1. A good morning begins the night before.
Prep for the next day before it begins. Every night, try to do as much as possible so you have less to worry about during the morning.
- Make your breakfasts in advance. These portable breakfasts would do the trick.
- Have your kids choose their outfits for the next day before they go to sleep. You could have them do that every night or choose all of their outfits all at once on Sunday nights. Try not to let your kids change their outfits on the mornings; have them wear the clothes they chose the night before to reduce any wasted time in the mornings on unnecessary outfit changes.
- One lost shoe can derail a whole morning. Lay out their shoes either in their rooms or next to the front door.
- Pack lunches and put them in lunch boxes. Leave the lunch boxes in the refrigerator until it’s time to go.
- Load the car as much as possible before the morning routine begins. For example, you could put your kids’ backpacks, the stroller, and your lunch bag in the car before waking up your kids.
2. Decide on a morning routine as a family.
Call a family meeting and discuss ways to streamline your mornings. Have your kids pitch in with their ideas to give them a sense of control and ownership over their mornings. They might even come up with a great idea that you would have never thought of! Then decide on a routine together and follow it every morning.
3. Help your kids be more aware of the clock.
It can get exhausting telling your kids to hurry up, hurry up, hurry up! And it’s not at all effective. Instead of taking on the responsibility of informing them of time’s passing, give them the opportunity to set their own pace by helping them understand how fast time can pass. Depending on your kids’ age, try one of these methods:
- Set up a time timer where your kids can see it to help them understand how much time is left to get ready. You can set the time timer to tick down from 15, 30, or 60 minutes and the red part will slowly shrink down until there is no time left. Then it’s time to go!
- If your kids have phones, you could set a daily timer on their phones to go off 5 or 10 minutes before it’s time to leave, giving them a final warning.
- Create a playlist to help your kids stay on track, with a song for every task that they need to do. One song is for getting dressed, another is for eating breakfast, and so on.
4. Give your kids a motivator to get ready faster.
If your kids know that they’ll get some type of entertainment when they’re all ready, they might be more motivated to finish their morning routine more quickly. This could be a good a way to occupy your kids if they’re ready before it’s time to go and you need to do a few last-minute tasks.
- Put a book basket near the front door for them to sit and read while everyone else finishes getting ready.
- Withhold your kids’ phones and other gadgets until they’re completely ready.
- Don’t turn on the TV until every kid is ready with their coats and shoes on. Allow them to watch TV until it’s time to go. However, if your kids get upset when you turn the TV off in the middle of a program, this might not work for your family.
5. Get yourself ready before waking up the kids.
Getting your kids ready in the morning might require all of your focus, which doesn’t leave you much time to get yourself ready. Wake up a bit earlier to get yourself dressed and ready before the kids are up. Just ten minutes of focusing 100% on yourself can help your morning go much more smoothly.
6. Create a morning checklist.
If you find yourself telling your kids what to do every single morning, take the time to create a list of tasks that they need to do. Brush their teeth, put on their shoes, go to the bathroom, etc. The morning checklist can be as extensive or simple as you want it to be, depending on your kids’ ages and personality. For younger kids, a checklist with pictures and magnets would work great.
You can’t do it all by yourself. If you have a partner, have him/her take on some tasks to divide up the morning routine between you two. For example, you could focus on getting the kids dressed while your partner gets breakfast ready. If your kids are old enough, involve them in the prep the night before by packing their own lunches and their backpacks. Have your kids dress themselves if they’re able to. Give them the independence to do things by themselves by making your home accessible, such as putting a step near the light switch in the bathroom and having all of their toothbrushes and toothpaste ready and within reach.
8. Make sure your kids get enough sleep.
A tired kid in the morning will take double (or triple) the time it takes to normally do something. On school nights, try to stick to a early bedtime and don’t forget to get enough sleep yourself, too.
9. Give personal alarm clocks to your kids.
Kids love to feel like big kids and doing things themselves. You can use that tendency to your favor by giving them a personal alarm clock that will go off when they need to wake up. Allow them to choose their own alarm clock and choose their own song. This pooh alarm clock is really cute for younger kids, while older kids might enjoy this batman alarm clock.
If you happen to sleep through your own alarm clock, you have a backup! Your kids will probably wake you up thanks to their alarm clocks.
10. Practice your morning routine as a family.
Practice makes perfect. Over the summer or a long break, practice your morning routine together as a family to get everyone familiar with what they need to do. Take this opportunity to tweak your routine to find one that works for your family.
What other tips and tricks do you recommend to get kids ready faster in the morning?
“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”