time. There were some days I forgot things like his snack or library book. While these are not life or death situations, I started to get frustrated that we didn’t have our act together.
In order to expedite the process, I found myself packing his backpack myself. However, this was causing some problems. My son was having trouble finding things in his backpack and sometimes even leaving things at school.
I knew that it would be better for him to learn how to organize and fill up his own backpack independently. This would teach him independence, something all parents strive for, right? As a teacher myself, I had a few tricks up my sleeve to help him.
Here is where my kids morning routine chart is a miracle waiting to happen. I make lists for myself to help remember things. Why can’t my five-year-old use a list to help him remember what to bring to school? These are functional skills for kids that need to be taught so they can learn how to be responsible.
We typed out a list with each item that needed to go in his backpack. If your child is learning how to read, you can even have them help you pick out an image to go with each item.
ORGANIZING THE LIST
We typed out the list into two columns. The first column was things we needed to bring every day. The second column was things we only needed to remember on Fridays.
We also left an area blank for reminders for special items like projects or field trip forms. If you want to laminate the list, you could use a dry erase marker and re-write the reminders when needed or simply stick a post-it note in this area. The list can easily be tweaked and customized for your child.
ROLE PLAY HELPED TO PREPARE
The day before we used the backpack list for the first time, we practiced loading up the backpack. We pretended we were getting ready for school just like we would any other morning. Except this time, he was in charge of his own belongings. He went through each item one by one and put them in his backpack.
I noticed when we were role-playing, he was happily putting things in his backpack. This time it seemed like a game and one that he had ownership over. Hallelujah! Hopefully, this would transfer into the next morning when it really counted.
USING THE CHART LEADS TO SUCCESS
It was a success! I couldn’t believe how well he cooperated when putting all the items into his backpack. There was an overall sense of calmness and readiness to attack and greet the day. We were not worried or stressed about forgetting something.
Obviously, there are days when I help him, but for the most part he’s the one taking responsibility for himself. Learning to use these functional skills for kids can teach children to be proactive and independent thinkers/doers. What a wonderful thing!
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4 TIPS FOR A CALMER MORNING WITH A KIDS MORNING ROUTINE CHART
# 1: Put the list on the wall wherever your child gets ready to head out the door in the morning. Make sure the list is at a comfortable height level so he/she can easily read it.
# 2: Leave an extra set of snow pants and shoes in your child’s locker so you don’t have to pack extra on cold & snowy days!
# 3: Try to have your child put some items in their backpack the night before, such as their homework or library book. However, packing everything the night before is not realistic – some things just need to be saved until the morning!
# 4: Leave enough time in the morning to gather the items. Agree on a time with your child that they need to stop what they are doing and get ready to face the day. You can even set a reminder alarm.
If you follow these tips and suggestions and use the kids morning routine chart, you and your child will both be on your way to a happier and calmer start to your day!
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