Getting kids off to school and adults to work on time can be one of the biggest challenges of the day – every day. These morning routine tips help you have a stress free morning – and puts a little play in your day dancing to your morning playlist.
Tip 1: Plan ahead
The best morning routine starts the night before. Taking a few minutes to plan ahead at night makes a HUGE difference in the amount of stress experienced in the morning rush.
After dinner have one child clear the table and help with dishes as you (or another child) prep the table for breakfast. Have them set the table with placemats, napkins, bowls, spoons, fruit and cereal boxes as part of your dinner wrap-up routine. In the morning, just add milk, juice and hot breakfast food.
Check the kids’ agenda and weather forecast for the next day and make wardrobe suggestions. Have them choose their clothes and hair accessories and lay it out.
Except for sleeping in, this is the part of the morning routine that can be the most time consuming.
It’s a great habit to start early in life to keep mornings stress-free.
Put non-chilled food items in their lunch boxes – and while you’re at it, prepare any food for breakfast that can be made in advance and heated in the morning.
Tip 2: Establish a “Morning Zone”
Putting all critical items into an established “morning zone” can eliminate a lot of headaches during the morning rush.
Use a hanging shoe organizer with pockets to keep essentials and accessories by the door such as dried mittens & hats ready for another day.
If they put their cellphones here before they go to bed to charge for the next day:
- you’ll know they aren’t using them when they’re in bed and staying up
- accessing their phones only after they’re ready for the day can be added incentive
- if they don’t have their phones at the breakfast table, you have a chance to give them instructions for the day and make a connection before they start texting friends
Check your schedule the night before and gather up any items that are required for special events such as library day, sports practice, band practice, etc. and put them in the morning zone. If something is missing you have all the time you need to find it.
When the “Zone” is clear, you know your family is ready for take-off. No more last-minute panicked dash through the house to see if you’ve forgotten anything.
Tip 3: Use Music to Motivate
Create a morning playlist that does the “nagging” for you:
- start with gentle music that plays to awaken everyone without the jolt of an alarm or mom saying “aren’t you up yet?”
- move on to “up and at ’em” faster, louder music that you know they enjoy
- if you use the same morning playlist every day, you can teach them that when they hear a certain song it’s time to do this – such as go brush your teeth – so there’s no more “reminding”
- change the morning playlist on birthdays and holidays to add excitement to the special day
We had an intercom system in our home when the kids were growing up and I loved it – today it’s so easy to do with a bluetooth sound system*. At night they listened to one last audible story after they were tucked in, and then lullabies until they were asleep. In the morning they listened to their morning playlist – as they moved from bedroom to kitchen to bathroom they could still hear the same songs playing.
All it takes is a little organization, a few new habits, and mornings are so much more happier for everyone – especially mom.