How to make school mornings run smoothly
The response to our handy before and after school printables has been overwhelming. So many of you are looking for ways to make mornings less stressful, and getting out of the door on time for the school run a calm reality. So, we've put together some extra top tips along with our most useful products that could help make school mornings run smoothly.
START THE NIGHT BEFORE
After a busy day, the last thing any parent feels like doing is prepping for the next day. With a hot cup of tea and the sofa calling, your brain wants to switch off rather than plan ahead. But if you can stay on your feet for just ten more minutes, it will make the following morning a whole lot easier.
First up, double check that your children have emptied their school bags and have everything they need for the following day. It's worthwhile checking inside pockets for school letters and party invites, both often found in the bottom of backpacks.
Secondly, get the next day's school clothes ready. No one wants to be pairing socks or trying to find clean school shirts when you need to be heading out of the door.
Thirdly, pack lunch boxes and pop them in the fridge. It's much better than doing them in the morning and also allows time for your children to have an opinion on what they want to eat. No one wants to be remaking sandwiches or trying to placate unhappy children at 8.30 am.
Older children who are using our after school checklist should be able to complete these three things by themselves, or with a minimum of assistance. In that case, your job is simply to double check that they've ticked each box and that they've definitely reached in to the depths of their school bag and retrieved anything that shouldn't be there.
GET OUT OF BED, SLEEPYHEAD
While the snooze button is oh so tempting, save it for the weekends. Work out how much time you need to get you and your family ready in the morning, set your alarm, and stick to that time each and every week day.
One task that's super simple for children of all ages to tackle is making their own bed. It doesn't have to be a 'pillows plumped/wrinkle free duvet cover' attempt; a pillow placed neatly and the duvet drawn up is enough. And maybe a teddy bear or two tucked in. Make it part of your little one's morning routine.
By the way, have you seen our brand new superhero bedding set? With blue and red superhero masks on a white background with a pale grey criss-cross pattern, we think children are going to love it.
BREAKFAST FIRST, CARTOONS LATER
It's a tough one to enforce when you have so much to do and your own coffee to drink, but try banning all technology until everyone in the house has had breakfast, got dressed and cleaned their teeth. Some might call it bribery; we call it gentle persuasion. It's puts some control in your children's hands. If they get ready without any fuss or heel-dragging, they get a few more minutes of morning cartoons.
TEETH THAT SPARKLE LIKE STARS
For any child who's less than enthusiastic about their morning routine - 'What do you mean I have to clean my teeth AGAIN?' - we'd recommend a reward chart. This one is lovely and colourful and really easy to use. Every time your child ticks something off their checklist or perhaps tackles something they've previously steadfastly refused to do so, pop one of the rainbow stars in to the cloud. When it's full, it's treat time!
TIME TO GET DRESSED
We mentioned getting clothes ready the night before, and we have two products that will make this super easy for you and your child. The first is our popular Tomorrow's Clothes Rail, a cute hanging rail and shelf ideal for smaller bedrooms as it doesn't take up any floor space. Put it on the wall at a child-friendly height and they'll be able to reach their school clothes and get dressed all by themselves. Or, you could try our larger Star Bright Dressing Up Rail. It has plenty of space to hang a week's worth of school uniform and a handy storage tray below for bags and shoes.
GRAB YOUR BACKPACK
Allocate a special spot near the door for school backpacks. A shaker peg rail is perfect for this. Once emptied after school, hang them from their hook. There they should stay until they're needed again in the morning. This would also be a great spot for a noticeboard. Pin up letters, invites, and reminders so you can make note of any important dates as you pass by or head out of the door.
SHOES ON, IT'S TIME TO GO!
The final step in the 'getting out of the door on time' challenge, is to seek out the school shoes that were inevitably kicked off the day before. We'd highly recommend placing one of our roomy stacking storage trunks in the hallway or by the back door if you have enough space. With more than enough space for shoes, bags, PE kits, and school books, they're brilliant for keeping everything contained but easily accessible. And if you need even more storage, simply stack a second trunk on top.
We hope these tips are helpful. If you have any more suggestions to make school mornings run smoothly, do let us know in the comments. We'd love to hear from you.
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