11 kids routine charts you need to check out
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If you’re thinking of implementing a routine or two for your kids, or have already tried but haven’t been all that successful in getting your kids on board with the routine, then you have come to the right place, my friend.
Introducing a new routine to your child and sticking to it is not always easy, to say the least. Every child is different and needs a different approach. Sometimes it takes time to figure out what works best for your kiddo.
Once you have a routine figured out, the next challenge is having your kid actually follow the routine regularly.
For me this looked like constantly reminding/yelling at my son.
A typical morning:
Hey Jake. it’s breakfast time.
Jake, eat your breakfast.
Jake, hurry up, we’re running late!
Jake, go get dressed.
Jake, go brush your teeth.
Jake! Did you brush your teeth yet?
Jake!! GO BRUSH YOUR TEETH!!
By the time we had all gotten in the car, everyone was pissed off.
Something that has made our morning and night routines go a lot more smoothly is a routine chart. I definitely recommend you give it a try.
Pinterest will give you tons of results if you search for routine charts. So I’ve narrowed it down to the highest quality, most effective routine charts. You know your child best, so the specific chart that is well-suited for your child is up to you!
Why Routines are Important
If you’re searching for routine charts, I’m assuming that you already have an idea of why routines are important. But just in case you need more evidence to fuel you when you have challenging days with implementing them, I’ve got you covered!
Routines that are used regularly provide consistency and security for your child. They also help your kids develop good habits that will continue through the rest of their lives.
If you really think about it, it makes perfect sense. If your kids know what to expect everyday, their environments and family life feel more stable than if activities are random and happen inconsistently.
This makes routines especially impactful for children who are going through major life changes, like parents divorcing, a death of a close family member, or even moving.
Benefits of Routines
There are many benefits to putting routines in place for your kids.
One study showed that “individuals who grow up with predictable, daily routines are less likely to have time management or attention problems as adults”.
The powerful benefits of routines for children are hard to deny!
Another study found that “Children in families with optimal bedtime routines showed better performance in terms of… working memory… readiness for school… dental health”.
Why You Should Use a Routine Chart
Ok, we can all agree that routines are a great thing for our kids. But do we really have to put in the time to create routine charts??
Of course not!
But they will make adoption of routines by your kids SO much easier. Here’s why (and this is based off of my personal experience with using routine charts with my kindergartner):
1. Your child sees in advance what needs to be done. They know what to expect. and don’t have to rely on you to tell them what’s going to happen next.
2. They give kids a sense of independence (which they LOVE). They don’t need to rely on you to tell them what is going to happen next, or what they need to do next.
3. You don’t have to do as much reminding. The charts serve as visual reminders so you don’t have to constantly remind your kids to do something.
4. The charts give kids a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. They are able to actually see all the things they have done in their routine so far. Just like when we feel good every time we check something off our to-do list!
5. They make the routines themselves more sustainable. Your child will become much more familiar with the steps in a routine if they actually see the steps on a chart. Eventually, they won’t need the chart or your reminders at all (or at least very little!).
6. They’re FUN! A lot of the charts I’m about to show you involve flipping something up or checking something off. Little kids love stuff like this. My son plays with his routine chart when he’s bored!
The Best Routine Charts
Ok, so here is the comprehensive compilation of the BEST routine charts out there! I’ve divided them into 3 categories – Routine Charts to Buy, Printable Routine Charts, and DIY Routine Charts.
The Routine Charts to Buy section includes ready-to-use routine charts. You buy them, get them shipped to you, and they’re immediately ready to start using. These will obviously take up the least amount of time!
The Printable Routine Charts are low cost routine charts that you can print off. Some of them may require a little bit of DIY’ing, but nothing major that will take up a lot of your time.
The DIY Routine Charts are self-explanatory. I am NOT a DIY’er. I don’t have the patience. HOWEVER, I did decide to go the DIY route with our routine charts because I wanted my kids to help me make them. I knew this would help them get on board with using them. So, if you have the time and patience, I recommend giving a DIY routine chart a shot.
Routine Charts You Can Buy
I scoured Etsy and Amazon to find routine charts that are worth your money. I read descriptions, checked out pictures, and looked through reviews. Here are the best bets for your moolah!
This routine chart is a magnetic board that comes with magnets for the days of the week, the times of the day (morning, afternoon, and evening), the words “To Do”, “Done”, “Then”, and “First”, the numbers 1-6, and 72 different activity magnets.
I really love this chart because it’s so versatile! You can set up your child’s routine in any way you’d like (daily, weekly, First – Then, To Do). I definitely recommend that you review the picture of the activity magnets to ensure that all of the activities you want to include your child’s routine are there, but all of the most typical activities do seem to be covered.
