School Morning Solutions

Our readers share their best ideas for making back-to-school mornings go more smoothly

Waffle Photograph by Diane Fields

A Faster Breakfast Is In the Cards
Because breakfast has always been a slow-moving time in our house, I created a system to speed things up on weekdays. I talked with my son, Bobby, age 6, about different healthy options for breakfast and divided them into two categories: grains (waffles, toast) on blue note cards and fresh choices (like fruit or yogurt) on yellow cards. Bobby picks one of each color at bedtime. With our new system, we know that he is getting a healthy breakfast he'll want to eat!
Heidi Walz Omaha, NE

Easy Outfit Organizer
For my daughter, getting dressed before school was a drama, until we labeled the six drawers in her dresser. One is for pajamas, one for socks and underwear; the remaining four hold "clothes for the week." For each "week" drawer, my daughter and I choose five pairs of pants and five matching shirts. When it's time to get dressed, she simply reaches in, takes the top pants and shirt, and is ready to go!
Jana Kemp Boise, ID

FamilyFun Classic: Create a Customized Clock
After a wake-up battle on our son's second day of kindergarten, we all agreed that we needed a new approach to the day. To make the clock face understandable to a 5-year-old, we placed a sun at the wake-up hour (7 a.m.), glued on a tiny pair of pants at 10 minutes after, used a magnet of eggs at 20 minutes past, and added a toothbrush at 7:30. Now our son is organized and enthused to be in charge of his schedule.
Donna Alms and Michael Strauss Waikoloa, HI

Great Staff Idea: Use Magnets to Remember
My son kept forgetting his backpack in the morning, so I put a blank sticker on a magnet and wrote on it, "Do you have your backpack?" I stuck the magnet to the outside of the car door. It worked!
Ann Hallock, Editor-in-chief

Get Moving in the A.M.
Our kids used to have trouble getting out of bed -- until we discovered that waking them with a riddle really does the trick. We tell them the answer only after they brush their teeth, then give them a second riddle and share the solution at breakfast. The kids love trying to figure out the answers, and this routine adds a sense of urgency to our mornings. It's easy to find tons of riddles in books and online, and that's half the fun for us parents.
Howie and Andrea Slomka Atlanta, GA

Originally published in the August 2013 issue of FamilyFun