Top Tips for A Smooth School Morning Routine

School mornings can be the most stressful part of the day. Children, especially the younger ones do not understand the concept of time and If anything like my youngest boy, they will deliberately go slow once told to be quick.

I am no expert in parenting nor am I saying I know more than any other parent, But I am hoping that my tips can help someone who is struggling with the morning routine running smoothly. Having three children and one of them being a stubborn morning person, I have been the Mum that screams the house down in the morning. I have been the parent that has sat on the bottom step of the stairs, head in hands and cried. I have been stressed to the max when the youngest just wouldn’t budge and just moved like a sloth to the front door without wearing his coat or shoes. We had months of where we left late every morning for school and I felt like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, looking at my watch every 2 seconds, screaming out that we’re late, we’re late! School morning routines can be stressful but they don’t have to be if you just try to organise your time and prepare.

It’s all about preparing the night before. If you can get as much as possible all set up the night before then there won’t be as much as a rush in the morning.

  • If your child has pack lunch for school, most of it can be prepared the night before. I put in packets, juices, fruits and bars into their boxes and leave the yoghurt and any fresh food for the morning. It’s best to out the lunch box together before the children wake up, then you won’t be listening to the moans of them not wanting what you put in. I like to make the sandwiches fresh in the morning but to save time you can make them the night before and store them in the fridge.
  • Wake up at least 45 minute before anyone else in the household. This way you get to relax before the tornado hits. Grab a cuppa and a biscuit and chill for 5 minutes. I also like to get dressed before they wake up. Fewer people fighting over the bathroom.
  • Place all bags and coats near to the front door. Easy to grab before you leave the house and also means that nothing gets left behind. Line up their school shoes next to the front door too.
  • Keep all winter clothes, like scarves and gloves inside he sleeve of the children’s coats. That way there will be no searching for them in the morning.
  • Make sure the children’s book bags are looked through as soon as they come home from school. All homework taken out and placed on the table to do straight away. All letters read and signed to be placed back into the book bags ready to be handed in the next day
  • Fold up your child’s school uniform, along with underwear and socks ready for the next day, in a pile. I leave ours in the living room, so after they have had their breakfast and had a quick wash they can get dressed in front of me downstairs, then I know there will be no distractions for them in their bedroom.
  • A bath/shower is better, for time wise, to have the night before. Just freshen up in the morning with a strip wash from the sink.
  • I always put the toothpaste on their toothbrushes as soon as I can. Once I am dressed and ready I prepare their toothbrushes and leave them on the side of the sink. That way I know there won’t be snail trails of bright blue gunk all over the white bathroom suite and I always know if they have brushed their teeth. Children have a tendency to lie about brushing their teeth. I touch the brush head to see if it is wet too. It saves time too as It takes me seconds but leave it to the children and they can be in there for hours
  • NO TV. do not have the television on whilst the children are around. They will sit and stare at adverts about incontinence and women’s period rather than get dressed and ready for school. It’s like auto pilot, there not taking anything in of what there watching they just watch for the sake of it.
  • Hide all tablets, laptops, console remotes and phones the night before, then there will be no distractions in the morning when a child wants to play on a game or watch something on YouTube.
  • Make a note of anything special happening in school on your phone diary or family organiser. I have a calendar up in the kitchen where everyone can see it. On I mark down school trips, class assembly’s, teacher meetings, parents evenings, PE and swimming days and any other special events. I always check the night before and I set the alarm on my phone for a second reminder.
  • As soon as the children have woken up and are downstairs they choose their breakfast and sit at the table to eat it. They then have a wash and get dressed. We sometime have a little game on who can get dressed first (makes them go faster), they love a little competition.
  • Make up a ‘I Can DO’ chart I had one that had ‘made my bed’ ‘brushed my teeth’ ‘got dressed’ and ‘ate breakfast’ The child can put a star next to the chore that they have finished. You can reward them with a sticker, children love stickers!

The last tip is to always keep your front door keys and phone in your handbag, coat pocket or on the window sill near to the front door. You don’t want to get the children all organised for you to go hunting through the house, just as you are about to exit through the front door. This I have done many times before as I was too occupied in getting the children ready, I have even shut the door without my keys in my pocket. Check, Check, Check! That is my last advice.

