As most moms know, mornings usually set the tone for the entire day, which is why establishing a good morning routine for kids is so important. These tips and tricks will help you to create a realistic morning routine for kids, creating a stress-free start to your day.

Morning Routine for Kids

If you’re reading this post, chances are mornings at your house are chaotic. You are probably struggling to get yourself (plus everyone else) ready and and out the door on time.

You may constantly feel like things aren’t going smoothly; one kid can’t find her right shoe, another one is upset that he can’t watch TV, and you are trying to fill out the field trip form that is due today while also soothing your crying baby. Sound familiar?

Now picture this; everyone working together in the morning to do their part to make the day start smoothly. Your kids taking ownership of small tasks they are capable of for helping you. Concrete systems and routines in place to ease the stress and everything is ready to go and easy to find. Plus walking out of the door with time to spare.

It might sound like an unattainable dream, but with these tips and tricks for creating realistic morning routines for kids, your days can (and should) start on the right foot.

Everyone’s morning will look different depending on their circumstances and season of life. However, there are still ways to make your morning run smoothly. Take what you will and leave what you want. Create something that works best for you and your family.

Why Are Morning Routines Important?

Okay so before you decide that morning routines aren’t for kids or that yours don’t need them, hear me out. Just like adults, kids also benefit and thrive from structure and routines. Here are some benefits:

Tips for Implementing a Morning Routine for Kids?

Creating a morning routine for kids can feel very intimidating when you have never had real structure before. Just remember everyone starts from zero when first creating new routines.

Here are a few tips to create realistic routines that will work and last.

1. Start Small

When it comes to creating new routines the most important thing is to start small and build on them. Adults can’t go from zero to sixty when starting new habits, so it is unrealistic to expect your kids to do so.

When creating moring routines for kids, start with ONE habit in the routine. Work on it every day until they master it. Then add on another component to the routine.

For example, you may have the first step in their routine be something as simple as putting their pajamas in the dirty clothes hamper. Give them that ONE responsibility to do on their own and help them with everything else.

After a few days (when you no longer have to remind them to do that specific habit), add on another piece of the morning routine. Eventually, your kids will be mastering their entire morning routine independently.

2. Include Your Kids When Creating Routines

Just as a teacher does with her students when creating class rules, you should do your best to include your kids when creating a morning routine. When kids have buy-in or say so as to what they are doing, they are more likely to stick to it. They will also be more willing to participate without putting up a fight.

Sit down as a family and brainstorm ideas for how mornings can run smoother. Have your kids think of ways they can foster independence. Play it up! Make them think it is the best thing that they will be “big boys and girls” doing things to help you!

Create a list or a chart together and then slowly start implementing the routine step-by-step.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

A good morning starts with a good night’s rest. According to the AAP, kids need between 8-12 hours of sleep depending on their age.

I know this is easier said than done. All 3 of our young kids have different sleep patterns. However, we make sure to follow a consistent routine that ensures they are getting the proper sleep.

Some of my favorite resources when it comes to establishing good sleep habits are Moms on Call and BabyWise. Also, a product we can’t live without is this sleep machine that is in each of the kids’ rooms.

4. Prepare the Night Before

One of the easiest ways to make mornings a little less chaotic is to prepare as much as you can in advance.

Ask yourself the simple question, “What can I do tonight to make tomorrow a little easier?” and do it! Trust me, your future self will thank you.

Here are a few simple things you can do at night to make your morning a little easier:

5. Wake Up Before Your Kids

While this tip is focused more on you than your kids, waking up early will go a long way to making your morning run more smoothly. Trust me, I know this is easier said than done, especially if you have a toddler like mine who wakes up before the sun.

If you are a mom who enjoys getting up hours before your kids to get a workout and shower in, more power to you! For those of us who enjoy sleeping a little longer (I’m pretty much talking about myself here), the goal is simply to get up an extra 15-20 minutes before my kids.

Take the time to enjoy a few sips of coffee in peace. Get yourself dressed and ready for the day. Mentally prepare yourself for the craziness that is about to ensue when your kids wake up. Preparing yourself ahead of time will allow you to focus 100% on your kids once they are awake.