This chart is made of 2 boards hinged together with fabric. The top board is used to set up your child’s routine. The bottom board is a dry erase board where you can also store unused magnets. Reward magnets are also included.
What I like about this board is that it comes with 2 blank magnets so that you can write in your own activities that may not have been included. Also, I like that it has a dry erase board. However, if you don’t like using rewards or words like “good job!” to motivate your children, then this is not the board for you. If you are using a reward system, then this board is a great option!
Just a heads up that some of the reviews talk about the wood around the board warping shortly after using. However, when they contact Customer Service, the company explained that the the 3rd party warehouse didn’t store the product properly, and they were great about providing another board free of charge.
This chart is a magnet itself so you can hang it on your fridge or any other magnetic surface you have. There are 12 spaces for the magnets, days of the week listed on the side, and a reward section where you can write what your child’s reward is if they complete their routine for each day of the week (no need to use if you don’t do rewards!). The dry erase marker is included.
What I like about this product is that you can choose the number of magnets you want to order (12, 15, 18, or 24) and you can select which activities you want from a list of 88 activities. This is much more customizable than the 2 charts on Amazon.
What I am not a fan of is that there is no way to check off each activity after it’s been completed. Rather your child just checks off the day after they’ve completed the entire routine. This will work for some kids, but I know some kids really enjoys checking off each activity. Just something to keep in mind.
Printable Routine Charts
If you want to save a bit of money, you can go for a printable routine chart. The file will be emailed to you for printing yourself. They all have a cost, but they are cheaper than the ready-made charts and are a small price to pay for the results in my opinion!
Some of these charts might require a bit of work after you’ve printed, but not much. I’ll let you know if that’s the case in each of the descriptions.
A tip for the printables: To avoid printing a ton of copies and wasting paper, you can either laminate the print out, stick it in a sheet protector, or put it in a plastic frame. Then all you’ll need is a dry erase marker to check off the activities.
There are two different styles offered for this routine chart, and each style includes morning and evening routines. There is a checkbox next to each activity that your child can check once they’ve completed an activity.
What’s great about these charts is that they are customizable. When the file is emailed to you, you click on a link and are able to edit it right in your browser, so you can add whatever activities you’d like!
This routine chart offers 6 printable layouts that you can choose from, and they all involve checking off each activity as your child completes them.
The pros for this product are that you can choose your color scheme and you can send a message to the seller letting them know the exact tasks that you want included and in what order you want them on the routine schedule.
This printable chart comes with 35 activities. Your child will move each activity from the routine area to the “Done” area as they complete each activity.
I like that the child has to physically move each task from the top to the bottom – I think a lot of kids would find this fun! There is also an expansion pack of activities that you can purchase from this seller if the 35 activities don’t include what you need (although I think that would be rare!).
You should know that there will be some DIY’ing with this. You’ll need to cut the activities and attach some velcro dots.
This product includes a morning, afternoon, and evening routine chart along with 60 activity cards.
The charts only include spaces for 4 activities each, but I like that this set has an afternoon routine. Many of the other routine chart products do not. You can get around the 4 activities by printing 2 of each routine and just attaching them to each other so you have a total of 8 tasks (or however many you need).
Just like the routine chart above this one, there is some DIY’ing. You’ll need to cut the activities, laminate each activity, and attach velcro dots.
This is a really fun option for a routine chart if your little one likes princesses! The chart is designed like a boardgame. Your child can pick a princess and move her along the board as they complete each activity.
I love that it’s set up like a game! I just wish the seller had other themes available, but I couldn’t find any on her page. I also like the file is editable so you can customize the activities.
Routine Charts You Can DIY
Alright Momma Friend – up for a DIY challenge?
This actually looks like a lot of fun to make! You’ll need to take pictures of your kiddos completing each activity. I think that kids would get an absolute kick out of seeing pics of themselves completing their routine.
I also like that they need to physically move their picture from the “Do It” bucket to the “Did It” bucket. I don’t know why, but I feel like having to physically move something makes it more interesting for kids.
Tip: Take the time to read through this post! The author includes LOTS of great advice for implementing routines with your kids.
These cookie sheet chore charts are super cute! They seemed way too involved for me as far as crafting goes, but if you like making crafts you’ll probably really enjoy making these (and you’ll likely already have all the supplies needed to make them which helps!).
Again, I like that the child has to physically move the magnet from one area to the next. I also really like the path on the bottom, similar to the boardgame printable.
Note: If you’re not into giving rewards, you’ll want to alter the bottom piece a bit!
I didn’t mind making these routine charts, and I’m not the biggest fan of DIY and crafts! Once I got all the supplies, it took me about 10 minutes to get them together and another 10 minutes to have my kiddos glue on the pics (which they loved doing, by the way!).
My kids loveeee flipping up the flaps. These charts have been a huge success for us and were so worth the effort. I know they will be for you, too!