5 Tips for a Smoother Morning Routine with Kids


Now that the school holidays are well and truly over, my children and I working at getting back into the normal school swing of things. Although we had a great time at home while school was out, it is good to get back into a bit of a routine again!

However, a few months ago our morning routine wasn’t so smooth and I was finding it a bit of a struggle to consistently get my children out of the house on time and hated feeling stressed and ratty first thing in the morning.

I shared my woes on the Bristol Mum Facebook Page and asked readers how they get their own children out of the house on time every morning.

I received some great ideas and suggestions!

Using my own experiences and ideas and those of Bristol Mum readers, here are 5 tips for a smoother morning routine with your children whether they are school age or younger.


1) Start your morning the night before

Ensure clothes / school uniform for the next day are laid out ready for the morning, packed lunches prepared and coats, bags and shoes are in the right place ready to be put on the next morning!

If you have a baby or toddler it is helpful to prepare your changing bag the night before so that it is well-stocked with nappies, wetwipes, a spare change of clothes, sun cream, hat, etc.

If you have school children ensure any homework completed. It is always worth checking school book bags every evening for information about homework/projects/cooking sessions you didn’t already know about.

It is no fun to be presented with a letter on a Monday morning from your child’s teacher from the previous week requesting children make a 3D Stone Age model over the weekend (I speak from personal experience!).

2) Start your day earlier

It makes a huge difference if you can get yourself up and ready before your children in the morning.

If you are already showered/dressed the next morning by the time they wake up then it means you can then concentrate on getting your children ready.

But even getting yourself up 15 minutes earlier than your children helps.


I personally need a cup of tea by myself first thing in the morning before my kids get up; I find that by doing this it makes all the difference to my day and by the time I wake the kids up I am far more alert and ready for the morning!

If getting yourself up is a struggle it might help to have got yourself a really nice breakfast to eat in the morning as this will give you an incentive to get out of bed.

3) Start your children’s morning earlier

Goes without saying but waking your kids up even 10/15 earlier will make all the difference to a smooth morning routine.

I have recently started putting on music downstairs that my children can hear while they are getting ready – sometimes something calming and quiet to wake them up in a nice way or sometimes music which is more energetic if they need to get a move on!


4) Incentives

Incentives (and bribery!) always help with kids.

One Bristol Mum suggests:

“Use good old-fashioned bribery (when you’re ready you can have biscuit/sweet/whatever).”

I use incentives such as ‘if you get up and dressed right now you can have that special cereal for breakfast this morning’.

I also explain to my children that if they get up, dressed, hair combed, eat breakfast and get teeth done quickly, then they will have some time to play before they go to school – this really speeds them up!

Threats such as the following offered by a reader also work!

“I have four boys 4 months – 12 years. If they don’t get a move on they are threatened with the WiFi being turned off in the evening. Works quite well

5) Call to leave the house earlier

We all know that sometimes the thing that slows you up in the morning is actually getting out of the house so why not start the process of putting coats and shoes on earlier?

As one Bristol Mum reader recommended:

“Call them to put on their shoes a good 10 min before you have to leave. Not sure why, but they can be all ready and still take ages just to put on coat and shoes!”

One Bristol Mum reader explains how she starts this process of getting ready to leave the house:

“I use alarms on my phone that we all chose together, as they don’t listen to my voice at all! So at 8.30 when we have to leave, my phone barks! So we all know we have to leave when the dogs go. Then you can tweak the times accordingly. But it certainly doesn’t mean our mornings run smoothly!! But it’s one less stress :)”.


I hope that you find the above 5 tips useful and have received an idea or two to help your morning to become a better one.

Here’s to a smoother morning routine with kids!