7 Tips to Help the Morning Routine
Getting kids out of bed and ready in the morning can often be a struggle. Who among us hasn’t said “Five more minutes, Mom!”? There’s so much to organize and do to get ready for the day. What if that process could be simplified? Is such a thing possible? YES, it is! Here at Go Organically®, we love to share tips and tricks to simplify life for you and your family. The tips below may not turn your favorite sleepyhead into a morning lover, but they will help you rise and shine with a lot less stress.
- Establish Consistent Bedtimes: Sleep not only helps children’s bodies and brains develop, but overall will give them more energy in the morning. If your child wakes up feeling groggy, try putting them to bed earlier. Preschoolers and young elementary school students still need up to ten or eleven hours of sleep a night, but that amount will gradually diminish. If you’re having trouble getting your child to bed at night, try starting your bedtime routine earlier to give them time to wind down. It’s not always possible – life happens! The more consistency in any children’s sleep patterns, the easier they are to manage when the sun comes up. Consistency in what to expect each night and morning helps too!
- Make the Most of the Night Before: Once the little ones are tucked in, take a few minutes to prep at night for an easier morning. Anything that does not absolutely have to be done in the morning can be done the night before: packing their backpacks, checking homework, signing permission slips, allocating lunch money, laying out clothes. Those extra few minutes of investment will pay huge dividends in “calm” the next morning.
- Fake It ‘Til You Make It: Promoting a positive attitude can help make your child happier while getting ready, even if you’re not really a morning person yourself. Easier said than done? You’d be surprised! Take a moment to connect over something they have coming up before heading out for the day, and give them a positive message at the same time. For example, “You have music today. Sing your heart out!” or “You had SUCH a great day yesterday; let’s make today even better.” This can help boost confidence, get them excited for the day and help improve performance in school.
- Use a Morning Routine Chart: Make a chart of your morning routine with the kids. The chart should include everything they need to do before walking out the door: brush your teeth, brush your hair, feed the hamster, make your bed, get your backpack, etc. A magnetic whiteboard that lets them move “completed” marks from one day to the next, or chalkboard is a great way to achieve this quickly and easily, and the board should be at their height for easy reach. For added positive reinforcement, you can reward your kids when they’re ready ahead of schedule. (Bonus tip: chalkboard paint on a closet door provides room for the chart and a space for them to express their creativity!)
- Make Breakfast DIY: If the kids are old enough, it can make life easier for everyone if they can make their own breakfast. Set out bowls, milk and cereal, whole-grain muffins or bread, almond butter and fruit spreads in arm’s reach for kids to make their own breakfast. A bowl of pre-cut fruit in the fridge is always a good choice, and depending on their ages, pre-made oatmeal or baked “egg muffins” they can reheat in the microwave are warm and filling. Making options ahead of time and utilizing breakfasts that require no cooking will free up time on busy weekday mornings – save the pancakes for weekends!
- Dance to the Music: Add some pep to your step and theirs by adding some music to your morning routine. Putting on tunes your kids love to listen to can motivate them to move a little more quickly and make every chore more enjoyable. Use the music as a timer – “When this song is over, you need to be downstairs and ready for breakfast.” If you’re tired of hearing the same tunes over and over, check out options like Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music that let you select an artist or genre, and play music based on that choice.
- Get up a LITTLE earlier: If all else fails, and you find yourself consistently running 10 minutes late, getting up 10 minutes earlier can make a world of a difference. It’s not fun the first few days, but you (and they!) will adjust in just a couple of weeks. It will be worth the missed shut-eye to get out the door on time and with much less stress!
Any or all of these ideas can help make mornings easier for everyone. Give one of these tips a try this week and tell us what you thought on our Facebook page.