How to Start a Morning Routine to Reduce the Chaos

simplify life Oct 24, 2023
How to start a morning routine for kids image of a girl stretching arms up

You may be wondering about starting a morning routine for kids. What is it, and how can a morning routine help reduce the chaos of my morning? What should be included in a morning routine? If so, this is the post for you! I'd love to share with you how to start a morning routine.

My mornings used to be crazy...especially if we had to go somewhere. I didn't have a breakfast plan, the kids would fight about what they wanted to wear, and someone was always missing their shoe! I can't even remember now where I read it, I think it was probably Fly Lady, but it was about establishing a morning routine starting the night before. Once I started incorporating a daily routine for my kids, starting with a morning routine, our days ran so much smoother. You definitely want to give this a try!

What is a Morning Routine?

You may have never heard of a morning routine. What a morning routine is NOT is a minute-by-minute schedule. I am a type B personality and strict schedules don't work for me. However, routines for my kids have helped me to streamline my days, helping everyone know what to expect and when. Routines give a day the same basic flow. So, a morning routine is what you and your kids do every morning to get ready for the day. You may have a doctor's appointment, be sending your kids to school, or starting another day of homeschool. Whatever it is, you're ready and not frazzled because now you know how to make mornings easier.

How Do You Set a Morning Routine for Kids

Now that you know what a morning routine is and is not, let's discuss how to go about making your simple morning routine. It may take some time but stick with it. This is how to start a morning routine.


Start the night before

Yes, we're still talking about a morning routine for kids, but it really does make your mornings easier to start the night before. There are several things you can do the evening before to set yourself up for making your mornings easier. I briefly talked about it in ways to simplify your life, but let's discuss them here.

  • Make sure everyone gets enough sleep. Know how much sleep each child requires, and make sure you're getting enough sleep as well, and it will be much easier to get up in the morning.
  • Look at your calendar. Always check your calendar to make sure you remember what's all going on for the next day so you can prepare accordingly.
  • Lay out clothes for each person. As your children get older, you may not need to do this, but get each child's clothes out the night before. If they feel like they need to pick, just have them do it before bed. Give only 2-3 choices for younger children.
  • Prep what you need for the next day. This will vary from family to family depending on age and whether or not your children go to school or are homeschooled. It can also change if you have a field trip or some other appointment. Whatever you have the next day, prep for it. Get backpacks or supplies ready, necessary papers filled out, and prep snacks or lunches as best you can.
  • Update routine or chore charts. If you have a morning routine chart or some kind of chore chart for your kids, make sure it's ready to go for the next day (see my Pinterest page for inspiration, and please follow me while you're at it). Personally, I just use a large whiteboard with everyone's names across the top. Underneath their name, I write the basics of what they need to do and what chores they have that day. Now that I have older ones, I also include what is for breakfast that day. I tend to have the same thing on the same day so they know what to expect (ie frozen waffles on Monday, eggs on Tuesday, etc.). I also have a section for extra jobs and for where we're going that day. The kids check things off (sometimes) as they finish each thing.

Related: 10 Reasons Kids Should Do Chores

Wake up before your kids

I can't even tell you how helpful this one is, especially when your children are young. If you're not up, showered, and dressed before the kids get up, it's so hard to find the time to do it later...right?? I know it can be hard, but your day will flow so much better if you're ready for it. You may not be able to get up much earlier, but even a little earlier will be better than them waking you up. You may choose to get up much earlier so you can work out, spend some quiet time with coffee or tea, and shower before your children get up...or you may only have 15 minutes to quickly shower and dress. By doing this, you'll be ready for your day. If you have to be out the door early, make sure you give yourself more time than you think it will take.

Morning routine ideas

We are all different. We have different priorities and schedules. Now is the time to personalize your routine. Here are some questions to get you started. What does each child need to do to be ready for the day? What time should they get up, eat breakfast, or be ready to go? For younger children, you may choose to use a pictured routine chart. However, as you do the same thing each day, they will begin to get used to it. Here are some morning routine ideas you may want to incorporate:

  • Wake up time
  • Make bed
  • Get dressed
  • Help make/eat breakfast: (especially as your children get older, they can help and/or make a simple breakfast on their own. They can even help younger siblings.
  • Morning devotions
  • Brush teeth
  • Comb hair
  • Morning chores
  • Collect backpacks and lunches

Set the tone

Another important thing to make your morning easier is for you to set the tone of the morning. If you're frazzled and impatient, I guarantee there will be more fighting and chaos. Even if you don't feel like it, be positive and calm. Take the time to smile and greet each child. Give out hugs and ask them about their night. Listen to what they have to tell you. Keep them moving and on task, but not rushed.

Simple Morning Routine

Now that you know how to start a morning routine for kids, it's time to carry it out. Remember, you want to keep your morning routine simple. Start the night before. Tell your children what to expect. Tweak it as necessary until you find what works. However, you may need to keep up with it for a couple of weeks before it becomes a habitual routine. Like all new things, it may not be smooth the first couple of times, but it will be progressing in the right direction. A simple morning routine will for sure help your morning flow more smoothly.

What do you find helps you most in the mornings? What is your biggest struggle? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

You may also like:

15 Ways to Simplify Your Life 

How to Create a Daily Routine and Stick to It