How to create an effective morning routine for kids {+ printable morning checklist}

Raluca Loteanu March 2, 2017
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Here are some tips that totally changed our mornings and a printable checklist that will help you create an effective and joyful morning routine for kids! | Morning checklist for kids | Morning checklist for toddlers | Printable morning checklist

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If you have a young child, I’m sure that you know those chaotic mornings when nothing seems to work and you feel that you’ll never be able to be ready to get through the door and start the day!

I’ve gone through this kind of morning over and over again, especially when Bogdan was a young toddler and we needed to get out on time to get to the creche and then to work. He always had other plans in the morning and we ended up every day by being late!

One day I felt so overwhelmed that I started searching for tips about creating a morning routine for kids and I made a list of ideas that could work for us.

I began to implement some of the tips I found and in a couple of weeks, I already felt the difference: our mornings were quieter and more organized and we started to really enjoy them!

One of the ideas that worked best for us was creating a morning checklist for Bogdan that made him more involved in our morning routine and allowed us to be able to go to work on time (almost every day 🙂 ).

I want to share with you all the ideas that helped us to transform our mornings and make them more enjoyable for all of us and I hope they will be useful for you too! At the end of the article, you will also find a morning checklist printable to download and use for your kids.

Useful tips for creating an effective morning routine for kids

Here are the tips that worked for us, and I’m sure they can bring a change in your mornings too.

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Basically, the key to having happy morning with kids is to allow them to have a little time to do the things they like and to set a routine that you follow each day (the first days may be more difficult because the child is not used to it but after some days the routine will become familiar and the child will be more willing to follow it).

1. Prepare as much as you can the night before

This will allow you to have fewer things to do in the morning and to be able to focus more on your child.

(these are some ideas of what you could do in advance: choosing your clothes for the next day, choosing your child’s clothes, planning what you’ll have for breakfast, getting the child’s backpack ready)

2. Before bedtime, tell your child about the schedule for next morning

This will help him to be prepared for the next day.

When we first implemented the morning checklist, I used to speak with Bogdan the night before about each task on the list and this was really useful because in the morning he already knew what he has to do.

3. Make sure that you and your child get enough sleep during the night

A child who hasn’t slept enough will certainly be in a bad mood in the morning, so it’s important to get to bed in time every night.

Getting enough sleep as a mother of a young child is much more complicated, but at least we can let go of some of the tasks we do after the child falls asleep to be able to get more rest.photo credit: Yuganov Konstantin / shutterstock.com

4. Get up before your child

I used to be very lazy in the morning and I wanted to take advantage of every minute of sleep I could get, but when I made this change I realized that it’s really great! Getting up before your child allows you to have some quiet time in the morning, to drink a coffee and to have a good start of the day! If you have some more time, you can also prepare the breakfast before your child gets up and this will save some time.

Getting up before your child allows you to have some quiet time in the morning, to drink a coffee and to have a good start of the day! If you have some more time, you can also prepare the breakfast before your child gets up and this will save some time.

If you have some more time, you can also prepare the breakfast before your child gets up and this will save some time.

5. Plan some time for cuddling in the bed

We usually tend to hurry the children in the morning to be sure we get things done on time, but this makes them feel disconnected with us and this sometimes leads to some negative behaviors that delay us even more.

Allowing you to have some time for cuddling with your child in the bed after he wakes up is a wonderful way to start the day, so it is totally worth to set the alarm 5 minutes earlier every morning and to use that time for connecting with your child.

The child will be more willing to follow the routine if he feels connected with you!photo credit: Alena Ozerova / shutterstock.com

6. Ask your child for help

Given a lot of instructions all morning long is probably not the best way to make your child follow the schedule and this will probably become annoying for everyone.

Instead, I discovered that if I ask Bogdan for help and I explain to him that I need him to do something quickly to be able to get out on time, he is really receptive and happy to help!

7. Remain calm and take a break when things don’t work well

For me, it was really hard to remain calm when I was late, but I realized that taking a break and reconnecting with the child when he is not willing to follow the schedule is much more effective than constantly hurrying him.

So, I just take a moment to sit down with him and discuss what’s happening (or just hug him) and after this break, things run much more smoothly for the rest of the morning.

8. Create a morning checklist and display it in your house

This idea really helped us! A morning checklist allows the child to see what tasks he has to do in the morning and the fact that he follows the same routine every day makes the mornings more predictable and easier to handle for him.

The checklist contains the list of the main tasks your child needs to complete in the morning (for young kids it’s better to use pictures that allow them to visualize the tasks).

