I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Behind closed doors, in the early morning hours, as my family tries to get ready for school and work there is a whole lot of pleading (please eat your breakfast, please get dressed, please find your shoes), which leads to a whole lot of crying kids, which leads to more pleading but in not as nice a voice and inevitably ends up with a flustered group of crazy people leaving the house (always late). It was time for a change.
As an educator I pride myself in my classroom management. When a classroom is well planned out and educators take the time to teach children routines and independence a deeper level of learning occurs. This knowledge of routine and independence was missing from our home. To foster this learning opportunity I created a Morning Routine Chart for each of my children that focuses on the three most important parts of our morning routine- getting dressed, eating breakfast and using the bathroom before we leave. Because my children are 4 and 2 years old I focused on three parts of our morning so that the steps would not overwhelm them. It is important to set children up for success from the start.
WHAT YOU NEED FOR A MORNING ROUTINE CHART
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.
HOW TO MAKE A MORNING ROUTINE CHART
I purchased cheap frames from Michaels. Using basic printer paper I printed a photograph of each of my children and wrote “Good Morning Quinn!” This paper was placed inside the frame.
I cut three square pieces of colorful craft paper and drew symbols on blank index cards of each of the routines I wanted my children to focus on (you could also print out pictures or use real photos of your children). I taped the drawings onto the craft paper and punched a whole in the top. The back of each card has a smiley face.
Simple hooks (like the 3M Command mini hooks) were attached to the outside of the frame. These are perfect to hang the routine cards on.
Each morning my children come down the stairs to this happy sight. All children love to see their photographs and names in print (added bonus: this is a wonderful way to promote name recognition!).
The chart is simple. After my children complete part of their routine they flip their cards over to reveal smiley faces. There are no rewards as I do not believe it is necessary to provide rewards (or negative consequences).
When three smiley faces are showing the morning routine is complete! If there is extra time before we need to leave the house my kids are free to play.
This Morning Routine Chart works because it gives children ownership over their actions, helps them organize their responsibilities and stay focused and feel successful.