Stress-Free School Morning Routine Checklist for Kids 6-8
By the time your child enters the first grade, they will generally be used to a school week routine. However, that doesn’t mean that school mornings always go smoothly! If you find that getting out of the house on time is a challenge, consider creating a new morning routine.
How To Make School Mornings Easier for You & Your Kid(s)
Structure, or a routine, is proven to be comforting to children1. A solid school morning routine will help your child learn time management skills that will benefit them when they are older. A morning routine also increases your chance of getting out the door without pulling your hair out!
The way you wake your kid up sets the tone for the morning. If you are running behind because you forgot to set your alarm and then frantically wake up your kid, your child may quickly become on edge or overwhelmed. Be sure to establish a morning routine for yourself so you can set a calm and productive morning vibe.
A Morning Routine Checklist for Your Kids To Follow
As children grow up, their morning routines may change. Creating a checklist for your kids to follow can help them to remember the steps. As your kid is learning to read, using both words and pictures on the checklist may be helpful. Try this school morning routine for kids ages 6-8:
- Get out of bed
- Use the bathroom
- Wash hands and face
- Make the bed
- Get dressed
- Help with making breakfast
- Eat breakfast
- Brush teeth
- Brush/Style Hair
- Put shoes on
- Grab backpack and lunch box
- Head out the door
Here are some additional tips to help your young kid succeed in their school morning routine:
- Encourage your child to take ownership of their morning routine: Get your child’s input about the order in which they want to do the morning routine. They may go through the morning routine more quickly if they do the tasks in the order they prefer and getting their input also helps them feel like a valued family member.
- Use a timer: An age-appropriate timer can help keep your kid on task and encourage them to practice telling the time.
- Avoid technology in the mornings: Tablets and TVs are a giant distraction trap for kids and parents alike. Make it out the door on time by avoiding this distraction.
Make School Mornings Even More Stress-Free
You may have heard that preparation is the key to success. This is true in most aspects of life, including stress-free mornings! Make an effort to prepare for school mornings the night before. Establishing an easy to follow school night routine can help parents and kids save time while getting ready in the morning.
Preparing the night before helps keep you calm, which in turn avoids deflecting stress and franticness onto your kids. For example, you can make breakfast and lunches the night before. Set up a “launch station” near the door with all the kids' items — shoes, backpack, coat, lunch box — in the same place before you sleep so there isn’t a scramble in the morning.
- MacPhee D, Lunkenheimer E, Riggs N. Resilience as Regulation of Developmental and Family Processes. Fam Relat. 2015;64(1):153-175. doi:10.1111/fare.12100. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4642729/