You just need to display the list in the house and to guide your child to follow it every morning. In time, you can encourage your child to take ownership of the tasks. This way he will gain more independence and you will be able to focus more on the tasks you need to complete every morning.photo credit: TasiPas / shutterstock.com

Having a morning checklist really makes a difference and I recommend you to try it!

You will no longer need to remind your child what he has to do and after you test the routine for some days you will be able to allow him to make things at his own pace. If you like this idea, you can download our morning checklist printable by following the below steps.

If the morning runs smoothly for everyone and you even get to enjoy it, your day will begin in a lot happier way and you will feel this boost of energy throughout the day, so setting an effective morning routine is a great thing to do!

I hope that these tips will work for you too and that your child will enjoy the morning checklists I’ve created! 🙂

Here is an article with some additional tips for creating a successful morning routine, from AHA Parenting: Getting Your Child Out the Door In the Morning.

Morning checklist for kids: How to download the printable

The printable contains 4 pages with 2 models of morning checklists: two of them are already filled in with text and picture and two of them have blank boxes where you can add your own texts (you can use them for older kids; you just need to write the tasks in each box and the checklist is ready 🙂 ).photo credit: TasiPas / shutterstock.com

You can print the model you like most and display it in your home.

Save these ideas on your favorite Pinterest board

Here are some tips that totally changed our mornings and a printable checklist that will help you create an effective and joyful morning routine for kids! | Morning checklist for kids | Morning checklist for toddlers | Printable morning checklist

photo credit preview photo: Evgeny Atamanenko / shutterstock.com

Here are some tips that totally changed our mornings and a printable checklist that will help you create an effective and joyful morning routine for kids! | Morning checklist for kids | Morning checklist for toddlers | Printable morning checklist
Morning routine for kids | Morning routine printable | Morning checklist for kids | Morning checklist printable

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Raluca Loteanu

If you find yourself on this blog I invite you to discover us as the happy family we are, who look with optimism and joy at life. If you want to contact me, you can find me on email, I gladly respond to each message.

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Comments (16 people commented this post)

  • avatar image

    Rachel Lavern

    March 2, 2017 Reply
    Wow, do I remember those chaotic mornings I had when my son was younger. I did as much as I could the night before to enable us to ease into the mornings. Good post!
  • avatar image

    Allison

    March 3, 2017 Reply
    We are struggling with our morning routine with our 1 year old. Great tips!
  • avatar image

    Mar

    March 3, 2017 Reply
    Thanks for sharing. What a cute printable! Our 11 month old just recently started daycare, so we are in the early stages of developing our routine. Right now its pretty rushed, so we still have some tweaking to do.
  • avatar image

    Carrie

    March 3, 2017 Reply
    Saved this on Pinterest, but these are great tips! They will come in handy as my daughter gets older. We kind of have a routine, but as she gets more independent it will be better to have something like this to keep her on track. Thanks!
  • avatar image

    Charlie

    March 3, 2017 Reply
    Love this post! I don't have children yet, but I frequently babysit for my niece and nephews and definitely needed to read this! Some great ideas that I will implement for the next "sleepover"! Thanks for sharing :)
  • avatar image

    Traci

    March 3, 2017 Reply
    These are amazing tips!! I don't have kids of my own yet but have worked with young children in a school setting for a few years and I can attest to how life-changing it can be when kids start to internalize the concept of a schedule through repetitive explanation, visual displays, and consistency. This is really empowering for kids and helps set them up for future success in time management and planning their days! Thank you for sharing!
  • avatar image

    Authentic Food Quest

    March 4, 2017 Reply
    NICE idea. It will save us a lot of time.
  • avatar image

    Tracey

    March 7, 2017 Reply
    I really need to do better about preparing for the morning ahead on the night before - but nighttime is not prime time for me! I do try to get with my girls before they go to bed, and make sure they have what they need lined up for the next morning. I guess that covers #2, at least! ;) #7 is a game changer! If I can remain calm, everything goes much more smoothly. I also try to have good music playing in the background, which will hopefully help us all get off to a more positive start to the day!
  • avatar image

    Kimberly Glass

    April 3, 2017 Reply
    great chart!
    • avatar image

      Raluca Loteanu

      April 3, 2017 Reply
      I'm really glad that you liked it!
  • The lessons I've learned to prevent yelling at my child even if I'm really angry - Playful Notes

    May 11, 2017 Reply
    […] If you face the same issue, here is the solution that we found: How to create an effective morning routine for kids (+morning checklist printable) […]
  • avatar image

    Monica Gheorghiu

    May 19, 2017 Reply
    Although I have subscribed in the past and receive a message that I am already there, I cannot download the printable version of the morning routine checklist. Please help.
    • avatar image

