morning routine for kids

3 Ways to Get Your Kids Going in the Morning

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What’s your kid’s bedtime routine? Unless it’s one of those hectic nights, ours includes a bath or shower, a glass of milk if they’re hungry (which they always are and milk works to fill them up but not wind them up), brushed teeth, reading, prayer, and a tuck-in.

We all know bedtime routines are important, but having a morning routine for kids could be the solution to some of their a.m. issues. Whether they learn from home or have to make it to school by the time the bell rings, these 3 simple routines will help them get moving and set their day up for success.

But first, why take time to transition from sleep?

Imagine rolling out of bed and being expected to be at work 20 minutes later, ready to perform. It would be impossible. It’s not fair to expect your kids to turn off the alarm and be in learning mode right away. A transition, done with consistency, can make a huge difference. Here are those 3 ideas to get you started.

A big bowl of cereal with the colored milk waiting to be slurped up at the end is one of the joys of childhood.

1. Eat a good breakfast.

Don’t worry. You don’t have to get up at 5 a.m. and start making batter from scratch. Got milk? Got cereal? Boom. Think back to breakfasts when you were a kid. A big bowl of cereal with the colored milk waiting to be slurped up at the end is one of the joys of childhood.

One of the other proven benefits of milk is that it keeps you fuller longer. Whether your kids are learning at home or in the classroom, a grumbling belly is a big distraction. Transitioning in the morning with a glass of milk and a bowl of cereal will help them gain focus and keep it longer. And a big bonus: Real milk also provides nine essential nutrients including B-12 for energy and calcium for strong bones and teeth.

2. Read together.

One morning I noticed that everything that came out of my mouth after “good morning” was an order. Get up. Get up (again!). Put your clothes on. Come eat. Tie your shoes. And those orders kept increasing in intensity and volume. Yes, it’s the nature of the beast, but I can’t imagine an effective morning routine for kids starts with getting bossed around for 30 minutes straight.

Reading together will get their brains into thinking mode. One trick I often use is wrapping up our nighttime reading with a cliffhanger. Come morning they get out of bed because they’re eager to hear where the story goes. Are you asking, “Who has time to read in the morning?” Try audiobooks. Cue it up and let them listen for 10 minutes after their alarm goes off while you’re pouring that milk and cereal.

3. Dress for success.

One of my coworkers who has worked from home since before COVID gets fully dressed in professional attire, even on days without video calls. It helps flip the switch from home to work. It will do the same for your kids.

Think about those lazy Sundays when the whole family stays in your pajamas all day. You naturally feel sleepy and don’t want to move. Have the kids pick out outfits and brush their hair. If you do brick-and-mortar school, they probably don’t wear pajamas to class, but they might need to shower to fully wash off the sleepiness.

Sound off: What do you do in the morning to help your kids get going?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What could we do in the morning to make waking up a little easier?”