Printable Morning Routine Cards for Kids

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Get these printable morning routine cards with pictures to help give your children a visual schedule for their morning tasks.

Morning Routine Cards Cover by Valerie Plowman

It seems like no matter what you do to prepare, mornings are hard. If you are trying to get your kids and/or yourself out of the house in a timely manner, there can be a lot of stress associated with that. Stress leads to impatience which easily leads to tempers being lost.

And that leads to guilt.

The simple solution to helping all of this is routine.

Establishing a morning routine is the easiest way to simply your mornings and say your goodbyes to each other peacefully.

Benefits of a Morning Routine

When you have a routine, you know what to do next. Routines are predictable and can be memorized. Kids can learn to take control and take charge of their own selves when they have a routine to follow and know the expectations. 

At my house, my kids have followed a routine or a schedule essentially from birth. Their days have been predictable. Why not do the same thing for their mornings once they hit school?

For nearly a decade, I have been using morning routine cards to help my kids stay on track in the morning. I love the system because it helps my kids stay focused and get things done and I do not have to nag them about it. 

Having the routine cards helps give my kids a visual schedule. They see what they need to do and do it. These cards are visual routine cards. It gives kids something to look at and focus on. For children who can’t read well, the pictures help them see what to do.

 

 

When my kids use these morning routine cards, they establish habits. It helps them learn to establish habits and also helps them establish their morning habits. 

I am able to help instill in my children the habit of praying first thing when they get up in the morning. I am able to get them to get in the habit of hanging up their towel after they shower. They learn hygiene habits and how to get ready to leave the house each morning. 

Through these habits, the kids learn to be personally responsible. It is their job to get their lunch in their backpack and have their backpack ready to go. It is their job to remember to practice their piano. It is their job to clean up after themselves as they get ready.

They are in charge of going through their pack, so they get used to it being themselves telling them what to do and not mom or dad. 

Girl getting her lunch ready

There is also the major benefit of my brain being less full. It is no fun trying to remind four kids each step of getting ready each morning! With these cards, I don’t have to remember that McKenna has already done ABC while Brinley has done CGH. They track their own progress and just check in with me at one point. 

We all need that mental load lifted where we can!

As my kids have gotten older, they do not need the cards anymore. They have established the habits well by the time they get to junior high and are able to just get themselves ready. 

 

Morning Routine Cards Pinnable Image

My Printable Morning Routine Cards

My printable morning routine cards with pictures PDF come with the following:

  • 26 printable pages of routine cards, each with 4 cards on a page
  • Visual routine card options with boys and with girls. You can even choose to print different hair colors!
  • Cards for personal hygiene, including shower, wash hands, wash face, brush teeth and use deodorant
  • Cards for steps in getting ready, including get dressed, get shoes on, and do hair
  • Cards for cleaning up after self, including hang up the towel, put clothes in the hamper, and make your bed
  • Cards for spiritual development, including say prayers and study scriptures
  • Cards for practicing instruments, including piano, flute, violin, and general music cards
  • Cards for taking care of pets, including cat, dog, fish, bird, bunny, and general pet cards
  • A card to check in with a parent or guardian so the child can have accountability for what was done

With these cards, you can use what is applicable to your individual child. You can also put the cards in any order you feel is best for your child; I put the cards in a different order for each child. You will find different flow works better for different kids. You might also have room sharing going on that will impact what order you want things done in.

Sample cards printed out and laminated

How to Create Your Cards

These are very simple to make. Here is the process.