      Raluca Loteanu

      May 21, 2017 Reply
      Poti descarca fisierul de aici: http://playfulnotes.com/download-morning-checklist. :-) Daca esti deja abonata gasesti la finalul oricarui newsletter un link catre libraria de resurse pentru comunitatea blogului si parola ei, iar acolo vei gasi toate fisierele create de mine. Daca nu ai link-ul da-mi de veste si incerc sa retransmit informatiile. O zi frumoasa!
      • avatar image

        Monica Gheorghiu

        May 23, 2017 Reply
        Multumesc! Din pacate nici linkul asta nu este functional (ERROR 404 page not found).
      • avatar image

        Monica Gheorghiu

        May 23, 2017 Reply
        Am reusit din newsletter. Multumesc1
        • avatar image

          Raluca Loteanu

          June 15, 2017 Reply
          Monica, imi pare tare rau pentru erori! Datorita tie am descoperit ce nu functiona si intre timp m-am ocupat sa corectez peste tot, asa ca sper sa nu mai apara alta data astfel de probleme!

Leave your comment

Comments (16 people commented this post)

  • avatar image

    Rachel Lavern

    March 2, 2017 Reply
    Wow, do I remember those chaotic mornings I had when my son was younger. I did as much as I could the night before to enable us to ease into the mornings. Good post!
  • avatar image

    Allison

    March 3, 2017 Reply
    We are struggling with our morning routine with our 1 year old. Great tips!
  • avatar image

    Mar

    March 3, 2017 Reply
    Thanks for sharing. What a cute printable! Our 11 month old just recently started daycare, so we are in the early stages of developing our routine. Right now its pretty rushed, so we still have some tweaking to do.
  • avatar image

    Carrie

    March 3, 2017 Reply
    Saved this on Pinterest, but these are great tips! They will come in handy as my daughter gets older. We kind of have a routine, but as she gets more independent it will be better to have something like this to keep her on track. Thanks!
  • avatar image

    Charlie

    March 3, 2017 Reply
    Love this post! I don't have children yet, but I frequently babysit for my niece and nephews and definitely needed to read this! Some great ideas that I will implement for the next "sleepover"! Thanks for sharing :)
  • avatar image

    Traci

    March 3, 2017 Reply
    These are amazing tips!! I don't have kids of my own yet but have worked with young children in a school setting for a few years and I can attest to how life-changing it can be when kids start to internalize the concept of a schedule through repetitive explanation, visual displays, and consistency. This is really empowering for kids and helps set them up for future success in time management and planning their days! Thank you for sharing!
  • avatar image

    Authentic Food Quest

    March 4, 2017 Reply
    NICE idea. It will save us a lot of time.
  • avatar image

    Tracey

    March 7, 2017 Reply
    I really need to do better about preparing for the morning ahead on the night before - but nighttime is not prime time for me! I do try to get with my girls before they go to bed, and make sure they have what they need lined up for the next morning. I guess that covers #2, at least! ;) #7 is a game changer! If I can remain calm, everything goes much more smoothly. I also try to have good music playing in the background, which will hopefully help us all get off to a more positive start to the day!
  • avatar image

    Kimberly Glass

    April 3, 2017 Reply
    great chart!
    • avatar image

      Raluca Loteanu

      April 3, 2017 Reply
      I'm really glad that you liked it!
  • The lessons I've learned to prevent yelling at my child even if I'm really angry - Playful Notes

    May 11, 2017 Reply
    […] If you face the same issue, here is the solution that we found: How to create an effective morning routine for kids (+morning checklist printable) […]
  • avatar image

    Monica Gheorghiu

    May 19, 2017 Reply
    Although I have subscribed in the past and receive a message that I am already there, I cannot download the printable version of the morning routine checklist. Please help.
    • avatar image

      Raluca Loteanu

      May 21, 2017 Reply
      Poti descarca fisierul de aici: http://playfulnotes.com/download-morning-checklist. :-) Daca esti deja abonata gasesti la finalul oricarui newsletter un link catre libraria de resurse pentru comunitatea blogului si parola ei, iar acolo vei gasi toate fisierele create de mine. Daca nu ai link-ul da-mi de veste si incerc sa retransmit informatiile. O zi frumoasa!
      • avatar image

        Monica Gheorghiu

        May 23, 2017 Reply
        Multumesc! Din pacate nici linkul asta nu este functional (ERROR 404 page not found).
      • avatar image

        Monica Gheorghiu

        May 23, 2017 Reply
        Am reusit din newsletter. Multumesc1
        • avatar image

          Raluca Loteanu

          June 15, 2017 Reply
          Monica, imi pare tare rau pentru erori! Datorita tie am descoperit ce nu functiona si intre timp m-am ocupat sa corectez peste tot, asa ca sper sa nu mai apara alta data astfel de probleme!