Back To School

Waiting to pack your child's backpack until it's time to leave is a morning routine mistake.
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Simplify School Mornings With These 10 Hacks For Parents & Kids

You don’t have to start every weekday in utter chaos.

The lunches are packed. The new school uniforms are ironed and laid out. Homework has been completed (and already filed away in their respective backpacks). If you’re the parent who has their morning routine for school days all worked out, cheers to you. If you’re the parent scrambling to find two matching socks in the dryer, reusing yesterday’s water bottle, and just trusting your kid brushed their teeth today, you’re not alone (and you’re probably in the majority, here).

If you’re in need of morning routine hacks and products that will actually help make school day mornings more streamlined and less stressful, here are some products and tips that can help. Some of these kids’ morning routine ideas are simple, and others, well, you’ll wish you’d learned them a whole lot sooner and could shake the hand of whatever genius thought them up.

The key to finding routine hacks that truly help your family is identifying what happens every morning that costs you time or totally stresses you out. Does your youngest take forever to finish their toast, and the oldest can’t seem to stay focused long enough to pick out their clothes? Once you’ve ID’ed the problem moments, take a gander at this list and see how it can help.

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1

MISTAKE: Arguing with your kid about which shoe goes on which foot.

SOLUTION: Use stickers as your allies.

Pros: The rolls are perforated, so you can give them out as rewards too.

Cons: They’re not waterproof or super durable.

Children learning to put on their shoes usually want to do it themselves, and it’s a 50/50 shot they’ll match the shoes to the right feet. Cutting a sticker in half, placing it inside the shoe, and teaching them to line up the image first will help them get their left and right...right. You’ll never run out of the Hebayy 600 Adorable Round Animal Stickers, so if your kid wears out the first sticker, you’ll have plenty more as backup.

Review: “I purchased this for my child's classroom, teacher stated the kids liked them and stuck well.”

2

MISTAKE: Forgetting something important.

SOLUTION: Leave yourself a reminder at the door.

Pros: Comes with double-sided tape for hanging.

Cons: The marker and eraser are small.

Do your kids need to bring their soccer gear on Tuesdays and a snack for the class on Friday? A whiteboard on the door is perfect — you can’t leave without the things you need or a reminder to grab them. The Mr. Pen Dry Erase Board won’t fall off the door like a sticky note, and you can reuse it time and time again.

Review: “I love this board! It is perfect for anyone like me that lives by lists. I bought to put on my frig to write a daily affirmation. It’s become my go to for just that as well as a quick daily reminder of to dos. I love it

3

MISTAKE: Looking for your keys all over the house.

SOLUTION: Set up a drop zone for when you get home.

Pros: It can fit in a drawer if you want your “drop zone” out of sight.

Cons: It’s not the most decorative option.

Scrambling to look for your keys, ear buds, or wallet in the morning wastes time and makes you more likely to forget something. A catch all tray like the Amazon Basics Plastic Desk Organizer is large enough to keep all those must-haves in one place without taking up too much counter space. Drop them in when you get home, and they’ll be ready to pick up all at once the next morning.

Review: “Casual look, does the job, enduring material. I use it to place my keys, wallet, and stuff that I need to grab before I leave home.”

4

MISTAKE: Picking an outfit each morning.

SOLUTION: Choose all your kid’s outfits for the week at once.

Pros: It has pockets on the sides where you could tuck brushes, hair accessories, or hats.

Cons: Reviewers say it tends to hang a little crooked.

Rather than try to find a matching outfit the morning of school (or bicker with your child about what to wear that day), work with them to pick out all their clothes for the week Sunday night. The Handy Laundry Daily Activity Kids Closet Organizer will store them all nicely, labeled by day, so your kid can just reach in, grab, and get dressed.

Review: “Picking out outfits for the entire week has eliminated hunting for a sock match or looking in the dryer for shirts or soccer shirt needed for Tuesday’s. It’s helped make me more prepared for my week. I use the weekend slot for an “exchange.” Example: if the forecast says sunny all week, I will place an outfit with pants and long sleeved shirt, a jacket, etc.”

5

MISTAKE: Letting your child get distracted.

SOLUTION: Keep them focused with a task timer.

Pros: The alarm volume is adjustable.

Cons: Requires two AA batteries to use.

If the big hurdle in your morning routine is time — maybe your child gets distracted while getting dressed in their room, or dawdles at the breakfast table — using something like the mooas Cube Timer can help motivate them along. Flip the cube to the amount of time needed for the task and challenge them to get done before the ding.

