Whether you’re a morning person or not, getting everyone out of the house on time can be a struggle. It seems so simple in theory – get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth and go. But for some reason it’s next to impossible to do so.
Is there a way to make mornings easier, to ensure your kids actually get dressed the first time (not the fifth time) you ask them, and to guarantee they haven’t lost their hats?
Yes, yes there is! And it really only comes down to two simple things – a routine they can stick to, and an organised place for their stuff, so they never have to go hunting.
Step one, you need a motivator – something that helps inspire the kids to actually get out the door on time. You could hire The Commando to come round every morning and yell at them, but we think these excellent ideas will work just as well.
Kid-safe morning routine apps
If devices are your thing, there are some great apps that help kids keep track of time in the mornings by allowing parents to program tasks and set the amount of time they have to do each one. Two apps that come with rave reviews from parents are:
Happy Kids Timer
The free Happy Kids Timer family chores app uses cute cartoon countdown timers and offers kids stars and certificates as rewards for getting their tasks done on time. Available on Apple devices – get it now at the App Store.
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The Kazu Time app uses a cute husky puppy called Kazu and his puppy friends to keep kids on track with their routine, and they earn shooting stars as rewards for beating the timer. It’s available on both Apple and Android devices and costs from $1.99-$2.89AUD.
Morning routine charts
If you’d prefer to be digital-free in the morning, then another option is a morning routine chart. Etsy have some lovely ones to purchase but there are lots of brilliant free printables online if you’re keen to get started.
We love this one from Viva Veltoro – if you laminate each page, your child could use an erasable whiteboard marker to cross off each task as they go, then wipe clean each day.
For a magnetic option you can pop on the fridge, this cute set from The Trip Clip is just what you need – with various sets of 20 pre-printed magnets, you can also use their website to make additional custom magnets of your own design.
Or – and this is our fave suggestion – why not get crafty and whip up your own handmade chore chart with exactly the right tasks and rewards you need? We love this simple lift-the-flap idea from the Mas & Pas – check out their tutorial to see how they did it, then go ahead and get creative to make your own.
And onto step two – you need products and a place to keep everything organised! One of the best investments we made last year was an “organisation station” for the kids’ school stuff. We have a different section for shoes, uniforms, hats and homework folders as well as a few hooks for jackets, jumpers and backpacks.
Here’s another fantastic set up – Our House Now a Home turned an unused section of her hallway into her family’s ‘command centre’. So clever!
When all of your regular daily items have a home, you (and the kids) will get into the habit of storing them there, and never have to do the mad dash around the house searching for misplaced sports shoes or school hats again. That’s a win in our book!
Here’s to happier, less hectic mornings.