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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back To The Grind

As we begin our mad dash to the stores for backpack's, lunchboxes and clothes, we sigh in relief knowing that in just a few days our little gems will be back at school, being educated and entertained by someone other than ourselves for a few hours a day. Can I get an Amen?

With this return to the trenches comes the dilemma's of rush hour traffic (the kind in your kitchen and bathrooms prior to 8am). Here are some of my tips to keep the morning's running somewhat smoothly.

Handmade totes from http://www.knotjustjigs.co.uk
  1. Set up a morning routine for each child. I created little pictures of each morning job (brush teeth, put on clothes, put on shoes, make bed and brush hair) which can be customized for each child. Remember to keep the lists age appropriate and that you may still have to assist in some tasks (like belts and shoelaces). I have the pictures glued to magnets on the back of my daughter's bedroom door (where she has a white board). Right after breakfast she starts on her routine. She may choose the order in which to do the various tasks, but they must all be done. When they are she gets moved up on her behavior chart, but you can choose any reward such as stickers, pennies, etc.
  2. Pick out a week's worth of outfits on Sunday night. My husband has the task of making sure our willful 4 yr old is dresses for school. I came up with this system when too many days I would hear the stories of fighting over skirts and shorts and shoes. On Sundays we put together 5 outfits complete with socks and hair accessories and put them on hangers in an easy-to-reach spot. Then my daughter gets to pick what she wants to wear each day from these five outfits. 
  3. Have separate bags for each after-school activity. Avoid the "I-forgot-my-soccer-cleats-drama" by having a bag for each activity. I started this system after about the third time my daughter arrived at skating lessons without gloves. If your child does soccer, ice-skating, ballet, and gymnastics, have a bag for each sport for each child. Tote's work wonders and can be purchase from craft stores and decorated by your child with pictures of the activity and their names on them. After each lesson, make sure all items are washed and put directly back in the bag for the next week. Let the kids know that NOTHING is to be taken out of the bag for any other activity. (My daughter loves to wear her gloves around the house, so I bought a pair that was ONLY for skating) If you have a particularly busy child and thus a lot of totes, have hooks in a closet or on a hallway wall to hang the bags.
Hope you are able to use some of these strategies that have worked so well for me, to streamline your mornings.

Love and organization,
Kerry the Momster

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