8 Morning Routines For Kids To Start Their Day Right

If your kids (and you) aren’t morning people, check out these eight morning routines for kids to help them start their day off productively.

Any new environment for kids can be daunting and sometimes cause them to misbehave. It wasn’t until I noticed a pattern with my son that made me came up with some morning routines for kids to start their day right.

When my son started attending Kindergarten, he would come home every day with a color-coded star chart grading him on his behavior. Though he would receive a good star some days, he sometimes would also come home with a “not-so-good” star. I’m not saying my kid was a menace to society, but any loving parent wants their children to excel and be the best they can ultimately be. 

Also check out this post with 10 Simple Home Organization Tips to Do at Night for a Better Tomorrow

Little Girl Sleeping with a Teddy Bear

1. Get a Good Night’s Rest

I know going to sleep sounds like it doesn’t belong on a list of morning routine tips. But, how your kid goes to bed at night can directly impact how they start their morning. It gives your kids enough rest so they don’t wake up cranky. Ensuring your child’s bedtime routine includes turning off screens at least an hour before bedtime can also promote better sleep quality and help them get enough sleep to wake up feeling refreshed.

How many times have we let our kids stay up late and then struggle to get them up early and out of bed the next morning time or day? Even as adults, having to roll out of bed is a struggle. Setting a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends, can help regulate your child’s sleep-wake cycle and make school mornings much less of a battle.

Also, avoid any negative conversations before bedtime, such as arguing or scolding them. I’m not saying give your children a pass on any wrongdoing they might commit, but how you convey your message can be the difference-maker. Instead, use positive reinforcement and praise to encourage good behavior, fostering a more positive atmosphere before bedtime. Creating a calm and cozy sleep environment can help signal to your child that it’s time to unwind and prepare for a good night’s sleep.

School Boy Having Lunch

2. Prepare Lunches the Night Before

It sounds like easy tasks to fill the kids’ water bottles, make them peanut butter sandwiches, and toss in a few extra snacks in the lunch box or bag. However, you can buy yourself more time in the morning by preparing your kid’s lunch the night before. Taking just a few minutes in the evening to pack lunches can significantly reduce morning stress and ensure your kids have nutritious meals ready to go.

I’ve often procrastinated preparing lunches until the morning, but it’s made a world of difference when I do it the night before. Once the kids go to bed, it takes no more than 10 minutes to finish. Spending a small amount of time in the evening to prepare lunches saves a considerable amount of time and hassle in the morning, allowing for a smoother start to an important meal of the day for everyone.

Trying to prepare lunches in the morning while making breakfast becomes a juggling act. Those 10 minutes turn into 30 minutes. Planning and preparing lunches the night before not only saves time but also reduces morning chaos and ensures that your children have nutritious meals to fuel their day.

I start to look like a contestant on a cooking game show attempting to prepare a three-course meal. Fortunately for me, my worst critics are elementary students. Simplifying lunch preparation by prepping ahead of time helps avoid morning kitchen chaos and ensures that meals are ready quickly and efficiently.


3. Get Ready Before They Wake Up

I rather stay in bed wrapped in a warm comforter and binge-watch YouTube in the morning. I’ve tried that before, and it doesn’t turn out well. However tempting it may be to linger in bed, I’ve learned that starting the day with purposeful activities sets a positive tone for the rest of the day.

Because of my procrastination, I play “catch up” in the morning by rushing to take a quick shower, throw on any clothes, and hope I look half decent in the morning. The feeling of rushing out the door sets my morning mood. Taking a few minutes the night before to prepare for the morning, with a routine, such as laying out clothes or packing lunches, can alleviate the stress of rushing and make mornings more manageable.

The solution is to respect the alarm clock when it goes off and get out of bed. Use that dedicated time to get yourself ready before the kids get out of bed. This new morning routine will be stress-free, avoid any pressure of rushing, and allow you to focus 100% on your children upon waking up. Establishing a consistent morning routine helps set a positive tone for the day and ensures a smoother start for both you and your children.

a-mother-in pink-dress-cutting-vegetable-while-her-children-are-watching-in the-kitchen-8-morning-routines-for-kids-to-start-their-day-right
Happy woman chopping red bell pepper while standing with children in kitchen

4. Use Words of Affirmation

Every morning when I wake up my son, we say a little prayer together and share our thanks for a new day. Regardless of what your beliefs may, I believe that there is always a reason to be thankful. 

You and your child can reflect on the good things that may have happened yesterday, the day before, or even longer. Also, you can be thankful for the “bad things” that didn’t happen. The essential thing to do is avoid any negative thinking, primarily using words like “can’t” or “never.” 

