Stress Free School Morning Routine

School mornings in our house have changed recently, for the better. The kids have become more independent with making lunches and getting breakfast, so in this case I have to ensure there are healthy options available for them to choose. I have worked out a strategy with the kids to make the morning not so rushed and hectic. It’s all in the planning and preparation over the weekend and the night before, which then creates a stress-free school morning routine.

School mornings in our house have changed recently, for the better. I have worked out a strategy with the kids to make the morning not so rushed and hectic, a stress free school morning routine. It's all in the planning and preparation over the weekend and the night before.

Stress Free School Morning Routine

Below I’ve shared with you how we have created our stress-free school morning routine.

On the weekend

Write up a lunchbox plan – making a plan of what to put in the kids lunchboxes through the week not only helps to ensure that I have the fridge and pantry stocked with lunchbox food items, but it also helps the kids know what to pack into their lunchboxes. This makes it really easy to ensure they get a well-balanced lunch for school (even if they’re packing it themselves).

Bake snacks for lunchboxes – I make muffins, biscuits, bliss balls and savoury lunchbox items every 2nd weekend to fill up the kids lunchboxes for school as I don’t have time to do this during the week or on school mornings.

School mornings in our house have changed recently, for the better. I have worked out a strategy with the kids to make the morning not so rushed and hectic, a stress free school morning routine. It's all in the planning and preparation over the weekend and the night before.

Wash and iron uniforms – over the weekend I clean all uniforms and have the kids formal uniforms ironed and in their wardrobe ready for the week ahead (however I am slowly teaching the kids how to iron their uniforms themselves).  I don’t have time during the week to iron uniforms so hubby or I spend an hour or so ironing while watching one of our TV shows.

  READ MORE about how I get organised each Sunday for the week ahead.

School mornings in our house have changed recently, for the better. I have worked out a strategy with the kids to make the morning not so rushed and hectic, a stress free school morning routine. It's all in the planning and preparation over the weekend and the night before.

The night before

Doing these few tasks the night before saves rushing around in the manic hour before we leave for school drop off.

Pack school bags with sports clothes – my kids have to take their PE uniform to school and change from formal to sport uniforms throughout the day.  If we realise the night before that somebody can’t find a uniform it’s OK, as we have the time to search for it. However, if we had to search in the morning, this is when cranky mum and anxiety in the kids starts to appear, which really isn’t the best way to start the day.

Make lunches – making lunches the night before has become a huge timesaver.  I have always made the kids lunches, purely because I really enjoy it.  However Miss 13 asked if she can help me by making the lunches.  Honestly I didn’t want to let go as I like making lunches for them, but she really wanted to help out. It has been a tremendous help, I am enjoying watching her independence and that she too gets a thrill from making lunches for herself and her siblings.

Drink bottles – fill drink bottles and put in the fridge. Or half fill and put in freezer for hot days.

The school morning

I am finding it hard to get my kids up in the mornings, they each have an alarm clock, but 2 out of 3 like to continue sleeping, so before I have my shower I make sure they are up and getting ready for school.

Eat breakfast – when the kids were young I used to put their bowls out on the bench the night before and have the cereal ready for them to pour into their bowls and add milk. Now the kids are older I have eliminated this step, they can do this themselves and choose their own cereal.

I am quite particular when it comes to cereal as breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, providing essential nutrients and energy to start the day, which is important for growing bodies. Therefore it’s important to have only the best choices for us all in the pantry.

School mornings in our house have changed recently, for the better. I have worked out a strategy with the kids to make the morning not so rushed and hectic, a stress free school morning routine. It's all in the planning and preparation over the weekend and the night before.

We have always had Uncle Toby’s in the pantry, from the oats for porridge to various cereals. My kids really like Uncle Toby’s Fruity Bites and the Plus range which has 7 different options, their favourite is the Antioxidants Cranberries & Blueberries they enjoy the sweetness of the fruit hidden throughout the crunchy wholegrain cereal base. Each of the Plus range has specific nutrients (vitamins and minerals) which provides them with a great nourishing boost first thing in the morning.  Both the Fruity Bites and Plus range have a 4.0 health star rating which makes me feel confident I am providing them with healthy breakfast options.

School mornings in our house have changed recently, for the better. I have worked out a strategy with the kids to make the morning not so rushed and hectic, a stress free school morning routine. It's all in the planning and preparation over the weekend and the night before.

Do chores – before the kids leave the kitchen they must do their chores, unpacking the dishwasher, putting rubbish out etc.  This is a part of their household responsibilities.

