6 ways to win the race against the clock (and the kids) each morning
(BPT) - Relaxed mornings are few and far between for the average American family, and it can seem like you’re always in a race against the clock to get everyone out the door on time. If it seems like your kids are making you 10 minutes late every morning, try these tricks to make mornings go faster and smoothly:
- Turn making the bed from an annoying time-consuming chore into a fast, fun activity
Most parents say kids don’t want to make their beds because it isn’t fun or takes too much time, according to a recent survey by Zipit Bedding(R). It’s no mystery why kids walk out the door without doing the one thing that can make a messy room look tidy. Turning a chore into a fun activity is the fastest way to get kids to do it. New Zipit Bedding(R) simplifies bed-making to a quick zip. The all-in-one bedding fits over mattresses much like a sleeping bag. Instead of the tiresome tucking and straightening needed to make regular bedding, Zipit(R) literally zips closed, bringing the top sheet perfectly in place over the fitted bottom sheet. To learn more, or to order, visit www.zipitbedding.com.
- Pack lunches the night before
Packing just two lunches can take 10 minutes or more. Save time by packing as much as possible the night before. If you have room in the refrigerator, store the packed lunchbag overnight. If you’ll be packing items that won’t keep well chilled – like pretzels or potato chips – prepack what you can and then pop the non-chillable items in the morning. On the weekend, shop with lunch in mind and plan your “menus” for the week so you’re not wasting time wracking your brain for ideas every day.
- Streamline breakfast time
Big breakfasts take time and typically happen only on weekends in many American households. But skipping breakfast is out of the question – as is chowing down on fast food breakfast every day—so look for breakfast foods that are both nourishing and fast. Smoothies can be a quick, healthful breakfast when you incorporate skim milk, fruits and veggies. Add extra protein with a dash of protein powder or a tablespoon of lowfat peanut butter. Make mini breakfast quiches or muffins in advance, freeze them and pop one in the microwave each morning for a fast, tasty and nutritious breakfast.
- Pull off a quick wardrobe change
Before putting kids to bed each night, take a few minutes to pick out the next day’s outfit. Arrange everything kids will need on a chair beside the bed – undies to hair clips – so that they don’t have to ponder what to wear or waste time looking for misplaced items in the morning. For picky kids or erratic weather forecasts, offer kids two options to choose from so they can feel like part of the process!
- Pump up the morning with music
Kids love a good dance party, and playing an upbeat, energetic song in the background as they get dressed, brush teeth and eat breakfast can help raise their energy levels. The faster the song, the faster they’ll probably move, so pick tunes that really pop – and that they love! Happy music can also help set the mood for their whole day.
- Set the stage with a good night’s sleep
Children need more sleep than adults, but many studies have shown that few kids – and fewer teens – really get as much as they need. A tired child is a cranky child who is likely to drag his feet getting out of bed in the morning. Establish and stick to a set bedtime and follow a soothing routine to ensure kids get the amount of sleep they need to be healthy, happy and alert in the morning.