8 Ways To Establish A Positive Morning Routine For Kids

Morning routines are very helpful for parents raising little kids. It helps them get through morning activities calmly and in an organized way. 

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Mornings for parents are hectic and even stressful but one of the ways to reduce all these is to have a morning routine to help you manage your activities and guide your children also. 

Having a morning routine for your kids will teach them how to be accountable for certain things each day. It is also your responsibility as a good parent to teach them accountability. 

Also, a perfect way to get your kids involved in house chores and make them contribute their quota is to use a morning routine. This will take a little bit off your parenting plate and also teach children about responsibility and consequences. 

Below are some of the benefits of creating a morning routine for your kids. 

Benefits Of Creating Morning Routine For Kids

Photo of a girl washing; morning routine for kids is a great idea

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1. Creates a sense of responsibility and consequences in children 

Children will grow up with a sense of responsibility when they know that they are responsible for doing certain things in the house daily. They will also be aware of the consequences of not doing their tasks and try by all means to avoid that. 

They will carry this into their adulthood and all through their lives. 

2. Gives your child a sense of confidence and independence

With a morning routine, your child will grow up with a sense of confidence and independence. It will make children feel good about themselves because they can now do some of the things you normally would do for them. This alone makes some kids happy. 

It will also put them on the path of independence and they will be able to do things for themselves with the help of a daily routine chart. 

You will also be teaching them to have a great work ethic when they grow up. This will also teach them how to figure out what they want in life. A morning routine will simply teach kids how to do something for themselves from a young age. 

3. Imbibes self-control in children 

As you introduce a morning routine and ensure that your child sticks to it, they will learn how to appreciate work and play balance. They will grow up to understand that certain things have to be done before they can relax or have fun. 

They will practice this into adulthood and it will become a good habit for them. 

4. Reduces stress 

A morning routine reduces stress for both children and their parents. When children know what is expected of them ahead of time, they will have less anxieties and worries. 

Parents will also have less stress as they won’t have to talk much because the kids already know what to do. 

5. Imbibe healthy lifelong habits in children 

Morning routine might look silly to some people but they help bring up children with healthy and organized habits that will last them for life and make them be good adults. 

The simple things found in a morning routine like:

  • Take a shower/brush your teeth 
  • Wash your hands 
  • Make your bed, etc. 

help to instill good and organized habits in children that they will carry for the rest of their lives. This will help them cope with work and the busy adulthood life in the future. 

6. Instills a sense of appreciation for their parents 

As your assign certain tasks and responsibilities to your children, they will learn to appreciate all you do for them. This would make them not take you for granted later in life. 

7. It sets the tone for the day 

A morning routine sets a tone for your day and that of your kids. So you have to set them in a way that suits the age and personality of your kids. 

There are lots of tactics you will learn in this post to help you create a morning routine that works for your children. 

While reading this post, keep in mind that every family situation and setting is different. Some families might have all toddlers, some teens, and some might be a mixture of these. 

In some families; a spouse travels a lot, while in others; both parents go to work or work from home. Also, some families might have a child on the spectrum or children with disabilities. 

So know your family very well and what works for you, but irrespective of the situation, a morning routine will definitely make life easier for both children and parents. 

Below is a step-by-step procedure of how to create a morning routine for kids. 

How To Create A Morning Routine For Kids

Photo of a girl washing plates; have a morning routine for kids

1. Make a list of your daily responsibilities as a parent 

Make a list of everything you do on a daily basis. This should only include your daily activities and not unplanned things (that occur without planning for them). 

So your list should just be restricted to the day-to-day responsibilities like:

  • Wake up when the alarm goes off 
  • Cleaning up the kids (bathing and brushing) 
  • Washing dishes 
  • Making beds 
  • Put pajamas in clothes hamper 
  • Vacuuming or cleaning the floor 
  • Watering the flowers 
  • Feeding the pets 
  • Dressing the kids up for school 
  • Making breakfast 
  • Eat breakfast 
  • Clear dishes from breakfast 
  • Make snacks for school (For older kids) 
  • Put water in the water bottle for school 
  • Packing lunch for school 
  • Driving kids to school 
  • Making dinner 
  • Laundry 
  • Soccer practice 
  • Piano lessons 
  • Girl scout meeting 

A good rule of thumb to follow is to add your typical daily chores. You can add more to the list above. You can make a daily list of chores you do (Monday, Tuesday, etc.) or a weekly list. 

Once you have your complete list, then start checking off the morning chores you think your child can handle. You can also make this list to include after-school and weekend routine tasks for kids but in this post, we are just focused on the morning routine. 

If you have more than 1 child, you can make separate columns where tasks are divided under age and behavior. This will help you not to add “load dishwasher” on a toddler’s morning routine chart whereas a child over the age of 9 can do that effectively. 