Furthermore, repeatedly reminding a kid to do something is counterproductive. I’ve seen younger kids than my son respond negatively to people who are continuously reminding him of something he has yet to do wrong. It shakes his confidence and almost forces him to do the things we were trying to avoid.

Parents should have morning routines for kids that complement the school morning routine with positive words and encouragement. When our children go out in the world, we can’t always be there. Instead, we hope that we’ve given them the ability to believe in themselves and make the right choices.


5. Have a Checklist

I frequently feel like various responsibilities are always pulling me in different directions, and it’s challenging to keep track of everything mentally. For this reason, I’m a big fan of checklists. Using a checklist not only helps me stay organized but also provides a sense of accomplishment as I tick off completed tasks.

A checklist gives you a concrete plan of what you and your children need to tackle in the morning. This checklist can contain simple steps for the morning routine checklist like “Make your bed,” “Brush your teeth,” and “Change your clothes.” Having a visual representation of tasks can make mornings more manageable and less stressful for everyone involved. Having time management skills in your morning routine ensures that tasks are completed efficiently, allowing for a smoother start to the day.

Create a checklist that fits your household’s particular goals. This strategy removes any guesswork on what needs to get done and allows you to focus on how you want to be. Tailoring the checklist to your family’s unique needs and routines ensures that everyone is on the same page and working towards shared objectives.

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6. Eat a Complete Breakfast

There is a saying that breakfast is the most critical meal of the day, and it’s true. After sleeping for 8 hours, the first kids wake they most likely will have an appetite. Although feeding kids cereal or a donut is easy, it’s not enough to get them through the day to lunchtime. A balanced breakfast with protein, whole grains, and fruits provides kids ages sustained energy and helps them stay focused and alert until lunchtime rolls around.

I like to pair my children’s cereal with fruit, such as sliced apples or a banana. And, during the winter days, I prepare them warm oatmeal. Hunger pains can affect a child’s ability to focus and be patient. Adding nutritious toppings like nuts or seeds to their oatmeal boosts its nutritional value and helps keep them feeling full and satisfied throughout the morning.

So, keep that in mind the next time you go grocery shopping. Think of what you can prepare for breakfast ahead of time versus finding any kind of food “that works.” Planning and choosing nutritious breakfast options not only supports your children’s health and well-being but also sets a positive tone for the rest of the day.

a-father-and his-son-playing-in the-sand-8-morning-routines-for-kids-to-start-their-day-right
Father and Son Playing on Beach

7. Set Fun Goals for the Afternoon or Weekend

Give your kids something fun to look forward to after school or on the weekend. It’s a positive conversation to have with your kids in the morning while they’re having breakfast. It also avoids any bickering between siblings because they both can think of all the fun they could have. Planning enjoyable activities together strengthens family bonds and creates lasting memories for everyone involved.

These fun things to do with kids are an opportunity to teach your children. For example, we play the Marshmallow game eating breakfast, which tests the kids’ patience and rewards them. Incorporating educational elements into activities helps children learn valuable skills while having fun and reinforces positive behaviors.

Most importantly, it’s all about family time. You’ll be surprised how much kids want to spend time with their parents. My wife and I refer to this moment as “bucket time” because our kids wish to have enough attention to fill “their bucket.” Investing quality time in your children strengthens your relationship with younger children and fosters a sense of security and belonging within the family unit.

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8. Remain Calm

Children aren’t perfect, and nor are we. Instead, kids are like sponges that absorb everything around them. If we are frustrated for whatever reason, they can pick up on it and even begin to imitate our behavior. By modeling calm and positive reactions, we can help shape their emotional responses in challenging situations.

Instead, take a breath and keep your cool. Morning routines for kids do not happen automatically. You and your children develop a habit over time. Remember, consistency and patience are key to establishing a smooth and easy morning routine, for kids that works for everyone in the family.

Focus on the little wins and add more victories each day. All your efforts will be worth it when your child comes home and shares how great their day was. Celebrating even small accomplishments can boost your child’s confidence and motivation to continue working towards their goals.


These morning routines for kids can help them kick off their day. But, these tips are not necessarily just for them but also for us, as parents. 

It’s not about what our kids can do in the morning, but what can we do to help them get their school day started in the right direction.

It can feel exhausting at first, but worth it in the end. Usually, parents want their children to grow up to be successful or wealthy. But, what should be our primary focus is that our children grow up to be decent human beings. 

The investment screen time you put into your children’s emotions will be dividends when they grow up. They will become confident adults and a bond that no one can break.

About the Author

Bio: Jonathan Sanchez is a husband and parent to two lively kids. He is a personal finance blogger for Parent Portfolio and a real estate investor who owns a couple of investment properties in his local market. He aims to help others understand their money and generate passive income. He’s also been featured in Business Insider, USA Today, FOX Business, and more.

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