10 Simple Tips to Get Your Kids Ready for School

Last Monday, the house was quiet. You made coffee, watched a little morning news and got a few things done around the house before the kids woke up around 9 a.m.. What a difference one week makes.

Now you’re rushing around — trying to wake the kids up, letting the dog out, scrambling to pack lunches and signing that permission slip you didn’t know about until this morning, all in less than an hour.

If this kind of chaos resonates with you, I feel your pain.

And I’ve assembled the best tips from busy moms like us for to get our ready for school. Morning chaos can not only cause drama, but can make us forget things, which causes more problems later on in the day.

Here are 10 useful tips for helping kids get ready for school:

1. Get breakfast ready at night.

Every night before you go to bed, be sure to get out the cereal, oatmeal or whatever your kids will be eating the next morning. Have it ready to go so breakfast will be a breeze.  I suggest buying a LOT of options the week before school starts back. Let the kids go with you and pick out their favorite cereals, fruits and proteins that will make for a healthy breakfast.

Tip: If my kids are going to eat pancakes (their favorite), I will make them the night before. I put them in an air-tight container in the fridge & have it ready for the morning. All I have to do in the morning is put it on their plate. I lay out their silverware and cups the night before, too. Easy.

2. Lay out their clothes the night before.

This includes everything that they will need: underwear, socks, pants, shirt, belt, shoes. If they can get dressed by themselves (over 4 years old, I’d say), tell them to get dressed before they come downstairs (or out of their rooms).

3. Make a grooming basket for each kid.

We have a little basket with different sections in it and we keep it filled with everything they need for the morning.

The week before school starts back, I stock the basket with new toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, a comb, hair gel & floss. I keep our basket under our bathroom sink.

Tip: When getting the kids ready for school, it’s all about keeping things moving. As soon as they finish breakfast, they go to the bathroom to wash their hands and get their basket out. I don’t have to run around looking for everything. It is all right there waiting for us.

4. Get the backpacks (& lunches) packed the night before.

We keep their backpacks on our organizing bench on their designated hook. All the kids need to do is grab it and go.

5. Pack lunches ONCE for the week and then have them ready each night.

In the mornings, the kids grab their lunch box out of the fridge put them into their backpacks. If you want this to go smoothly, I suggest stocking up on all lunch items every Sunday. Our go-to items are fresh fruit, sandwiches, water bottles, string cheese, pretzels, crackers and dried fruit.

Another time-saving option is to teach the kiddos to pack their own lunches.

school kid packing lunch

6. Keep their chores to a minimum in the mornings.

On school mornings, all that they have to do is put their pajamas away, make their beds and clean up after themselves. The daily morning objective is to get kids out the door on time without forgetting anything. Morning chores will complicate this.

7. Eliminate all electronics (TV, computer, phones) in the mornings.

If we turn the TV on, we are just setting ourselves up for failure (it might be different in your house, but our kids just stop what they are doing to watch TV when it is on.)

If having these things motivates your kids, though, try a “when-then” rule: WHEN shoes are on, teeth are brushed and backpacks and coats have been moved to the front door, THEN they can watch TV until we leave.

8. Finish homework the night before – yes, even you mom.

Any permission slips to sign? Homework that needs to be checked? Notes from the teacher? If we haven’t checked homework and made sure everyone has what they need, things can get hectic.

9. Rise before the kids.

This is the hardest one for me! If I can get ready, have a little coffee and be downstairs when the kids wake up, it is better for everyone.  I like being the smiley face that greets them every morning, welcoming them to a brand new day.  It just puts all of them in a good mood.


Send your kids to school happy by being happy yourself.  The morning will set the tone for your day — and your whole day will be better for you and your family if it starts with a few smiles.

The good news: You don’t have to be perfect. And there’s plenty of time to practice and prepare for back-to-school season.

It will sneak up before you know it, so enjoy this time, but use it to prepare. Stock up on school supplies while the deals are still hot, and come school time, you and the kids will be ready to go!

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