Wow! It’s that time of year already, isn’t it? Whether your kids have school in-person or online, back to school, here we come! We know that getting our kids ready for school in the morning can sometimes feel very rushed, even when school is at home. That is why we put together some tips to make the morning less hectic and get everyone out of the door or logged into the computer on time. When the morning starts off smooth, we can all start our day off on a better foot. (No one wants frustrated parents or kids first thing in the morning!)
TIP #1: START BEFORE SCHOOL DOES
Our first tip is to start before school does. We know that routines and bedtimes can get lax during the summer months and quarantine. That’s why it is best to ease our children back into routines a week or two before school starts. Perhaps this will mean to start slowly pushing back bedtime as well as getting up earlier.
TIP #2: PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE
Our next tip can be such a lifesaver on school mornings! Do many things the night before. Prepare and pack lunches, organize backpacks, decide clothing, and set an alarm. It also helps to set aside the same slot of time, either after dinner, or right before bed or perhaps before reading time, to do this morning prep work.
TIP #3: HAVE A SCHOOL BASKET
Having a little “school basket” in your house, such as in the kitchen or playroom, is a great way to keep everything school-related organized. You can put school supplies, lunch boxes, masks, library books, etc in this basket or container. We also love having a special place to put school-related papers, such as homework, permission slips, etc. File holders or stackable organizer trays are great for that!
TIP #4: CREATE A ROUTINE CHART
Think of all the things that our kids have to do in the morning before heading out to school: Get dressed, comb hair, make bed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, put on shoes, grab their backpack. It can be a lot to remember for littles! Having a morning routine chart — with images for pre-readers — can keep easily distracted kids focused in the morning. Fun and creative charts can prompt kids to keep getting ready. Here are some cute charts ideas: morning/bedtime schedule and responsibility chart. This morning routine chart can also apply to homeschool, for instance, instead of “put on shoes” it could be “put toys away and clean learning area.”
TIP #5: PLAN BREAKFAST BEFOREHAND
Plan breakfast a week ahead! We like to plan the upcoming week’s breakfast on Sunday. Think of quick, easy, and nutritious breakfasts to have ready or almost ready in the morning. (Hint: Kidzshake makes for the best nutritional breakfast!) Nothing beats a smoothie in the morning, especially when school begins and the weather is still warm. Check out our post on make ahead Kidzshake freezer packs! We also love prepping muffins, overnight oats, chia seed pudding and waffles. (Note: muffins and waffles are great to freeze and then easy to reheat in the morning!) Another simple breakfast idea that you can quickly make in the morning is a yogurt bowl with granola and fruit.
TIP #6: MAKE MORNINGS FUN!
You can even make the morning more fun by playing some tunes that your kids love! Their favorite songs can put them in a better mood and help get them up and going. Adding music to your child’s morning routine can turn them into playful or relaxing tasks. Furthermore, fun music can be a great timer to cue both the start and the finish of a routine, such as brushing their teeth and getting dressed.
TIP #7: BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL
Our last tip is to be a good role model for our children. Our kids look up to us more than we think and they are always observing our habits. We want to be a good role model to our children by preparing our lunch the night before (and perhaps breakfast, too!), tidying up in the evening and setting the table for breakfast. We must model what we want our kids to do.
We hope these tips help you have a less stressful back-to-school morning routine. Above all, make sure you smile on their first day of school! If you are excited for them, then they will also be excited.
Written by Gelsey Plaza