I have a two year old, which just says it all. He thinks he’s the boss! Anytime I want him to do something, he usually does the opposite. Recently, his “independence” had been slowing down morning and night time routines. It was taking over an hour to get ready for bed! He didn’t want to brush his teeth, or wash his hands. Enough was enough and I knew I had to do something.

I searched for ideas online and came across a little checklist on Pinterest. As a first grade teacher, I know how much kids like a predictable schedule. It makes them feel in charge. This is exactly what I needed to help my two year old! Here are the steps we took to create a solid routine for our head-strong little man:

Step 1 – Pick Your Checklist Items
My husband and I sat down for a brainstorming session on what worked and what didn’t with the bedtime routine. After we thought about everything we needed our little man to do, we came up with the following items that we needed him to do in the morning and at night:

  • Brush Teeth
  • Wash Hands
  • Sit On Potty
  • Read Books/Eat Breakfast
  • Lights Out/Clean Up

Step 2 – Make Your Checklist
After you have your items of importance all planned out, make an art project out of it! Design your check list in Word or simply draw it out with marker. After you have it all done, consider laminating your checklist or printing it out on some heavy paper (similar to the one below). The reason we laminated ours is that it enabled us to use a dry-erase marker for our check marks. You can do this easily by grabbing some self-sticking adhesive lamination sheets from your local office supply store. Like THESE. If you don’t laminate, make a few copies as you will put a new check list on the mirror or wall area for each new week.

Morning Routines

Step 3 – Post Your Checklist
I mentioned this in step two. We post ours on the mirror in the bathroom since that is where most of the check list items take place. Other great places for your check list could include the fridge, your child’s room or even taped somewhere in the kitchen or play area. Wherever you put it, you want to make sure that your child can reach it so they can check off their progress. When they earn their check it will be a big deal to them and you should definitely make it one (a big deal).

Night Routines

Step 4 – Team Meeting
Sit down with your family all together and set expectations for the checklist. We explained to our son that if he did all his routines, he could get a smiley face on his checklist for each completed task. At first, he had a lot of sad faces, but we stuck with it. Eventually, he was getting all smiley faces in the morning and at night! He really enjoyed getting ready and earning his smileys!

Over time, he got used to the routine, and so did we! We had a little set back when we went on vacation, but we kept using the checklists. All in all, it has been an awesome system! We added in a sticker chart for successful use of the potty, but he still gets a smiley for trying. Note: We also made use of the toothbrushing app made by Oral B. It is awesome for kids that don’t like brushing! Thanks to sticking to a routine, mornings and nights are no longer a nightmare for this family! All thanks to two laminated sheets of paper 🙂

Do you need some help with your morning and bedtime routines for your little bundle of joy? Click below on the routine you need for a FREE PDF of the one we use! Thanks for reading everyone!

Morning Routine PDF

Bedtime Routine PDF



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