Teaching Responsibility: Use a Morning Routine Checklist

Last year, we started using a morning routine checklist and it has been so helpful! The mornings run so much more smoothly and I am way less stressed.

A morning routine checklist for preschoolers. Teach them to take responsibility for getting themselves ready.

This week the Early Childhood Education Team is bringing you posts about teaching responsibility to young kids. There is a ton of great advice being shared today, so I hope you will scroll down to the bottom of the post and check out their posts as well!

One way that I have been teaching my son responsibility is by letting him get himself ready on the two mornings that he goes to preschool each week. There are a few things on the checklist that I help him with, but most of them can be done independently.

I do supervise and give a reminder if needed, but I was quite surprised by how quickly he adapted to the responsibility of getting himself ready. He was actually very excited to take charge of his morning routine and takes the responsibility seriously.

Preschool morning routine chart and checklist.

One reason he was so motivated was because I made a neat checklist for him to use each morning. He loves that he has his own list to check off and that he gets to use a dry erase marker on it! Make sure you grab your own free morning routine printable below!

It is a very simple printable with a picture to represent each task on the list, the words for each item and a box to check off or “X” off when the task is completed. I slid the printed chart into a sheet protector and stuck it to the refrigerator with a magnet.

Each morning, when he comes downstairs, he goes to the chart to remind himself of all that he needs to do. I tried to put the chart in order of how he gets ready, but we often to do a few of the items out of order. To begin, he knows to go to the bathroom and then start eating the breakfast I have waiting for him.

Morning routine chart for preschoolers.

He continues to go through the list and checks each task off as he completes it. He will come get me when he needs help fixing his hair or getting his socks on straight, etc.

When we first started this checklist last year, I had to help Evan through each item on the list until he eventually got the hang of it. Each week he took on more and more responsibility until he was completing most of the tasks on his own and without lots of reminders. I think it was worth the time and effort it took to teach him to do this because now he is very independent in the mornings. This gives me a chance to get myself and my two-year-old ready.

The mornings are far less stressful now that I don’t have to follow him around and tell him what to do next. Evan feels so much more in control because he knows what is expected of him and can plan for everything he needs to do. It has been amazing to watch him mature and take on the responsibility of his morning routine!


For more Resources on Teaching Responsibility from the Early Childhood Education Team, we recommend:
Teaching Responsibility in Preschool through Practical Life Skills via The Preschool Toolbox Blog
Morning Routine Chart for the Preschool Classroom via Fun-A-Day
Teaching Responsibility: Simple Daily Routine Chart for Kids via Learning 2 Walk
Using Group Goals to Teach Responsibility in Kindergarten and Preschool via Capri + 3
Teaching Kids to be Responsible through Literacy Activities via Growing Book by Book
Responsibility Interactive Mini-Book and Memory Game for Preschoolers via Life Over C’s
 Homeschool Lesson Plan Checklist via Still Playing School
Teaching Children How to Be Responsible for their Own Backpack by The Educators’ Spin On It