As a mom of three kids, I have learned a few tips and strategies over the years for getting kids out the door in the morning. These tips help our family reduce stress and start the day on a happy note.
Tip #1: Give Yourself 5-10 Minutes to Wake Up Before Being Productive
I always give myself a short period of time to just sit, drink a cup of coffee, and wake up before I have to start getting myself and the kids ready. When I have to start being productive right out of bed, I tend to forget things and feel a sense of panic. Drinking that first cup of coffee quietly is something I really look forward to and helps me start my day off in a good place.
Tip #2: Keep Quick Breakfasts on Hand
Having several quick breakfast options on hand is key to getting everyone fed before leaving the house. We almost always have frozen waffles in the freezer that can be very quickly prepared for the kids. I will often make muffins over the weekend that are a ready-made breakfast option for during the week. Bananas and apples are ready to eat fruit options. None of these things are hard, but having them in the house is a great way to simplify breakfast.
Tip #3: Lay Out Clothes Beforehand
When I was a kid, my parents always had me lay out my school clothes before bed to make getting dressed in the morning quick and easy. It is still a great practice that saves time and energy in the morning. To take it a step further, I like to lay out clothes for all five weekdays for my kids over the weekend.
I will check the weather report and then lay out the clothes that I think will work for the week. If there is a change of weather, we can add a sweater or quickly change from long to short sleeves. I know plenty of adults that do this as well, with their work clothes and also their workout attire. Having the clothing items clean and gathered into outfits makes getting out the door in the morning with kids much easier.
Tip #4: Find Shoes the Night Before
Nothing can derail getting out the door like a last minute hunt for kids’ shoes. I once spent 20 minutes on a school morning looking for one lost tennis shoe. To avoid the last minute shoe hunt, we find them the night before and put them right by the kids’ backpacks.
Tip #5: Store Toothbrushes and Toothpaste Where You Eat Breakfast
Keeping everything we need to brush teeth near the breakfast area saves us quite of bit of time in the morning. My kids are still little and need some help brushing their teeth. Instead of corralling the kids after breakfast to go to the bathroom and brush teeth, we just brush them right in the kitchen. I find that the less I have to move my kids from space to space to get ready, the quicker we can get out the door.
Tip #6: Keep Extra Masks in the Car
At the time of my writing this, my kids are wearing masks to school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We keep extra masks in the car and in their backpacks to reduce the possibility that we will forget to bring them.
If there are similar options you’re often forgetting, consider keeping extras in the car.
Tip #7: Empty Backpacks Right After School
Taking paperwork, water bottles, and the like out of backpacks right when we get home from school makes sure that they are ready the next morning. I find that if I don’t do this right after school, I totally forget about it until we’re walking out the door. Sorting through school papers at the last minute can totally derail getting out the door on time.
Tip #8: Follow a Consistent Routine
I find that kids (and adults for that matter) do very well with routine, and a consistent morning routine can make getting out the door much easier for everyone. When we know the routine, we all know what to expect and what needs to get done each morning. There is a lot less thinking and debating over what we have to do. In our house, our basic routine (in order) is eating breakfast, getting dressed, brushing teeth and hair, getting shoes on, and grabbing backpacks as we walk out the door.
This article has several great ideas for creating a morning routine that is low stress.
Tip #9: Get in Bed On Time
It is much easier said than done, but getting to bed on time always makes for a less stressful morning. When we’re all well-rested, we have more patience and feel less scrambled.
What are your tips for getting kids out the door in the morning?
These tips are working for getting our family out the door in the morning, but by no means will they be the best tips for every family. I’d love to hear about what is working for you. What are your tips for getting kids out the door in the morning? Leave a comment below.
More from Hey Kelly Marie: Check Out The One Easy Meal Prep Step I Love
There is one super simple meal prep step that saves me so much time, energy, and stress at dinnertime. Check it out HERE.