6. Make Waking Up Fun

How you feel when you wake up sets the tone for your entire day. There is nothing worse than waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

No matter how tired I am in the morning, I try to always think about the fact that the first moments when my kids wake up are some of the most important in their entire day. This helps me to put a smile on my face and fake it even if I’m not feeling it.

There are many ways you can help your kids wake up in a better mood: Morning snuggles, music (hello Alexa), and dance parties are all fun ways to get your kids smiling and moving.

7. Use Timers

Timers are my secret weapon when it comes to productivity.

I personally use timers all the time when cleaning my house or completing a task. It helps to keep me on track and focused on the task at hand.

My kids are no different. They love when I use their Stoplight Golight timer for things like picking up toys, getting dressed, or brushing their teeth. It is like a fun game…a race to beat the clock!

Morning Routine for Kids

8. Make the Routines Visible

Keeping a morning routine checklist for kids visible is a great way to keep your kids on track each day, especially in the beginning.

My kids love to use a velcro routine chart to make sure they are completing all of their morning tasks. It’s like a game to see who can finish them first.

You can get my entire bundle of routine printables for kids here.

Morning Routines for Kids Checklist Printables

9. Create a Morning Basket

I like to keep everthing we might need for the morning in one spot to cut down on the time it takes for the kids to get ready. We keep a basket in a kitchen drawer with some of the most commonly reached for items (plus a few extra things.)

Some of the items that stay in the basket include a hair brush, hair ties, toothpaste, toothbrushes, sunscreen, lotion, bandaids. Right now my kids are little and require my my help when fixing hair and brushing teeth, so its easy to have quick access to everting in the kitchen.

For older kids, you might want to keep the basket in a bathroom. The key is to have everthing in one place to make the process go faster.

10. Reduce Distractions

If you want your kids focused on theri morning rotine and getting things done, it’s important to try and limit distractions as much as possible. That means things like the TV, iPads, toys, and games.

I’d like to say we are a no TV household in the morning, but that would be a lie. However, we do have limits of when the TV can be turned on and when we shut it off.

11. Provide a Healthy Breakfast

You know the saying, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Make sure your kid’s are filed up for a great day by fixing them a protein packed breakfast.

If you are short on time in the morning, consider packing up breakfast the night before so your kids can eat on the way to school. Looking for some ideas, check out these 5 easy breakfasts for toddler.

12. Allow for Extra Time

It doesn’t matter how perfect your morning routine for kids is, something is bound to happen from time to time that throws everyone off schedule. Make sure you leave time in your morning routine for unforeseen circumstances. Someone is bound to spill syrup on their shirt, trip and fall and need some TLC or lose a sock no matter how prepared you think you are.

Having extra time built in for these moments will ensure you are still ready and out the door on time.

On the flip side, if everyone is ready early, use the extra time for a reward like reading a book, 15 minutes of TV time, or a quick game.

13. Review the Schedule for the Day

At some point during your morning rotine, maybe when the kids are eating breakfast, take a minute to review the plan for the day. Kids will have less worry or anxiety if they know exactly what is happening, and it will help prevent the numerous questions from inquisitive toddlers.

I like to go over what the plans are for after school. I let them know if someone different will be picking them up if we have extracurricular activities planned and what we are having for dinner too. We keep a family calendar on the pantry door that I can easily refer to and I also rely on my Erin Condren Daily Duo for everything!

My kids love to be in the know for all things, so I find going over the schedule for the day keeps them in the loop.

14. Keep an Emergency Box in the Car

Even with the best morning routine, things are bound to go off track from time to time. I like to keep an emergency box in the car for things that may

15. End the morning with Positive Affirmations

No matter how your morning ended up going get in the habit of ending it with positive affirmations. Before your kids off to school or before they move on to the next phase of the day, take 2 minutes to get in the right frame of mind.

You can have them

How Can I Reward or Hold My Kids Accountable?

Positive reinforcement is one of the best ways to ensure your kids will continue to work hard at the routines you put in place. Here are a few ways you can hold your kids accountable

Now its time to use these tips to create an easy morning routine for your kids. Remember to tailor it to your family’s needs and season of life. With a great system in place your days no longer have to start out stressful and morninns can actually be a time everyone looks forward to!

This post was all about creating a morning routine for kids.

Thanks so much for reading and sharing!

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