You just teach him/her how to handle sharp knives. You know your children best and their capacity as a parent. All you have to do is to use your judgment when assigning tasks. 

This will ensure that the morning routine chart is a positive experience for both children and parents. 

2. Assign Age-Appropriate Tasks

Always remember to keep the age of your children and their abilities in mind when creating a morning routine for them. This will make morning tasks not feel daunting for your kids. 

If morning tasks feel daunting, you will get resistance from your kids and this will increase stress on your part. For instance, don’t ask a kindergarten child to pack their own lunch. 

Instead, give them the responsibility of packing their snacks from a snack drawer. Always try and keep a balance between the amount of chores on the list versus “life skills”. 

Examples of life skill items are:

  • Going to the bathroom before the bus comes 
  • Brush your teeth
  • Wash your hands 
  • Put your shoes on 
  • Comb your hair, etc. 

Examples of chore items that will make kids help out are: 

  • Make your bed
  • Make breakfast 
  • Pack your backpack 
  • Get dressed

If you are having a hard time sharing tasks for different age groups, you can get free printable charts online for different age groups. Some leave rooms for customization while others come with “to-do items” for you. 

When you download the printables, laminate them and use dry-erase markers or easy-peel stickers so that you can reuse the charts and reduce the waste of paper and printer ink. 

For smaller children who can’t read yet, get printables with pictures, this works well for them. Here are some printables that will help you assign morning routine to your kids effectively: 

3. Give purpose to each task on the routine chart 

Your children will feel more independent if you categorize the morning routine chart. These categories will create an illusion of free thought when you give a purpose to each task on the chart. 

For instance, this free printable here can help you do that. it is semi-customizable and has three main categories: 

  • Body
  • Home and 
  • Mind 

This will give you the room to place your own tasks in each category and this can be a great conversation starter between you and your child. 

You can also give them the opportunity to come up with items (or they choose from the list that you made) that they think can go into each section. 

This will help your children make a connection between their actions and its impact on various aspects of their lives. 

4. Don’t be too cutesy with older kids 

To be realistic, parents of teens and twins will face some resistance when a morning chart routine is made. If you don’t get resistance, you will definitely get an eyeball roll or two, lol. 

But most kids between the ages of 11 and 17 need to be told what to do, unlike younger children who always want to feel like grown-ups. Teenagers actually think they are grown up so they need a reality check. 

Nothing in life is free, they are living in your house so they must do their part. Everything you have and give is for them including your love, money, and time, so they have to respect that. 

Customizable and straightforward charts work best for older kids. They can even hang them in their rooms if they choose to. You can get blank printables like this one if you have an older child that takes part in after-school activities. 

You can have a discussion with your child each night about the next day’s priority and activities. Assign tasks accordingly considering their age and capacity. 

You can add items such as “pack your swim bag” or “prepare an after-school snack” on a morning routine chart for an older kid. You will also help your child prepare some things ahead of time when you have discussions the night before. 

They can also choose to cut down on what needs to be done in the mornings. This removes surprises and goes well with kids who have anxieties. 

Planning ahead helps to reduce the stress that is associated with the fear of being late in the morning. Another decent chart that can help in this case is this semi-customizable one with a few “built-in” routines and rooms for your own. 

5. Use the “when then” method to cut back on resistance

“When then” is simply phrasing a demand you make of your child in a way that keeps it almost “close-ended”. You can use this to cut back on resistance and it works well especially when you designate enough time towards the beginning of the day for your child to complete all tasks on the list. 

This will make them think that they have a choice in the matter but in reality, they don’t. For instance, instead of shouting or nagging that they clean their rooms, you calmly say: “You may watch television for 30 minutes when you clean your room”. 

The use of “when then” is you merely stating a fact, and not you telling them to do something now, or throwing out empty threats of punishment. 

So, if they want something, they need to do something and there is no expiration on the conditions. You might be thinking: “How does this apply to a morning routine for kids”?

Well, think of it as a kind of reward system. On top of the printable or chart, you can write: “When you do these things each morning, then you get ______ (list your rewards) after school”. 

Your reward could be anything like: 

  • Technology time
  • A special snack 
  • Their choice of dinner 
  • Or maybe they want to stay 15 minutes past their bedtime 
  • Just anything that works

So, if they don’t finish all their morning chores, they won’t get their reward. You will be surprised at how this works if you implement it. Just ensure that you give your child a lot of time in the morning to get everything done on their list. 

However, know that things can change and this method will not work forever as they grow up and have more homework activities. But enjoy it while it lasts and adapt as changes occur on the way. 

6. Make it a team effort 

It is part of human nature to question authority at times. The parents are the “authority” and they play an important role in dictating what the kids do, what they eat, how they dress, who they pick as friends, etc. 

