10 Things Kids Can Do Themselves to Start Each Day
Do you ever feel like you have to be your child's own personal hype squad to get them moving in the morning? I hear you - that was me with my three boys. But when my cheers morphed into a growl and my volume reached a stadium-level roar, I knew something had to change. I experimented with a million and one things until I found the magic trick to share with you here - keep reading to learn how to create an Independent Morning Routine for Kids!
A streamlined routine. But it's not just any old routine. This is one with clear steps and a visual outline that can help your child independently conquer the morning slog and lead to a smoother and more enjoyable start for everyone.
Here's how to begin. Take a sip of coffee (yes, a big one!) and then take a look at the tasks and tips below for inspiration.
You'll be amazed at what your child can accomplish when you give them the confidence to get through the morning without a bunch of reminders. If you're repeating yourself more than twice, they're probably tuning you out anyway, so what do you have to lose by trying something new? It's a win for you both that ends with less bugging and more hugging.
10 Morning Tasks Kids Can Complete Independently
- Roll up the shades.
- Turn white noise off.
- Make the bed.
- Brush their teeth.
- Get dressed.
- Put pajamas away.
- Turn the lights off.
- Eat breakfast.
- Put breakfast dishes away.
- Wipe the counter.
The key is to pick and choose what works for you and your child's level of independence - they're usually capable of more than you'd think! For example, if your kids are a bit older, you can also have them make their own breakfast or pack their lunch for school. But, even younger kids can accomplish most of the simple tasks on this list successfully.
My Real-Life Tips for a Successful Morning Routine With Kids
With my own three boys, I have learned a thing or two about how to hack my mornings and get my kids motivated to move through their tasks independently. Sure, it's easier said than done - but if I can do it, so can you!
Here's how I do it:
- Practice together. Do the tasks together a few mornings first, so they can get the hang of it. This way, they'll know what's expected. Use this as an opportunity to learn together.
- Make checklist. To help your kids stay on track, make a print-out list of their morning tasks with pictures for smaller kids or words for kids who can read. You can also put the tasks as images of words on magnets on a magnet board. This helps them get through the morning without as many reminders from you.
- Encourage them. Say "Be proud of yourself!" or "You did it!" when they complete a task. You'll be amazed by what little ones can do when they have your encouragement in their ear instead of nagging reminders.
- Add a reward. For kids that need a little more motivation, you can use a reward system to help get them excited about completing their morning routine. For example, you can say something like, “Done?! Add a PomPom in your independence jar!” Or “add a star sticker next to the task!” I usually swap out the reward when they don’t get excited about it anymore.
Your child can really do more than you think. And if they end of with their shirt backward or unbrushed and tangled hair, it's OK. You can still fill in those gaps if you want - or better yet, just let it go - while letting them know just how excited you are that they're learning to get ready on their own.
Every day is a new opportunity for them to try again and for you to support them along the way. It's also a new opportunity for a calmer, smoother, and easier morning for you!
Read about a creative way to implement an independent evening routine for kids here.
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