Getting the kiddies ready in the morning is no small feat. While most parents don’t need an alarm (they have walking, talking ones), it’s always those mornings when you need to be somewhere on time, that kids will choose to sleep in, drag their heels or lose their library bag.
We consulted the Grapeviner mums and asked them for their top tips to speed up their morning routine and get you out the door on time, and this is what they said.
The night before
There’s nothing quite like realising you’ve run out of bread 5 minutes before you need to leave for kindy or school. Save yourself the stress by making lunches the night before. Taking away the rush element also means you have time to ensure your poppets are getting a healthy and well-balanced lunch (without them screaming that everyone else is allowed to have Tiny Teddies).
Going a step further and making sandwiches in bulk, then freezing them until needed, is the ultimate in time (and money!) saving. Avoid fillings that have a high concentration of water (eg lettuce/cucumber) as they can get soggy and avoid egg as the white part gets rubbery. Sweet and savoury muffins also freeze well and can be a great lunchbox addition. If the munchkins poo-poo the idea, remind them it was good enough for Elsa to freeze everything.
Snack grab’n’go box
Does your fridge multiply soy sauce bottles overnight? It’s crazy how that happens, hey? Well, move out the old and make some space in your fridge for a large container or box with healthy snacks you have pre-portioned – this way you can just add and a different, healthy snack each day and you’ll save time throughout the week.
Getting uniforms, undies, socks and shoes out and in place the night before will save you the horror of realising you need to be out the door and your darlin’ doesn’t have a single pair of clean knickers to wear. (Hint: Eating brekkie before they get dressed will save you spot-cleaning splodges on clean uniforms.)
The key to being a morning person lies in getting a good night’s rest, so get the kids organised and in bed on time. It can help to stick to the same bedtime routine every night. After the tribe are in bed it might be tempting to get your wine on and binge watch episodes of the Real Housewives, but that’s just going to have you tired and cranky in the morning, so set yourself a bed time and do your best to stick to it.
Get yourself ready first
Getting yourself showered, dressed and fed before the rascals wake up mean that you can then devote all your energy to getting the little monsters organised. Having a shower at night will give you back some time if you really need the extra 5 minutes lie in. Either way a shower without an audience is a nice change!
Routine, routine, routine
Empower your poppets by letting them take charge. Start by explaining your expectations, then together you can work out how long each activity should take (e.g. 4-5 minutes to brush teeth). Once you have worked out times, you can make a morning routine chart that the kids can follow. If you get it laminated then the little ones can tick off each morning task as they go.
There are some days when you just need the minis to smash their breakie down quickly. Whack some milk, a banana, some yoghurt, a dash of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon in a blender and whazz it all up. They’ll guzzle it down quickly and it can be taken to go if you are running reeaaallly late. Fresh fruit (cut up the night before) can also work as an on-the-go breakie.
It might sound a little on the cray-cray side to add play time to the morning routine, but it seems to be a good motivator. The idea is that you let kids know that any time spare between them getting ready and the time you need to leave is their free time. It’s amazing how quickly a 5 year old can get ready for school if they think they’ll get extra some extra time to play. Want to get them out the door? Let them know that they can play on the school ground if they get their early enough.