Does a Routine Chart Really Work?

Posted on Sep 11, 2017 in Blog Posts
Does a Routine Chart Really Work?

Do you ever have *those days* when you feel that getting the entire family up, fed, dressed and out the door, complete without tantrums, lost keys, and shoes on the wrong feet should give you an exclusive right to do a lap of honour – It deserves a mention that generally this is all happening before your second coffee!

When I do actually manage to achieve the dream, I kid you not, the little mini-me in my mind is doing just that – a lap of honour with high 5’s all round (in 80’s lycra and leg-warmers of course!)

But seriously when things are not going to your plan it can honestly put your whole day out of whack.


Now I don’t want you to get too excited and think I’m about to give you the golden answer to your problem; I’m no fairy godmother, although I do like the idea of owning a wand. I do, however, have something that might just help you to reduce the frequency of the mornings of extreme mayhem.

I can honestly say that what I am about to share actually does work in my house most of the time (lets be real – nothing works ALL of the time when there are kids involved).

The secret to reducing our morning madness is our… ‘Kids Morning Routine Chart’!


Kids Routine Charts may consist of some, or all, of the following:

  • The individual steps/responsibilities that make up a regular routine like mornings or bedtime put into order of action
  • The steps/responsibilities may be represented by pictures or words
  • Large responsibilities, (like getting ready) are broken down into small, manageable tasks (for example, get dressed / brush teeth etc)

I’ve actually got an amazing freebie ‘DIY Routine Chart’ for you that walks you through the steps of coming up with your own steps/responsibilities personalised to your family

DIY Routine chart freebie button


Maybe at first, as you will probably have to remind the kids to reference it more than you would like, but I can promise you kids pick things up pretty quickly and following the routine will soon become a habit.

When the routine becomes a habit and the kids take a bit of initiative to follow it themselves the benefits are HUGE! If you don’t’ believe me, have a look at this:

  • Less nagging and negotiating by you to get your kids to put their clothes on… although I take no responsibility if the undies end up on the head and not the bum… at least they are putting them on😂)
  • Kids become more reliable and predictable
  • They feel empowered and proud they are doing responsible tasks
  • Routines can help to establish important habits that you might be struggling to regularly implement, such as brushing teeth or hair
  • A predictable routine will give your child structure, certain kids love structure and without it they can get quite anxious, which more times than not leads to tantrums
  • Routines can be really helpful to start and end the day on a positive note
  • Overall they can make a huge difference to toddler behavior
  • Your kids get lots of thing done independently = you might actually get to drink your coffee while it is still warm

Without chatting too much about the importance of a routine chart when your child is school ready, I’ll save that for another day, I do want to point out that following a routine is…

  • Perfect to introduce your child to ‘Sequencing’ which is a well used learning strategy
  • Most certainly helps and assists with a smooth transition to school



  • No, not everyone needs a routine chart and sometimes you’ll be ticking along just nicely with your daily rituals, however, things in a child’s life change really quickly and you have to remember what could be quite insignificant for us can be a HUGE deal to them.

So if you notice your child being a little unsettled or the tantrums have increased, take a minute to consider if anything has changed in their world?

Big things might be:

  • A new baby on the way
  • Moving house
  • Starting at a new childcare centre or kinder

Or even things like:

  • You have recently had someone (like a family member) stay for a longer period
  • You or your child have had a bout of illness


  • There are loads of routine charts around so decide what works for you. They come in various forms such as 1 sheet printables, hanging bunting, magnetic, written, visual etc
  • Make a decision as to where it will be located in your house so that your kids can see it all the time. No point hiding it in a laundry when the kids spend most of their time in the living space. If they can see it, they will be reminded to follow it.

{Confession time… } I couldn’t find anything I loved so the OCD designer in me took this one step further and I designed a chart for our family. I shamelessly wanted it to suit our living space, (actually it would suit anyone’s living space) and to be soft, non confronting colours and no upsetting clashes = easy on the eye (my eye) so to speak! So a few trials later and we have bunting hanging in our living space 

  • It may take a week or two for your kids to become accustomed to using a routine chart without your reminders. Be PATIENT and Don’t’ give up! All the good things are worth the waiting for!
  • There are times you might choose to relax the routine a little, for example on weekends, which will become a routine of its own.
  • A the beginning allow a little more time in the mornings or night for the routine. The’ aim of the game’ is to get your kids doing every day tasks independently. This will take considerably longer than when you probably did the things for them out of the frustration of being later yet again.
  • Always keep in the back of your mind kids are seriously unpredictable and will have melt downs and they are tired, sick, getting sick, getting over being sick, you picked the wrong colour socks, their tag is itching them… shall I go on??? Take a deep breath try again tomorrow!

{Here is our Routine Bunting in action}

Routine bunting

Have a go at your own Routine Charts

This great freebie is a step by step guide to creating your own routine chart – As a bonus it has lots of tips of how to do it alongside your little ones so that they become part of the process and planning = more willingness to follow from the beginning *high 5’s*

DIY Routine chart freebie button

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