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Streamlining Morning Routines

morning routine visual schedule

Establishing routines helps children to build confidence and familiarity of daily activities to promote increased participation. Doing tasks in the same way, in the same order, can help to make morning activities automatic. Routines have been shown to decrease stress for all involved.

Here are some tips for streamlining your morning routines:

Plan Ahead

  • lay out clothes the night before
  • bathe before bed
  • pack backpack before bed

Provide a Visual Schedule

  • visual schedules help decrease morning stress
  • teaches routines for young children
  • improves transitions

Provide Extra Time

  • allow extra time in the mornings to get ready
  • use a timer

Caregiver Affection

  • consider adding aspects that include giving mom a hug, singing a song together, cuddles or squeezes

Avoid Distractions

  • turn off the TV
  • put toys away the night before

Make it Fun

  • play fun music
  • reward for job well done

Allow Independence

  • let the child choose their outfit for the next morning
  • have them choose between two breakfast items
  • as hard as it may be, try to allow the child to dress independently when possible

Stay Positive

  • use encouraging language
  • remember, mood cam impact behavior!

Consider Sensory Experiences

  • overcrowded areas can cause some children distress
  • ask your occupational therapist how you can ensure a positive sensory experience in the morning!

To find customizable schedules for your family, a Google search of “morning visual schedule” will result in numerous printouts that allow you to tailor the schedule to fit your family’s needs. also has easy to use, personalized templates to use with fun designs for kids! Ask your occupational therapist if you have any questions!