The Best Morning Routine for any Kindergarten Classroom

kindergarten morning routine

Starting the day off right in a kindergarten classroom is crucial for setting a positive tone and creating a productive learning environment. In this blog post, we will explore various tips and strategies to help you create a successful morning routine that will make every day a great day for your students. From arrival procedures to engaging activities, you’ll find everything you need to start your day in kindergarten on the right foot.

Each Day is a Fresh Start

kindergarten morning routine

Greet each student individually as they enter the classroom, using their name and a warm smile. This simple act of greeting can make a big difference in how your students feel and sets the stage for building positive relationships and creating a welcoming classroom community. All students need to know that you like them and are excited to see them, but especially the students that have more challenging behaviors. This tiny moment of the day can have huge rewards when helping build relationships with these students and helping them through their challenges. It’s also a critical foundational piece of kindergarten classroom management.

Morning Jobs

From the start of school, you want to establish morning jobs for your students to complete as part of their morning routine. Show your students where their belongings should go and how they should look. Consider other morning jobs they might have to complete such as lunch ordering, attendance, signing in, and responding to the morning message. By incorporating morning jobs, you provide students with a sense of responsibility and contribute to the smooth functioning of the classroom. Here’s an example of my classroom’s morning job routine.

Unpacking Morning Routine

morning routine for kindergarten

Have students hang their backpacks and coats in their lockers or on designated hooks. Emphasize the importance of keeping the area organized and free from clutter.

Put Away Folders

Show students where to put their back-to-school folders. I like to use a designated bin right on top of their mailboxes. To learn more about home-school partnership, check out this blog post! Throughout the morning, my assistant or I check over their folders for any notes from home and put inside them any work to go home, the weekly newsletter, or any school notices.

To see the classroom labels I use, check them out here!

Ordering Lunch

I have the children use magnets with their class number on it (so I don’t have to remake them year after year) to place their order for lunch. Our school has a few lunch choices each day. I also have a spot for students to move their magnet to “home lunch”. This is especially helpful to know who has or has not completed the lunch order for the day, because at the end of the morning, everyone who is here for the day has to move their magnet somewhere.


I like to have a sign-in sheet right across from the lunch ordering station where students practice writing their name. This also helps me know who is there for the day when I am doing attendance. I start with just their first name, but as the year progresses, I add on their last name.

Answer the morning message question

Under the morning message, I always put a question for the students to respond to. This can be a simple question or prompt that encourages reflection and participation. Early in the year I am just asking students to draw or write their name. Every Monday I ask students to write how was their weekend – good or ok. This lets me know who to check-in with about their weekends so that they can have a good start to their week. It also helps to have the same question weekly so they are prepared for it. Later on in the year, I connect the question more to what we are learning about. I might have them write a letter or word they learned or show off different numbers or shapes. Students will get to share their responses during morning meeting.

After their morning jobs, children go and play!

Let Them Play

kindergarten morning meeting

After completing their morning jobs, provide time in your morning routine for students to engage in independent play. Offer activities that they love, such as puzzles, coloring, building, playing simple games, Play-Doh, or looking at books. By allowing them to play, you provide an easy entry point to the day and foster a positive and enthusiastic mindset. To ensure a smooth and organized playtime, consider the following tips:

Organized Play Spaces

Set up materials in containers or on trays in the center of each play table at the start of the year. You could use felt squares, trays, or placemats at each child’s spot to create a clear and defined play space. This helps prevent sharing conflicts and provides visual cues for personal boundaries. As the year goes on, I’d recommend stopping this. So students get the chance to practice handling conflicts and sharing materials. I’d also start letting students pick the activities that they want to play with in the morning, once they know more about the play materials available to them.

Play Area Capacity

Limit the number of children at each play area to avoid overcrowding and potential conflicts. Teach students that if all the chairs are full, they should choose another table or place number signs at each area to indicate the maximum number of children allowed. You can always set up a waitlist for students to write their names. They can get a sand timer while they wait their turn to make sure that (hopefully) everyone that wants to can get a turn to play.

Background Music

Play instrumental music softly in the background to create a calming and focused atmosphere. It’s a great way to set the tone for the day.

Morning Meeting

kindergarten morning meeting

Kindergarten morning meeting is the best way to start your day. It’s also the most important part of your daily morning routine in kindergarten (and any grade!). It builds classroom community, gives students a sense of predictability and routine, and helps them understand their upcoming day. Morning meeting also gives every student a chance to be greeted, which makes them feel valued and welcomed. Incorporate morning meeting greetings and activities to create a fun and engaging atmosphere. You can read more about how I structure my kindergarten morning meeting here.

The morning meeting is also when you will let students know about the schedule for the day and any upcoming changes to their daily routines. This is a critical part to starting the day off right for students. All students need to know what to expect from the day. But this is especially true for students with anxiety, trauma, ASD, ADHD, or executive function struggles.


A well-designed morning routine sets the stage for a positive and productive kindergarten classroom. From creating a welcoming arrival experience to establishing morning jobs, allowing for independent play, and engaging in morning meetings, these strategies contribute to a successful start to each day. By implementing these tips and strategies, you will create a morning routine that fosters a sense of community, sets clear expectations, and prepares students for a day of learning and growth. Remember, the morning routine is a valuable opportunity to create a positive and welcoming atmosphere that will set the tone for the rest of the day in your kindergarten classroom.


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