A Foolproof Morning Checklist For Dropping Happy Kids Off At School

A Foolproof Morning Checklist For Dropping Happy Kids Off At School Hero Image
Photo: Cara Dolan

We all know getting your kiddos off to school can be a bit of a chore, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun. After all, the easier you make your mornings for yourself and your little ones, the more likely you are to drop happy children off at school. Here, we will share tips for bringing a sense of fun back into your mornings—even in the midst of busy school-year schedules.

1. Pack their backpacks and check their homework.

Pack your kids’ backpacks and double check their homework the night before. This will give you ample time to check in with your kids while making sure they have everything they need for the school day. Depending on their ages, you may want to review homework and ask what else is coming up for the week.

2. Put them in charge of tomorrow's outfit.

Photo: Brian Powell

Before bed, let your children pick their look for the next day. Letting them choose their own outfits, hairstyles, and shoes makes getting ready for bed a little more fun and sparks something to look forward to tomorrow.

3. Boost breakfast.

Kick-start the day with a boost of nourishment. It’s important to introduce habits like this when they’re young because it’ll keep them going even when you’re not there to remind them. The key is to make it fun! Find colorful fruits, get creative with smoothies, and give them a yummy gummy vitamin—like mykind Organics Gummies from Garden of Life®, which are organic and made with nine whole fruits in every bottle. Bonus: They make versions for adults and kids, so it’s a fun (and tasty) morning ritual to do with your child!

4. Rise early.

Start your day early. We know, we know. It can be painful to wake kids up early, but gently easing them into the day is so much better than letting them sleep in for 10 minutes and having a frantic morning because of it. Introduce a gentle element to your wake-up routine, such as singing together, reading a book, or cuddling.

5. Spend a mindful minute together.

Photo: Irina Efremova

Try a mindful minute with your children in the morning. Before the hustle and bustle begins, or perhaps as soon as you’re ready to leave for the day, take a minute to simply be with your children. Even if it’s only 20 seconds, hugging and making contact with one another is shown to yield happy hormones for all. (Yes, it’s beneficial for you, too!)

6. Stick to the same routine on weekdays.

It’s simple: You’ll be less likely to get a ‘tude from your kids and more likely to remember everything. Of course, keep it varied within your routine by changing up the breakfasts, outfits, and even your mindful minutes. Following the same general formula will help them experience the positive, calming effects of a morning ritual.

7. Keep a whiteboard or chalkboard checklist by the door.

The idea is that you can easily add to it or erase from it. This will help you remember the basics (lunch, umbrella) but gives you the flexibility to add one-off items (science project, etc.). Make it fun so kids can add to it the night before or draw pictures next to their to-do's.

8. Give every person an "out-the-door chore."

Some examples include turning off the lights, switching on the dishwasher, and checking to make sure the fan is off. Ask, "Did everyone do their door chore?" before leaving. Letting kids ease your mental checklist also makes them feel special and important. You can reassign their chores each week or month, depending on how many kids you have or what your kids like doing.

9. Double check the weather while you're eating breakfast.

Photo: Mypurgatoryyears

Check the weather while you eat breakfast, not once you get outside! This will streamline any necessary outfit modifications and save your sanity. There’s nothing like getting out the door to simply turn around because you and your kids weren’t dressed properly!

10. Remind your kids to have fun!

This is the most important item of all. Before your kiddos run into the school building, remind them to have fun and ask them what they're excited about! This will subtly shift their mind into "school mode" and give you something to ask about later.

Happy drop-off!