So naturally, there will be times when your children will demand reasons for your rules and actions. They might even call you unfair most times. 

This is why you have to make the morning routine appear as teamwork as it will help your children know that you are not just dictating or designating roles and controlling their lives but you are just asking them to do their own part in managing the house. 

And you let them know that when they do their part, you will have more quality time to spend with them in many ways like cooking their favorite meals or watching a family movie together. 

When everyone does their part in managing the house, mom/dad will have time to coach their recreational basketball team. You will also be less stressed and this means less nagging and yelling. 

You can use this chart that includes parent routines so that it will be visibly noticed that the parents are also involved in managing the house and that you are also working together with them to ensure that every morning runs as smoothly as possible. 

Infact, you can even show them your original to-do list in step 1 above so that they can see how much you do for them on a regular basis. 

Other Ways to Create Morning Routine For Kids

Aside from using printable morning routine charts, you can use any of the following methods:

  • Use a whiteboard: Make grid lines on a whiteboard and fill in the chart with dry-erase markers. You can use thin washi tapes to make the gridlines.
  • Use a chalkboard: Another method of creating a morning routine is to use chalk and a yardstick to draw straight lines for your chart. Use colorful chalks to check off tasks as they are completed. 
  • Buy Pre-made magnetic charts: You can use these to make your morning routine for your kids. Get them on Amazon

When you’ve chosen your preferred method of making your morning chart, then hang or place it where your children can see them easily. Make sure it is at the same spot every day. 

It can be on your fridge or in your family command center so that the kids can see the routine charts and be reminded of their tasks that need to be completed before leaving for school. 

Kids Morning Routine For School

Photo of an alarm clock; it helps to set a morning routine for kids

You can start by using this checklist for younger kids and add more as they grow up. This will make your mornings so much easier as you and your kid have a predefined role to play.

With this, you won’t run all around in the mornings yelling at your kids to hurry up and get dressed or that they shouldn’t forget something. 

1. Wake up 

Put an alarm clock in their room that rings when you think it’s okay for them to wake up. Also, teach them to express gratitude for each new day. This will help set the right mood for them. 

2. Pray and make the bed 

Teach them to pray and commit their ways and plans into God’s hands. Teach them how to make their beds and how to do it fast. 

3. Bath and brush 

If they are grown to the extent of bathing themselves, then let them do it or else you come in and give them a good bath and also help them brush their teeth. 

4. Eat breakfast

This is the favorite morning routine of every kid, lol.  

5. Clean up the dishes after breakfast 

If your kid is old enough, you can let him/her clean up the dishes they used for breakfast. Even younger kids can be taught to wipe the table and take their dishes to the kitchen sink. It will definitely save you some time. 

6. Get dressed 

Now, you can help them get dressed for school while teaching them to do it on their own but older kids can get dressed and even wear their socks and shoes. 

7. Comb and style hair 

You can do this for them or if they are old enough, they can comb and style their hair themselves. 

8. Get ready for school 

Now, they are done with their morning routine and it is time to start wrapping things up to get set for school. If your child goes to school in the morning, it is time to pack their lunch box and backpack and be ready to walk out of the door when the bus comes or when dad is ready to drive them to school. 

If it is an online class, like virtual learning or homeschooling, they will have to get their laptop when it’s time and log into the zoom meeting. 

For homeschooling, they need to get their textbooks and workbooks ready to start the day. 

How To Get Positive Results With Morning Routines For Kids

Photo of a mom feeding her toddler

1. Change their morning mindset 

You have to talk to your kids before you start using the morning routine chart and the checklists for them. You have to explain to them why you are doing this to help them get into the right mindset instead of surprising them. 

This is even a perfect opportunity to start teaching them about developing a growth mindset. You also plant seeds of responsibility in them as they get older. 

Explain to them why it is important that they follow it and why it is happening. There will be much cooperation when they have a good understanding of why you are doing this. 

2. Wake up before your kids 

Waking up before your kids will completely change the tone of your mornings. It will give you time to prepare for the day and take care of yourself before your kids wake up and the day starts in high gear. 

3. Create a buffer time 

There will always be unexpected disasters with kids like spilled milk, potty accidents, vomit, tantrums, etc. you have to expect these and make room for them. 

Most people don’t always plan for these mini daily disasters when they calculate how much time they need to get ready. Planning a buffer time will lead to a happy home in the mornings despite any accident that occurs. 

4. Identify problem zones 

Look for where your family struggles in the morning and devise a solution. This will create a calm and happy morning routine for everyone. 


We hope this post helps you get through busy mornings peacefully and also helps teach your children responsibility. 

Lily & The FBM Team
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