So much changes when one small child begins spending a portion of her time somewhere else. When faced with the challenge of getting three small children out the door in a timely fashion (especially given my strange obsession with never being late), I willingly accepted. And also enlisted the help of some internet ideas.
The first thing that had to happen was morning routine/organisation. Generally we were pretty laid back in how long it took to get ready (and what order it happened in), because our first thing in a day didn't usually start till about 9:30. I was happy to let the girls get up whenever and stay in their pj's a little longer. Now, I want them to take more ownership of getting ready, and be a little more organised about it. Playing can't happen until everything that needs to happen in the morning to make you ready to walk out the door has happened.
I also wanted to increase the independence the girls had, so they didn't need me to remind them every moment what should come next (especially since I was now making actual lunches). I'd seen a few ideas online that I'd tucked away, but the week before Kindy started, one of the blogs I follow just happened to post some free printable that were pretty perfect. I probably could have just drawn them myself, but these were free and fun looking. (I honestly can't remember where I got them from now! Sorry!)
I printed two sets because even though I was mostly doing it for Sophie, I knew Rachel would want to be right in on the action too. It all came together rather marvellously, because I just happened to have two cooking trays that I hardly ever use handy, and they both had holes in the top for hanging. The pole came from a clothes stand that was under the house. I did have to buy the hooks, but that was it.
The cards ended up being a little big after printing and laminating (oh, how I miss laminating from my teaching days. Everything is so much shinier when it's been laminated!), so I couldn't fit the girls names at the tops. No matter, I just put them next to them! I also encourage the girls to use these as their sticker charts, but they haven't really gone for it yet.
It only took a day or two for the girls to get the hang of it. I talked them through it the first day, but I don't really need to anymore. Now, they get up and know they have to have a clean board before they can play. They are in charge of "updating the board" as we say, so after breakfast, they put the "eat breakfast" card into the "Done" box (the bottom of a milk bottle) and then move onto the next thing. It's so good that they have a visual prompt of the things they need to do in the morning, so I don't have to keep reminding them. All I have to say is "update your board" and they've got the rest.
I still help them out with things (like brushing hair and making beds), but otherwise, they are learning to be self sufficient and organised. The cards are stuck on the trays with magnets that were leftover from putting our fly screens up after the window renovation. I knew we kept them for something.
If you can't read the cards (because the shiny lamination make them hard to photograph), the things the girls have to do in the morning are: eat breakfast, get dressed, pj's away, make bed, comb hair, brush teeth, shoes on. And Sophie also has pack bag.