Disclaimer: I am not a child psychologist. Pretty much daily, I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. 😭😂 This is simply an experiment born out of my desperation for smoother mornings that get us to our daily destination ON TIME. I was so tired of being a broken record to get the kids ready in the morning. I needed a solution that would keep it simple, get them motivated, and allow me to stay calm. (Starting the day in a frenzy of stress doesn’t usually set us up for a good adventure.) So I turned to Daniel Tiger to help me with my problem… if Mr. Rogers couldn’t solve this, no one could.
Here’s what I did:
1. Got the Daniel Tiger lyrics to the Morning Routine song. Originally I planned to use a longer list of things that they needed to do (i.e. go potty, get backpack, etc.) but I decided to apply the KISS method (keep it simple, stupid) and go with something they know and love.
2. Found supplies that I had around the house to make the chart. I was not making a decoration to keep forever, I just needed something to get the job done and a poster board with clothespins would do the trick.
3. Penciled out the poster then traced with marker. Again, no work of art here, but I knew it’d drive me crazy if it was too crooked or lopsided. I also made each of the kids five clothes pins by writing their name on each of them. I decided on clothes pins rather than stickers so the poster would last longer… assuming this was going to work!
4. I introduced it to the kids and explained that if they completed each task in the morning they’d earn a vitamin! (That’s a really exciting reward to my 1.5 and 3.5 year olds). They were pretty excited so my hopes were high!
Here’s how it went…
Day 1 – they were up and at ’em as soon as they woke up. The whole routine was done in about 30 minutes. Problem- I wasn’t ready. By the time I got ready, they found a few ways to entertain themselves with things they weren’t supposed to, and ultimately we got out of the house at the same time. 🤔 Perhaps mommy needs a checklist too!
Day 2 – they were much less motivated to complete the tasks, but when it came to crunch time it was a lot easier to just remind them of the chart than to continue to nag them. Also, I got ready before they got up, so that also made a huge difference! Ultimately we left the house 15 minutes earlier than we had been and Kell got to school on time! SUCCESS!
**Update: This is continuing to improve our morning routine mostly because I don’t have to nag and the tasks are all known and clear! It even helped my husband this weekend… he didn’t have to ask what needed to be done! It was all there! So much love for Daniel Tiger! ❤️
There are also tons of cuter ideas on Pinterest for “Morning Routine” charts but this was quick and easy! I would love to hear any strategies that you use to get the kids out the door in the morning! Feel free to leave a comment!