by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Many parents know all too well the rush and frustration of preparing children to go out the door for school. Here are some easy and effective ways to help that time run much smoother. While no list can be truly complete of time-saving tips, here are the ones I have found to be most effective in getting my children out the door faster.
Prepare Supplies & Clothing Ahead Of Time
This one cannot be stressed enough. It helps to prepare everything the night before. If clothing, shoes, and backpacks are ready the night before, this will make for an easier morning. If a child is searching frantically for shoes in the morning, it will certainly take away precious time. If your child likes to pick his or her own clothing, be sure it is done the night before. Also, showers or baths can be taken right before bed to cut down on getting ready in the morning.
Make Quick Breakfasts On School Days
Quick breakfasts can still be healthy if you choose the right items and they will make for less stress and more time to get ready. For instance, a breakfast of toast, fruit, and yogurt is one healthy option that will only take a few moments to prepare.
Pack Lunches The Night Before
If your child brings lunches to school, consider packing lunches the night before. Choose items that will be okay through a night in the refrigerator or on the counter. If you pack sandwiches, pack the insides separately from each other and from the bread. This way, the bread doesn't get soggy.
Sign Papers The Night Before
This will go hand in hand with the following tip, but always be sure to check for and sign papers ahead of time. These should be placed in the backpack as soon as they are signed, so that they are where they need to be. This saves time hunting for them in the morning.
Be Sure Your Child's Backpack Is Checked Ahead Of Time
A backpack should always be checked right after your child gets home from school. However, if the parent getting the child ready in the morning is not the person who is there after school or if your children are in childcare after school, checking the backpack may slip your mind at times. You never know when there might be an important note or a forgotten homework paper. Be sure to check the backpack the night before, preferably as soon as possible, in case there is forgotten homework.
Use Quick Or Convenient Hairstyles
If possible, fix your child's hair the night before. Small French braids are a hairstyle that will stay in place for up to a week when done in your child's natural hair. It doesn't have to be in corn rows. It can be done in many different styles and designs. This works both for boys and girls. If your child has hair that will not stay in place or you just don't know how to do French braids, opt for quick hairstyles, such as putting it in a ponytail or just leaving it down. Mohawks are easy for kids to maintain themselves. A bun is another quick hairstyle that doesn't require much effort. Buns can be quite cute, especially if you have a couple extra minutes to make two to three, rather than just one. The quickest way to make a secure bun is to first make a ponytail with the section of the hair that the bun will be in. Then, twist the pony tailed hair around the ponytail holder that is holding it. Place another ponytail holder around the bun. That will hold it in place.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network