Let me know if there is anything that you do for an easy, smooth running morning that I do differently. I am always up for new ideas to help

Thank you for reading

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Breakfast Survival

Do you struggle with your children in the morning to get them to eat their breakfast?

My mornings are like competing a mini obstacle course when it comes to organising the boys, with three boys all under the age of 11, it’s not an easy task!

  • First I have to awake them from their warm comfy beds, which is survival in itself having to enter their bedrooms (the youngest would happily stay there all morning)
  • Secondly I have to get them all washed and dressed
  • Then I have to prepare their pack lunches, trying to put a balance of healthy foods and snacks in them

Whilst I am doing this all 3 of them will be climbing up the banisters, hanging from door ways, shouting at each other and trying to get past me to the back door so they can go out for a morning jump on the trampoline (My house is like a Jungle full of monkeys)

  • Then I have to get them all to sit down at the  table to eat their breakfast cereal, but only after they have raided the cupboard for their choice of breakfast.

This is the only time in the morning that they are calm and sitting down and it’s the only time from when they have woken up that I may get a chance to sip my coffee (which by now is cold!)

  • Once breakfast has been consumed, teeth have been brushed, book bags been checked and any last minute work added to the homework/reading books we are ready to leave the house.

Having a nutritional breakfast is an important part of the day, it sets you up for the rest of the day. The boys need to eat something that is quick but filling to get them through their tough morning at school til lunch time. I always make sure that we have a good selection of cereals for the boys, our cupboard is always full of cereal boxes their favourite being Shreddies.

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According to new research by Nestle Cereals, 70% of families have less than an hour to get ready for school, I totally agree with this and the more children you have to get ready the harder the routine gets, But we always make time to eat out breakfast! Eating their cereal means that they are getting a good start to the day and taking in important nutrients like fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Did you know that Shreddies contain 8 vitamins and minerals, and are low in saturated fats and are a great source of fibre?

Did you know that Cheerios are a great source of 9 vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium and vitamin D?

Celebrity Mum, Marina Fogle, says: ” Just like most families, sometimes we find it hard to navigate the jungle of the morning routine. But, however busy we are, making time for a nutritious breakfast is a key. A bowl of cereal is not just quick and easy but a source of important nutrients my family needs to start the day in a nutritious balanced way.”

“My husband is best known for travelling to remote locations and being a survival expert, putting himself through his paces, but back at home I’m a survival expert as a mum!”

To support other parents looking for help to survive the jungle of family breakfast, Marina has teamed up with Nestle Cereals to launch ‘Breakfast Survival Guide’, full of tips and advice.

 HOW ELSE CAN I GET MY ESSENTIAL VITAMINS?

How about eating some bugs! Did you know that bugs, grubs and plants from the jungle are packed with vitamins and minerals!

Kids love eating weird and wacky things, A Mopane Caterpillar is a good source of iron and the root of a Bulrush might be a great way get your fibre, or you could eat 100 Jewel Beetles for a great source of calcium.

We was invited along to A breakfast Survival event run by Nestle Cereals, where we got to go on an exciting exhibition through the jungle of the family breakfast routine. The boys had a blast meeting some wonderful creepy crawlies, tasting some of the alternative choices of a jungle cereal and we even got to meet Marina Fogle and renowned nutritionist, Juliette Kellow who were around to answer any of our questions.

Jak tasting a BBQ bamboo worm
Jak tasting a BBQ bamboo worm

 

Holding a Millipede
Holding a Millipede

 

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What breakfast would you prefer?

The eldest and I tasted all of the bugs, they wasn’t as bad as i thought they would be but we still would prefer to eat a bowl of cheerios any day! Whilst we was tucking away into our nutritional helping of bugs, Joseph was sitting in the next room tucking into a bowl of his favourite Shreddies.

Not only does Nestle Cereal make the perfect choice of breakfast but they are also ideal to put into pack lunches for the children to snack on.

Do you have any tip to make mornings that little bit easier? Why not share them on twitter using the hashtag #BreakfastSurvival

We was invited along to the event for the purpose of this post, thank you to Red Consultancy and Nestle for a lovely interesting and yummy afternoon.

 

 

 

 

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