Review: “The colors and the font (somehow) just bring a nice little dose of joy to chores. So easy and fun to use! My kids love them. Wonderful motivational tool!”

6

MISTAKE: Scrambling to pack your kid’s snacks every single morning

SOLUTION: Prep and sort fresh produce in advance

Pros: The bags are BPA-free and nontoxic.

Cons: They can’t go in the dishwasher or microwave.

Making breakfasts you can reheat or lunch staples you can pack right out of the freezer saves tons of time in the AM. Store your prepped foods in the Greenzla Reusable Gallon Bags, which are kind to the planet and your wallet (hooray for one-time purchases!). They’re made of thick PEVA material and are leak-proof, so they’ll keep food fresh and safe from freezer burn.

Review: “These reusable bags exceeded my expectations. They are sturdy, have a tight seal, and the clean up is so easy. I just pour warm soapy water in the bag, seal it up, shake it around, and rinse thoroughly. I place them opened upside down over my canisters to dry overnight. They also make everything in my fridge look organized and clean. They’re a great price for the size and quantity of bags you get. I just love them.”

7

MISTAKE: Getting stuck in the drive-thru waiting for coffee.

SOLUTION: Bring your cold brew from home.

Pros: It’s dishwasher safe, and the bottom comes off to easily clean out grounds.

Cons: It holds 9 cups of liquid, so if you like a venti cold brew, you may need to make another batch midweek.

Constantly having to factor a coffee run in to your morning routine eats up so much time, and adding the extra stop just adds stress. Instead, try making your own fancy java with the Goodful Airtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker. Just add your grounds, pour cold water over top, and let it sit in the fridge until it reaches the perfect strength.

Review: “Very easy to use and clean. Everything comes apart to get all the areas clean. I've found 24 hours is the best brew time after that it starts to get bitter. So far I've made Caramel Cream cold brew and Vanilla Hazelnut and both have come out amazing.”

8

MISTAKE: Being in charge of your child’s morning to-dos.

SOLUTION: Give them a list of their tasks.

Pros: It sticks to any smooth surface, like a bathroom mirror.

Cons: Only comes with one marker.

If your child is old enough to follow a checklist, give them responsibility for getting themselves ready in the mornings. Brushed teeth? Check. Put on fresh undies? Check. The mc squares Reusable Task Chart lets you write in what’s important each morning, and your child can have the satisfaction of checking off the boxes.

Review: “LOVE this task chart. Makes it easy to stick to a morning and evening routine. We use it for daily tasks and guide the kids through the start of our morning and check in with the list before we head upstairs for bed time. Helps keep our family of 6 on track!”

9

MISTAKE: Trying to get your kids out of bed.

SOLUTION: Let a little dino do it for you.

Pros: It can run on batteries or be plugged in.

Cons: It requires Wi-Fi to work with your phone.

Do you dread waking up your child each morning because they’re so tough to rouse? The Ornalry Kids Dinosaur Alarm Clock with Smartphone Control is the perfect school morning companion, because it can’t be argued with like Mom or Dad can. It’s got lots of extra features too, like a night light, and sunrise and sunset simulation.

Review: “It has a night light feature that can be timed or operated by touch, it has 2 different alarms and you can set them so they just go off Monday through Friday. It also has different alarm sounds. Very cute and they are exactly suited for getting the kids up in the morning. They love the night light feature too.”

10

MISTAKE: Looking for shoes, coats, and backpacks throughout the house.

SOLUTION: Store important items right by the door.

Pros: It comes with a safety strap to prevent tip-overs.

Cons: The bench only holds up to 180 pounds.

The ultimate hack for a school morning routine for kids: a storage solution where they can grab their backpacks, put on their shoes, and snag a jacket off a hook. The SEIRIONE Entryway Coat Rack has 10 hooks and two shelves beneath the bench to store all the coats, lunchboxes, and school supplies your kids need to keep by the door. Make sure everything you need is in its proper place the night before so that getting out the door really is quick and easy.

Review: “Having four kids and with their jackets, backpacks, and zips ups i needed something that will help organize and hold all their belongings. This item is exactly as pictured and described. It was easy to assemble, pretty straightforward and took me less than a half an hour. It comes with a safety strap for the wall which i am not placing. Instead of the shoe rack i am hoping to place bins to organize their socks, gloves, hats, etc so its all easier to find. Overall i am very happy with this, and can't wait to utilize!”

So, who else is putting stickers in all their kids’ shoes tonight? May your school mornings be simple, streamlined, and stress-free from here on out with these game-changing school morning hacks.