|Toddler Daily Schedule
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A day at home with your toddler, or in our current circumstances, days at home with your toddler. What can that look that?! Tensions and anxieties are high right now and my main goal is to help alleviate some of that stress for my fellow moms. If you thrive off of routine and predictability like my daughter and I do, I hope this daily schedule provides you a sense of calm for these crazy days ahead.
Since I am currently a stay at home mom to my daughter, 33 months old, our days have to have a sense of predictability for both her and I. Usually we do get out of the house at some point in the morning but for our current circumstances, I tweaked some of our routines a little to fit the current need of social distancing. If you suddenly find yourself at home with your toddler and not sure what to do to fill the hours, I hope you find this schedule helpful!
A few notes about our day to clarify:
7 am Wake Up: If this wake up time does not suit the needs of your toddler, then by all means change it! My daughter is an early riser so some mornings we are stretching her to stay in her room until 7 am! If your little one will sleep longer, adjust the times to suit them! 7 am has become a nice wake time for us. If she wakes up before then, she knows to stay in her room until her ok to wake clock, we use the Hatch Baby Nursery, turns pink.
We wake up, have some milk and cereal, and cuddle up on the couch with our morning basket. The morning basket has become a semi new routine for us but is working out really well! We keep our morning basket very simple with 4-5 books with our favorite characters, a Look and Find book, Lift the Flap books, number or letter flash cards, a blank notebook, stickers, and crayons
8-9 am Breakfast and Simple Activities: While I make breakfast, Little Miss is usually engaged in some sort of independent play (usually with her baby dolls) or helping me in the kitchen but this would also be a perfect time to set up some books for an invitation to read or a simple activity that your little one can complete on their own.
9-10 am Clean Up/Get Dressed: This is the time of the day that has become an all out clean the house and clean ourselves time! I use this time in the morning to clean up breakfast, straighten up the house, do laundry, and get dressed. But, I should mention that Little Miss usually accompanies me during most of these activities! She loves to help with laundry, clean the windows with her Melissa and Doug cleaning set or get ready with me in the bathroom (and usually get into my lipstick!)
10-12 pm Activity Time: This is where things have changed with our need for social distancing. This usually is when Little Miss and I will get out of the house for either a class, a playdate, or to run some errands. However, now we are going to use this time to get creative and do more of our favorite sensory or craft activities! If the weather permits we will have some outdoor time too either on our play structure, with our favorite scooter, or with our bike! I have also enjoyed putting some educational activities together for Little Miss with chalk in the driveway or some water! More to come on those ideas!
12-1 pm Lunch Time: This is our time to start lunch, eat together, and wind down for rest time. Little Miss has really been enjoying snack trays in muffin tins for lunch with some of her favorites like cheese sticks, ham roll ups, goldfish crackers, cucumbers, olives, and a little sweet treat. Once we finish lunch, we usually have a little kitchen dance party to Frozen 2 or The Party Cats before we start reading stories for nap.
1-3 pm Nap/Rest Time: Little Miss Toddler still very much needs an afternoon nap and this is the time where we read about 3-4 books and wind down in her room. She goes down for her nap around 1-1:30 and I try to keep her resting in her room until 3 pm. This is also the time I try to get a little work done, work out, or start to prep dinner.
3-5 pm Activity Time/Outdoor Play: Pending how your little one wakes up from their nap or comes out of their rest time may mean different things here. Little Miss benefits from some more time cuddling on the couch after she wakes up and then we can do an activity together. She benefits from a slower start to the afternoon. After we do our learning activity or sensory play we more often than not, head outside! We use our favorite outdoor toys or go on a walk to collect treasure or hunt around the neighborhood.
5-6 pm Dinner prep/TV time/Dinner: Having this designated TV time has been really helpful for us! I don’t say no to screens but I have started to use it as a tool to help give us both a break. She can choose what she watches, with mom’s guidance, and I can cook dinner or finish it before we eat. Lately, she has been watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Mother Goose Club, or her favorite movie Tangled. We eat dinner when my husband finishes work (usually he gets home from work but now will be working from home).
6-7 pm Bedtime Routine: This one is pretty self explanatory. We try and start the bedtime routine about a half hour before it’s time for lights out. Usually this looks like some rounds of hide and seek, some time in the playroom, and then a bath, books, and lights out around 7-7:15.
Having this predictable schedule will keep you and your little ones calm during this very unpredictable time. This is the schedule that has worked for us but always know days can vary and so can times. Do what works for you and your family. This is just a guide to help give you a general idea of what to do with your toddler while you’re at home all day. I hope you find it useful and it serves to help make your days home together more enjoyable and stress free!
(Photographs by Michelle Stoker Photo)