Brush teeth – it’s a necessity for hygiene to keep teeth clean and have fresh breath. I have always got the kids to clean their teeth before they get dressed, as they usually blob toothpaste onto their PJs, better that than on their clean school uniforms.

Get dressed – shower to freshen up if they need to, then get dressed into school uniforms, including socks and brushed hair.

Leave bedrooms tidy – opening up blinds and windows to let in the fresh air, make the bed and leaving the floor clutter-free.

School mornings in our house have changed recently, for the better. I have worked out a strategy with the kids to make the morning not so rushed and hectic, a stress free school morning routine. It's all in the planning and preparation over the weekend and the night before.

Final pack of school bag – pack in homework books, computers, lunchbox etc.

Out the door – if they are ready before we need to leave the kids usually sit down with me and watch the Today Show… we love Karl, he is an absolute hoot.

If you find yourself repeatedly reminding the children each morning to do particular tasks consider using a morning routine chart.  I used this chart from when my twins were 3, to help them get ready for kindy, over the years we have adapted it as they have got older. This eliminated my nagging and yelling each morning.

There are HEAPS of routine charts available in my shop and lots can be personalised too! Shop all Kids Routine Charts here.

What is your top tip to have hectic free mornings?

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27 comments

Juli March 17, 2016 - 6:09 AM

I’m curious – what time does breakfast happen on a school morning in your family ?

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 17, 2016 - 8:23 AM

It varies Juli every morning is different, most are early mornings as the girls have choir rehearsals or netball training.

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Jane March 22, 2016 - 8:26 PM

Wow Katrina, you are amazing! I struggle every morning with my 3 kids 7, 5.5 & 8months old. I order them healthy lunches from their school canteen as the 2 have such different tastes. I have printed out your charts and try to get them to follow them but most mornings they distract each other or start coloring in or playing Lego and I turn into nagging mummy! I really hope they get it soon as I’m struggling! What a dream it would be to have time to watch the today show before school hehe!

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Simone W March 17, 2016 - 7:32 AM

I love this thank you Kat, I can’t seem to get on top of our school mornings and do rush around, I’m usually yelling. I have 3 kids now in school and am struggling, what is your #1 tip to implement?

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 17, 2016 - 8:24 AM

I have found making lunches the night before is a huge time saver, free’s up the morning to not be so rushed and I can actually sit and eat my own breakfast 🙂

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Sue March 18, 2016 - 8:43 PM

I have to agree, I make the kids lunches the night before too, saves so much time and stress in the morning!

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Amanda March 17, 2016 - 7:33 AM

We have used your routine charts for years, they were my sanity saver, stopped me yelling and nagging the kids. I’m going to try some of these other tips, thanks Kat for sharing your strategy I am sure it helps so many.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 17, 2016 - 8:25 AM

that is so wonderful to hear Amanda, they did the same for me when I first implemented them, I just found myself repeating the same thing over and over. 🙂

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Jenni March 17, 2016 - 11:53 AM

Oh yummy! I love Uncle Toby’s Porridge! I had it as a kid and now my kids love it too!
I just love your morning routine chart. I’ll have to use that for my kids…to have a stress free morning sounds fantastic. Thanks so much for your tips.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 17, 2016 - 12:29 PM

We love porridge too, but being QLD’ers it’s only a winter breakfast here.

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Heart March 17, 2016 - 8:23 PM

I admire how your plans has worked perfectly. Definitely, preparing things in advance can save you out from stress.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 21, 2016 - 11:00 AM

absolutely, it’s all in the planning 🙂

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Tania March 18, 2016 - 11:10 AM

Thank you so much for this post it is hard to stop and let the tweens get ready with out nagging (they are so slow), you have added some great tips for getting them to do their own organising in the morning and not feel rushed (and me too). I don’t want them to resent me nagging them to do this and do that. You are a super hero.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 21, 2016 - 11:05 AM

Yes the nagging is what did my head in all those years ago. And I didn’t like hearing myself repeating the same thing, getting angry, it’s no way to start a day. Hope these tips work in your family 🙂

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Pauline March 18, 2016 - 12:08 PM

Hi Kat,
Do you make all the lunches the night before? Including sandwiches/wraps/bread rolls? I do everything but those the night before as I worry that they’ll go funny being prepared too far in advance. Any tips?
Thank you!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 21, 2016 - 11:08 AM

Yes, the full lunchbox is made the night before. However we are particular on how the items are placed on the bread/wrap. ie, tomato isn’t used on sandwiches, it will go soggy, but we do use it in wraps, it’s the last item to be placed on the wrap to avoid the wrap from going soggy.

