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15 Clever Ways To Actually Get Your Kids To School On Time

Weekday morning tips and tricks that actually work.

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We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share their best tips for getting kids out the door on time. While every family is different, maybe one of these tips will work for yours.

Note: Not all of these submissions are from Community users, although most of them are!

1. Make a morning routine chart and post it at kid height so they can easily see it and follow it.

It gives them responsibility for their own mornings, and you won't be continually repeating yourself — you can just tell them to look at their chart. Read more at The Organised Housewife.

2. And make sure that they know where everything they need is, and how to put it away when they're done with it.

This sounds like a given, but it's an important part of having a successful independent routine. Read more about this toothbrush system at Cars, Trucks and Teething Rings.


4. Make the kids pack their own lunches the night before.

krystenr88 /

"This chart allows them to help make their own lunches (which we usually do the night before to cut down on time). It teaches them how to prepare a healthy school-approved lunch. I find when kids are involved with food prep they are more likely to eat everything." —krystenr88

5. Make them pack up their school bags, too., / Via

"As a single mother of three, it's not really rocket science. PACK AND ORGANIZE EVERYTHING THE NIGHT BEFORE. EVERY. DAMN. THING." —sarahmcelroyv

(Click on the backpacks above to enlarge).

6. Organize each child's clothes for the week on Sundays, maybe in easy-to-identify drawers.

krystenr88 /

"I lay out their clothes for the week so that my 4- and 6-year-olds can easily get dressed for school with appropriate clothing. This really helps me cut back on time." —krystenr88


7. Put the kids' schedules and timelines all in one place, so they can manage their own time as much as possible.

Leslee Andersen /

"A chalkboard schedule and a Command hook. It's small but mighty!" —Leslee Anderson, Facebook

"I turned a wall in my kitchen into a chalkboard wall and drew a big calendar on it with all the kid’s activities, appointments, and project deadlines so they can actively participate and be aware of their own schedules and responsibilities so they can be prepared. We have very stress-free mornings and my kids are learning great time-management skills." —karens4b6bfba6a

8. Find ways to turn prep into a game, especially with younger children.

"Try to make up a game for the slowpokes in the house: “Let’s see if you can get those clothes on before Mommy can get the lunches in the bags!” Also, INDEPENDENCE is key. Your children will not get it totally on the first or 21st try, but at some point there will be one less thing you have to do and your children will feel very proud of themselves." —eboniw2

Try using Egg Timer, a simple timer to keep them on track.

9. Do what you can to get your kids to bed on a regular schedule.

"Make sure your kids get enough sleep. Makes a world of difference." —sarahmcelroyv

"I’ve found that mornings are much easier if I stick to a strict bedtime the night before. Waking up sucks, but if he’s had enough sleep it’s easier for him to get going." —thedoctorismyparabatai

Find time to figure out the calculator, which tells you when you or your child should go to bed to get enough sleep for the next day.

10. Take advantage of the alarm function on your phone.

Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

"All of the alarms. I’m serious, I map out my time in 15-minute blocks. This means I know exactly how much time I have to get my 6-going-on-16-year-old son out of bed and dressed before we walk to his breakfast club, as well as making sure I’m ready for work!" —imii


11. Get up and get yourself ready before you rouse anyone else.

"It helps you stay calm even though you may have to sacrifice an hour of sleep. You don't have to abandon your children to their own devices whilst in a rush." —pcm183

"I lose out on a little sleep but my whole day goes better if I take a few minutes of peace and quiet to get ready. I can also give my kids my undivided attention once they’re up." —ajadumas

12. Tag team with your partner.

"With four boys, it’s down to teamwork with my husband. He supervises morning showers, I zip around grabbing clothes, and throwing clothes on myself. He gets ready for work, helps with shoes, teeth, etc., and then we’re out the door!" —jeanne-annettethomasj

13. Prep breakfasts well in advance.

"I have pre-made breakfast burritos that you can just stick in the microwave or the sandwich grill. They’re quick and easy to prepare, and you can eat it on the go if you’re running late." —craftingpotteraddict

Find 27 healthy make-ahead breakfast recipes here, and get a great recipe for freezer breakfast burritos here.

14. Or keep grab-and-go breakfasts at the ready.

"I like to have some easy to grab or make breakfasts like yogurt, fruit, cereal, and oatmeal so that breakfast is easy and quick and I don’t have to worry about it." —katbob

You could divide cereal up into individual plastic containers to make it easy to transport. Get more ideas for healthy on-the-go breakfasts here.


15. Set all of the clocks in the house five minutes ahead, but *don't tell anyone*.

That way you can forestall your own sense of time-induced panic if one of the kiddos is running five minutes behind schedule. Get this clock here for $14.99.

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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