Morning routines with toddlers
The struggle is real every morning in my house. I spend most of the am doing what I refer to as, herding cats.
I think every mom fantasizes about walking downstairs to her children, neatly dressed and sitting at the table eating their breakfast. Instead, our toddler morning routine includes, crying over not wearing the Elsa dress and toast being cut on the incorrect diagonal. This year I vowed to get myself and my children into a happier and less stressful morning routine.
Establishing a toddler morning routine
My first order of business begins with setting expectations. I find most problems in my life occur because I haven’t clearly expressed my hopes to the other person. My two and four-year-olds are no exception to this. The reality is, how do they know what to do each morning without my clear instructions?
So instead of me losing my mind trying to get out the door, I decided to arm myself for battle. First things first, a toddler routine chart that allows my kids to take responsibility for the things they can do. I started by writing down a list of morning tasks I felt that Ava (my four year old) could reasonably handle.
Free printable toddler morning routine chart
My list was the following
- Eat breakfast
- Brush teeth
- Get dressed
- Put away pajamas
- Put on shoes
- Put on jacket
- Hold back pack
Download and print my free toddler morning routine chart here
This list may seem silly to anyone who doesn’t have young children, but these are serious game changers for me. Plus these tasks are all within Ava’s ability. Max is only two, and I don’t believe he’s capable of doing most of these things by himself. I do think though, that he will mimic his big sister’s lead and want to try his hardest to keep up with her. There’s nothing like a little positive peer pressure.
Label Daddy Labels
I also set myself up for success this Back-to-School season by labeling all the kids’ items with Label Daddy Labels. The labels are easy are to customize with any text you like. I chose to use our last name so that I could put them on both kids’ items and even a few of my own.
Half the battle with sending the kids off to school is getting them to return home with their things. These labels make it so much easier to keep track of which jacket or water bottle is ours.
I’m not giving up on my dream of sitting on the porch peacefully, drinking hot coffee while journaling my goals each morning. I’m just wising up and being realistic about how to make mornings a bit smoother. This way I’m not running around screaming like a wild woman.
Check out my back to school child introduction letter to get your littles one ready for a great year.