Morning Routine Cards Supplies

Supplies

Buy Your Supplies Here

Morning Routine Cards
O-Ring
Paper Hole Punch
Paper Trimmer
Scissors for Adults
Laminator and Pouches
Cardstock
Printer Paper
Morning Routine Cards
O-Ring
Paper Hole Punch
Paper Trimmer
Scissors for Adults
Laminator and Pouches
Cardstock
Printer Paper

Method

  1. Download and print out your morning routine cards
  2. Laminate each sheet
  3. Use the scissors or the paper cutter to cut cards out. Use the dotted lines to help you cut things straight. NOTE: If desired, you can cut cards out before laminating and then cut out again after you laminate
  4. Use a paper hole punch to punch a hole in the top, left corner of one of your cards
  5. Use that card as a template to punch a hole in the rest of the cards. Place the first card on top of a card and punch a hole through the space in the hole on the top card. Repeat for all cards
  6. Place the cards in your desired order
  7. Put the cards on the O-ring, teach your child how to use the cards and what each card means, and enjoy!

Steps to creating the morning routine cards

Choosing the Order

There is no ultimate right or wrong order to these cards. Do what makes sense for your family. Some of my kids do much better if they shower before they eat because they take FOREVER to shower if they are not hungry. Some things have an order they need to be in, like you can’t get dressed before you shower, but other than those things, the order is what works for you.

The nice thing about the 0-ring is that you can change the order if you need to. If you find your order isn’t working out, change it!

Put your “check in” or “go see mom” card (whichever you decided to use) at the end of the pack. You want them to do this step last. 

Printable Morning Routine Cards by Valerie Plowman

  

Teaching Your Kids to Use the Routine Cards

When you are first starting out, tell your kids what the cards are. Show them the cards and get them super excited to be able to take charge of themselves as they get ready each morning. 

Flip through the pack together and talk about the steps. Answer any questions your child has. 

Explain that your child will flip the card when he or she is done with the task and then complete the task on the next card. They keep flipping through the stack.

Show your child the “check in” or “go see mom” card you have at the end. Explain that when your child gets to this card, he or she needs to come see you (or whomever they see) to go through the pack.

Morning Routine Cards

Many times, kids will skip a task along the way. They either will not want to do it or they will get distracted and end up skipping the card. As you go through the cards, make sure each task was indeed accomplished.

It is common to need to do something that was missed. Do not berate your child. Just have your child do the task and then come back to you when he or she is done.

Once it is all done, have your child put the morning routine cards in their designated spot and then they get free time until it is time to leave!

Printable Cards Pinnable Image

Conclusion

These cards are an excellent visual routine schedule and a great way to help your child learn to be independent, establish habits, learn to be personally responsible. You will find you are less stressed and frazzled as your children take personal responsibility and move through the morning without you having to remind and hound. They are a great tool for more peaceful mornings!

For more help with crazy mornings, see Thriving and Surviving the Morning Rush.

Printable Morning Routine Cards for Kids

Printable Morning Routine Cards for Kids

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

How to make these printable morning routine cards with pictures to help give your children a visual schedule for their morning tasks.

Materials

  • Printable morning routine cards
  • Printer Paper or cardstock
  • O-ring

Tools

  • Printer
  • Laminator and pouches
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Paper hole punch

Instructions

    1. Download and print out your morning routine cards
    2. Laminate each sheet
    3. Use the scissors or the paper cutter to cut cards out. Use the dotted lines to help you cut things straight. NOTE: If desired, you can cut cards out before laminating and then cut out again after you laminate.
    4. Use a paper hole punch to punch a hole in the top, left corner of one of your cards.
    5. Use that card as a template to punch a hole in the rest of the cards. Place the first card on top of a card and punch a hole through the space in the hole on the top card. Repeat for all cards.
    6. Place the cards in your desired order
    7. Put the cards on the O-ring and enjoy!

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valplowman
valplowman

Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at Babywise.life, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

2 Comments

  1. Jennifer
    October 12, 2019 / 5:57 PM

    What age do you think is appropriate to start using these?

    • October 16, 2019 / 4:31 PM

      I started with preschool or Kindergarten for my kids. I think preschooler or older can benefit from it. With younger kids, you might do better to have the cards yourself and have your child report after one or two tasks and show your child how to get through the cards until he/she can do it alone.

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