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Vicki March 18, 2016 - 1:55 PM

I love the idea of getting lunches ready the night before, but I always find the bread a bit stale if prepared the night before. Is there any type of bread or wrap that stays fresher. I also know of a mum who makes sandwiches on the weekend and freezes her sandwiches. Many thanks for your thoughts.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 21, 2016 - 11:35 AM

Hi Vicki, I’m really particular with our bread, I purchase it fresh and freeze it straight away. I have found that when it thaws it’s just as fresh as the day we buy it (we like fresh bread). So the night before we take out the bread from the freezer, butter it still frozen and add desired items to sandwich. I put it in the lunchboxes, which are airtight and store in the freezer overnight. Don’t have a problem with the bread being stale. I also do as your friend does, there are a few mornings where they kids start school early, they eat a banana at home before I leave and then a sandwich after trainign. I butter a full fresh loaf of bread and add strawberry jam or peanut butter to make a sandwich, I then place the sandwich in airtight tupperware sandwich containers and place into the freezer. The kids pick these out of the freezer the night before and put with their lunchboxes, they are defrosted by the morning, which they can quickly eat between finishing sport/choir practice and the school day starting.

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Maria March 19, 2016 - 2:34 PM

Love your tips. My 7 year old twins also help make school lunches we have one tub of healthy options they choose 2 from here like sultanas, crackers, plain biscuits etc. and one tub of unhealthy options they have a choice from here on the 2 days they play sport. We try and do home bake items on a weekend together but I like your idea of every fortnight and they always have 2 fruit choices also.
???

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 21, 2016 - 11:16 AM

great idea Maria with the bins, I have only just recently implemented something similar with the kids after and before school activiites making sure they still have healthy options, but allowing them to pick for themselves.

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Shaz March 20, 2016 - 5:50 PM

Kat I adore your tips, tricks and charts! You are grounded and practical. One aspect I find hard is packing lunches for everyone’s different tastes and food tolerances. It does my head in! I also have health problems that makes thinking, planning and organising extra difficult. Any suggestions?

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 21, 2016 - 11:14 AM

That would be difficult. How about if you create a list of each person’s, favourite and what they will eat lunchbox ideas. Create 3 columns, fruit, morning tea and lunch. Then each week from that list use it as a reference to make yourself a lunchbox plan. If you place a new food in a lunchbox and you get positive feedback add it onto ‘will eat’ list 🙂 Hope this helps.

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Julie August 11, 2016 - 10:31 PM

That’s all fine but what if you have 3 kids at all different ages like my 14 year old is not going to read a chore chart but my 6 and 9 year old may like the idea ???

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Amanda August 10, 2017 - 2:59 PM

I find my 15 year old NEEDS the chore chart more than my 9 year old. He “forgets” to do everything in the mornings lol. He finds ticking things off better than me nagging him about unfinished chores and once they are all ticked off he can have his phone.

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Caz Boer August 12, 2016 - 9:44 AM

I have a chart for each of my kids, 4,6 and 8 years old. I have pictures for the little one to follow – he recognizes a bowl and spoon means breakfast, a t-shirt means get dressed etc. Each day they put a stamp beside their tasks, knowing that when all the boxes are stamped they can play until it’s time to leave. Instead of nagging, I can just say “what’s the next thing on you chart?” And direct them back to the chart. Big time saver! They can hand in a full chart at the end of the week to get a little prize. Hope this helps!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 16, 2016 - 8:23 PM

the little pictures are a great idea for a visual reminder, thank you for sharing your tip 🙂

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Rebecca August 12, 2018 - 2:54 PM

I find that if I can get the problem task done first in the morning the rest follow smoother. My 5 yr old doesn’t like getting dressed- so- getting dressed is his first task. Also the kitchen oven timer works a treat and the ringger can b heard ANYWHERE in the house- even over the box heater in the bathroom, or closed doors! So if he’s draggin the chain the timer goes on. He also has a reward chart with a small list of the absolute important ‘jobs’ he has to do in the morning. Also, the easiest/ most liked task in the morning gets done last- in our case that’s breakfast. If he runs out of time, I have self packed packets of dry cereal in the pantry that he can munch on in the car on the way. I find this process works the best for us and the kids respond really well to it. I also make lunches the night before- that is a massive time saver!!

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