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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Printable Morning and After School Routine Cards

Organized Chaos is the best way to describe my life.
I struggle with finding the balance between trying to be organized and doing too much.
I'm sharing this with you today because a friend of mine who has 3 boys, and a little girl due mid February, showed up at school running late and upset. 
Mornings for most are challenging.
At our house we struggle with getting up and staying on task. 
This is why we needed a morning routine chart. 
My friend's boys are 7, 4 and 2 years old and go to school with my girls. 
She's amazing. 
She's always positive and her boys are as sweet as can be. 
I wonder how she does it. 
  When I saw her upset I knew how she felt and wanted to help. 

I ran home and whipped up some morning routine cards for her boys.  

Morning Routine Cards 

We've tried several systems before finding the one that works best for us. 
If this system isn't your style fell free to make it your own.
You will also be able to find, at the end of this post, a list of some amazing sites that offer other systems.

First, print out the cards. 
You will find all document at the end of this post to download.
I use black ink only because we go through color ink fast around here and it's expensive. 
When I'm using black and white images I will add a pop color with the construction paper/cad stock or coloring in the images by hand.

 Then cut out each individual card and then glued them to construction paper or card stock.  
You do not need to glue them to construction paper or card stock but it will make the card stronger. 
I used the boys favorite colors
Once I choose a color for the name I will keep that color the same in any other additional routine cards or charts.  
Once the cards are glued to the construction paper cut them out, leaving a border of color showing.
I used good old scissors but you can use a paper cutter or punch.  

Time to laminate. 
I have a Scotch TL 901 Laminator.

You do not need a laminator for this.
Before I got our laminator and for larger projects I've used clear contact paper and it works great.
Con-Tact Adhesive Shelf Liner runs about $3 a roll.
Contact Paper Rolls 18X3 Yd Clear
If you're using contact paper you will want to use card stock or a heavy construction paper to help make the card strong and last.

Place the cut and glued cards in laminating pouches.
And send it through the preheated laminator.
If you're using contact paper, sandwich the cards between two pieces. 

 Once the cards are through the laminator, or sandwiched in the contact paper, you will have a pile of sealed (protected) cards.

 Guess What?
You have to cut them out once again. 
I promise this will be the last time. 
You can also use a hole punch that will give you rounded corners to give it that smooth polished look. 
Rounded Corner Hole Punch

And now you will have a pile that looks like this.

To finish the routine board I used Velcro Sticky Back 5/8 in. and Poster Board.
In the past I've used recycled cardboard from gift boxes and cereal boxes for the board. 
Cut the poster board to the size that you want.
I'm one of those that like things symmetrical so this took me a while to measure and cut.  
I glued the laminated names on the boards first. 
Velcro- Sticky Back Dots, 15 Sets White
My favorite 
Remember to keep the same velcro side on the board for each card.
I try to keep the fuzzy (the loop side) of the velcro on the board. 
And the hook side of the velcro on the individual card. 
Keeping this consistent will help when the cards are placed back on the board. 
My girls enjoy putting the cards back on the board at night.
We've made this apart of our night time routine. 

And there you have it! 
I was running late to pick up the little ones and wrapped the finished boards in tissue paper and used yarn to make a pom pom for the bow. 
Not my best work but I knew my friend would be able to use it the next morning.

Last minute tissue wrapped  finished boards.
Fun-Tak, Loctite, mounting putty, is a great way to hang the boards.
The Fun-Tak is strong. This is what we use and it does the trick.
You can change where you display the broads as many times as you need without leaving marks on the wall. 
Great teacher gift.
I've also added an Earned Minutes - Free Time Card (these are our movie tickets). 
You can use them for tv, video games or other reward type activities.
The girls can also save their minutes for a special play dates with a friend... tea party, picnic, craft time, etc.  

Morning Schedule Cards (b&w)

Each morning the girls can earn 10 minutes if they complete the Morning Routine Chart without being prompted. 
Again each card is color coordinated with either Morning Routine Chart.

Earned Minutes or Movie Tickets are a BIG deal in our house. 
Since I'm a stay at home mom we are down to one income and have a tight budget. 
The cable was the first to go. In order to watch tv the girls have to go to their grandparents when they have enough minutes saved. 

10 Minute Card

The grandparents collect the tickets, movie theater style and have their favorite snacks and drink ready.
It's a lot of fun. 

Here are some great sites with other amazing ideas.

Kids' Morning Routine

I hope this helps make mornings a little less stressful.
If you have any questions please let me know. 


  1. This is a great idea! I think it would also help the child know what is coming next so that he doesn't get frustrated. I learned on Extreme Home Makeover Home Edition that picture cards like this can help autistic children understand what is going to be happening, and can reduce emotional outbursts. Nice tutorial!
    I linked up my project at Weekend Wrap UP here:

    1. Thank you for stopping by and since adding this system to our house we have reduced the number of outburst. The best part has to be that I have more time for myself in the morning.
      I look forward to adding a few more routine cards/daily schedule systems.

  2. Thank you. I was a Special Needs teacher before the girls... this might be where I got this from. Have a great weekend.

  3. Great post, thank you for sharing !!!
    Hope you will stop by and link up another fabulous post, linky party is up !!!
    Claire xox

    1. Thanks for stopping by. You have a wonderful linky party and I'm excited to add another post soon. Thank you for hosting such a great weekly party.

  4. We use schedules like this with children with special needs ALL THE TIME, and I actually hadn't thought of using them with my own "typical" kids...but I am loving it. Especially because my three year old has a hard time in the AM getting ready for preschool. I'm going to pin these for sure! Thanks for sharing at Thrifty Thursday! hope to see you again this week! Loving your blog and following now!

    1. Thanks for stopping by... since we started using the schedule cards we've had easier mornings. I love it and I'm so glad that I was able to share it with others. After talking with my friend who I made this for I will be adding a few more cards. I'm also excited to share our Sunday School Clothes Fashion Show soon.

  5. Could you give more info on how you use the chart? Do they add the icons themselves as they complete the tasks?

  6. Hello,
    Are these still available for download?
    Thank you!
    (Posting as anonymous because I don't have any of the other accounts)

  7. I really love your morning routine cards. Could you send me the document? Do you have any bedtime routine cards? We are really struggling at getting ready for bed too. Thanks!

  8. This is fantastic! Is the document still available? I really need a morning routine for my 3yr old.



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