Now that the school year is winding down I’m pretty proud of the morning routine we’ve established. It took a few hiccups and some trial and error during the beginning of the school year to make sure things fell into place but we seem to have found a routine that works for us.
I really believe the key to a successful morning begins the night before. In fact, ours starts as early as the afternoon before!
1. Pack lunches the day before (the kids can probably do this!)
Once the big boys get home from school they unpack their lunch bags and repack them almost immediately. They are in charge of their own lunches and have been all year. As a kindergartner and first grader we saw no reason why they shouldn’t be making their own simple lunches. We have a basket in the pantry filled with snacks they are allowed to take (fruit snacks, granola bars, crackers, etc), a basket on the counter filled with fruit, often there are cheese sticks and yogurt tubes in the fridge, and sandwich supplies are always available. They know how to layer some ham and cheese on bread and put it in bags, Then they grab two healthy choices and one treat, throw them in their lunch bags, and put the bags in the fridge. Done. One less thing to think about in the morning.
2. Set up any clothes/diapers/bags/etc.
Three of our kids pick out their own clothes but the little boys obviously don’t. Plus we use cloth diapers. I try and have any outfits needed, and their diapers set up, before I put them down for the night. This way I’m not trying to assemble a diaper while a kid is on the changing table or trying to decide what to dress them in when I need to be loading them into the car.
This also includes backpacks, shoes, sweatshirts, diaper bags, what have you. We have hooks for the backpacks down by the boys’ room and each kid has a cube cubby in the closet by the front door for sweatshirts and shoes. There are many that find homes elsewhere but it’s slowly clicking that the cubes are where those items belong. If it’s not there it’s a good chance to remind the child where things belong and why they have a home.