1. WHAT'S GOING ON?
Take 5 minutes to schedule your day the night before. Knowing what is coming tomorrow, what you need (and what the kids need) for each part of the day, is the first step in alleviating the Morning Madness.
2. CHECK THE SCHEDULE
Create a visual schedule for your kids to follow that outlines each part of their morning routine. This will help them complete their tasks like brushing their teeth and getting dressed independently, and it will help you to NOT have to nag and remind them each step of the way!
3. DRESS TO IMPRESS
Set out the kids' clothes (or, if they are willing and able, have them help you set the clothes out), and set yours out too. This way, everyone will have one less decision to make in the morning, which will set the entire family on a smoother path.
If you have a kiddo who is quite particular about his or her clothes, sometimes it helps to break the wardrobe choices down for the day. You can do this by setting out 2 choices of outfits and have your child choose in the morning. This can often save time and arguments, and it can create a sense of accomplishment for your child.
4. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
Set out all necessary items you and each family member will need for the morning in places that make sense! If they don't live there already, place backpacks and shoes (and any needed accessories depending on the weather - coats, gloves, hats, sunscreen) right by the door. Don't forget everything you need for your day, too!
5. CHECK IT OFF!
Using a checklist can be invaluable in the morning - this way you can leave the house knowing you have thought of everything and won't be stressed and wasting time running back into the house for the fifth time to grab your keys!
A great tip for a checklist is to write it or type it on a plain piece of paper and place this in a clear binder sheet protector like this. Of course if you're like me and you have a laminator at home, this is a great time to use it! Either way you cover it, having the kids check off each box with a dry erase marker as they finish a part of the routine can help them feel independent, and part of the team.
This checklist printable is customizable - you can add your child's name and the specific parts of your routine (this can work for a routine ANY time of day, by the way!) in your house. There is also a space for adding pictures - our kids love seeing themselves in pictures - snap a quick pic of your child doing each step, add it to this form, print it out, and you're ready to go with your child's very own routine checklist!