The Best Kids Daily Schedule Template (Free Printable)
It’s before school. And the morning rush is in full swing.
You may hear….children whining, playing legos (instead of getting ready), or crying.
But, imagine if you heard… “Mom, I brushed my teeth, put away breakfast, and did my school stuff. What’s my chore?!”
The great part is that with the right organization, and kids morning routine chart, it’s possible to hear the second without much fuss!
Why do we do a kids morning routine chart?
The top scenario (above) used to be our everyday experience. Mornings were terrible. We were all in tears. And we had to seriously adjust our before school routine (see here for what we did).
Most importantly, I realized that if we were going to thrive, what we needed MOST was organization, clear expectations, and child independence. So, I created a morning checklist for kids to give us all of those things!
What should be included in a morning routine?
Like all great things, it’s up to you.
We’ve found that the trick is to give kids more “good habit” items in the morning. Tasks that get them ready for the day and out the door. Because in our experience, if you stuff too much in the mornings, it will hurt more than help.
So, these are all great kids morning checklist ideas:
- Brush teeth
- Brush hair
- Wash face
- Make bed
- Pack backpack (get ipads)
- Pack lunch
- Get snack for later
- Fill drink with water
- Eat and clean up breakfast
- Change clothes
- Clean out folder
Not all of the items above are needed. They’re just intended to give ideas.
*Breakfast: Make it easy for them to get their own supplies and clean up after themselves. My kids have the cereal and oatmeal in handy containers (within reach), they can get to the bowls, and they know what their other options are for breakfast. Plus, they MUST clean up after themselves in order to move on.
Afternoon Evening Routine Chart
Now, here’s the thing. We NEEDED a kids morning routine chart. But, we also quickly realized a routine after school is also crazy beneficial.
So, I made a chart that has both. In the afternoon and evening, they complete more of the “chores” (see this free chore chart for kids), homework, and pick up room type of tasks.
Check out great night ideas here:
- Pick up room
- Laundry (this could be doing laundry for older kids or folding/putting away clothes for younger)
- Empty lunch box
- Pack lunch for the next day
- Bath or shower
- Do homework (or reading, spelling, sight words, regular timed study)
- Feed pets
- Charge iPad (devices)
- Pick out clothes for the next day (if your mornings are rushed, this may be helpful)
*Now, my kids can always work ahead and get done in the morning what is usually for later in the day. Sometimes, they’ll get their chore for the day done and not have to worry about it after school.
A printable daily schedule for kids (with both morning & night) gives flexibility on this, and they love feeling as though they have a bit of freedom.
Toddler Morning Routine Chart
Now, if you have a toddler, start sloooow. Here’s what’s on a great toddler morning checklist:
- Get clothes on
- Eat breakfast and put bowl in the sink
- Brush teeth
- Get shoes on
*Check out this printable pack for an awesome 3 year old daily routine chart and template.
What do you want on your morning checklist for kids? Do you need a night one too? If you’re still trying to figure it out, leave a comment below and I’ll help brainstorm with you!
How do I motivate my child in the morning?
As much as I LOVE the morning or daily checklist for kids, they wouldn’t work without rewards and consequences. They are kids, after all.
So, if the kids complete their daily routine chart during the week, they get their electronics time on the weekend. (I also pay an allowance on a monthly basis).
If you need a daily reward, consider telling them they need to finish their checklist before playing with friends. Or electronics. Or whatever it is they love doing at night.
Now, we did still need to come up with something daily and specific to keep my daughter moving in the mornings (girlfriend is NOT a morning person)…
So, if they don’t get the morning routine section of their daily checklist done before a certain time, they have to go to bed 30 minutes early that night.
We’ve tried to make this a natural consequence in that if they are too tired to get ready for school on time, they must need extra sleep. It makes sense.
Between the rewards and consequence, the kids daily routine chart works like magic most days!
Here’s more on how we use the chart, then grab your freebie below!
Free Kids Daily Schedule Template
Want a printable daily schedule for kids already done for you? Sign up HERE to print out a free printable checklist with our morning routine and after-school routine items!
And if you’re looking for an editable morning routine chart, check out this printable pack for kids, which includes 3 kids morning routine charts + templates that are customizable. (& SO MUCH MORE!)
Tips for Starting & Long-Term Success
Alright, now you’ve got the gist of it, and how to get pre-made checklists. But, how do you start? And make it last?
Have a chat and do it with them.
First, discuss what’s expected on the kids morning routine checklist, your rewards/consequences, and model any tasks needed.
If this is completely new to the kids. Start small. Put only a few things on the checklist. After a few weeks, add to it. Then add more later on as the kids can handle it. It’s better to start small and build than to overwhelm them at the beginning.
Once you begin, for at least a week, pay really close attention. YES, this is more work to begin with, but don’t worry, it doesn’t require a whole lot on your part after that.
Let the checklist guide them. Instead of you.
Now that they know exactly what to do, let go a bit. (This is my favorite part because it’s a lot harder to argue with a piece of paper than with a parent.)
Give them a small amount of freedom and choice. For example, let them pick the order of how they do things and when (within the morning/night sections). I’ve noticed that especially with my daughter, it’s best to let her do her own thing in the order that she wants. As long as she gets it done, does it really matter?
Make it easy to use.
For this to work well over time, your daily checklist for kids needs to be in an obvious location and re-usable.
So first, place it at your kitchen desk, or hang it from your fridge or a high traffic wall. We like to put ours on clipboards (on the side of our fridge) so that we can also put school papers that need to be kept behind them.
To make it re-usable, stick it in a page protector (or laminate it if you have a laminator). Alternatively, you can place the morning routine chart in a cute picture frame if you’re putting it on a surface.
Finally, make sure there’s a dry erase marker next to it, or at least handy in a nearby location. If you want to get a little crafty, you can attach one with a string.
Add a little fun to it.
And now that the basics are down, don’t forget to loosen up. Listen to upbeat music and dance while everyone’s doing their thing. Let the system that you set up do it’s job, and follow through when you need to with rewards/consequences.
Trust me, this awesome printable daily schedule just gets better with time.
Don’t miss this other useful free printable:
(It downloads right from the post!)
To Consider With the Kids Morning Routine Chart
That’s it! Please leave a comment if you have a question about how the checklist works! Otherwise, I hope you found this system helpful for running your household. I know from our experience, it makes things 10X easier for mom and dad, plus builds valuable skills in kids.
“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”Denis Waitley
More awesome family posts from Healthy Happy Impactful…
- The Big List of Kids Would You Rather Questions – use this fun list when you’re in the car, waiting, or at the dinner table.
- 105 Powerful Affirmations for Kids – help kids with confidence, courage, mindset, and more!
- The Best Non-Toy Kids Gifts – need to get something for a child, but don’t want to buy more stuff. Check out this post for practical and meaningful items!