This is how our mornings used to go:
I would wake up about a hour before Big Monster had to be at the bus stop. Then I would wake him up, trying not to wake up the other two Monsters, but I would fail miserably at that. The next 45 minutes would be spent with me trying to figure out what we were going to eat for breakfast while little Monster and Baby Monster scrambled around me. Big Monster would go back and forth between complaining to me that he couldn’t find clothes (which we fixed by implementing our new laundry plan) or that he didn’t know what he was supposed to do next. Most mornings we barely made out of the house on time.
We literally WASTED 3/4 of our morning time because we were so unorganized. I would be exhausted and crabby from yelling at all three of the Monsters and by the time my Husband woke up I would be snapping at him because I had spent the last hour stressing myself out. It HAD to stop.
I decided that since I have a to-do list every day that the kids should too and so I created personalized Morning Routine Charts for Big and Little Monster that were simple and easy for them to read. Big Monster’s is a Lego themed chart with blocks as his “check boxes” and Little Monster is princess themed with big pink jewels as her “check boxes”. I put each of them in a $2 frame I bought at Wal-Mart and then spray painted pink and blue. Then I attached two black dry erase markers ($1 ) to the sides with reusable sticky pads ($2). I made sure the pads are stuck to the lids of the markers so all they have to do is pull down and the lid will stay attached to the frame and won’t get lost.
I was amazed by the change that occurred! When I first hung the charts up I went over each one with the kids to make sure they understood what they were supposed to do and what each line said. In the morning they were so excited to use their new charts they both JUMPED out of bed! I forgot about how much fun writing on a dry erase board was for kids!
Now, we’ve been using the charts for about a week and it has made a huge improvement in our morning attitudes. I’m no longer spending my morning constantly on top of my kids. I simply remind them to use their chart and check on them every few minutes to make sure they are on task. Surprisingly they usually are!
What used to take my kids 45 minutes to finish now only takes my kids 10-15 minutes!!!! (Can you tell how excited I am about that!!??) I now have time to actually cook a hot breakfast and maybe even sit down and check emails while my kids are getting ready. And they now have time to sit down and enjoy a hot breakfast and when they are done getting ready I allow them some time to play or watch tv before we head out.
I hope that you all will find these charts as useful as I have! Let me know if you use them and if you see the same improvement I have. I have a few other cute designs available for download on my Printables page too, so feel free to check them all out.
Looking for another design? Need something else on your chart? Comment and let me know and I might be able to make a custom chart for you!