I’m always curious what other people do with their days, so I thought I’d give you a glimpse into our toddler weekly “schedule” and the main things I try to include each week!
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I have a 2.5-year old daughter and I just became a SAHM (yippee!). I knew that I had to have a plan of some sort, or we’d both go stir-crazy. Reading Rhythms, Routines, and Schedules was a huge helper in getting me thinking about how I wanted our days to look!
I’m also very visual, so I use this simple toddler weekly schedule to map out what we are doing for the week. I just laminated it (but you could put it in a plastic sheet protector instead) and write on it with dry erase markers. If you would find it useful, you can grab it here for free.
I know I can’t do ALL THE THINGS each day, so I think about things in weekly chunks of time to get a little variety into our schedule.
You might have noticed in the sample schedule that I plan to get out of the house every day – this is just my preference based on my personality. A lot of people plan to stay in more and that is great too!
Side Note: This schedule is for my mental organization – you are looking for a picture-based daily schedule for your child, check out this post.
What We Try to Include in Our Toddler Weekly Schedule:
Physical Activity/Outdoor Time
I try to incorporate some sort of physical activity on most days. It could be a simple walk in the neighborhood, playing in the driveway/yard, or a trip to the park. But it snows A LOT where we live (and I grew up in the South, so I’m not good at playing in the snow!). There are some days that an indoor dance party will have to suffice for physical activity time!
Having time when I sit down with Sylvie and play interactively with her is so important to me. After several years of doing speech therapy with young children, I think that play-based learning is one of the best ways for children this age to gain skills.
If you are not really into “playing” that’s okay – you could involve your child in something like a simple cooking project or get him to help you with gardening. The key is that the activity is something your child is interested in and that you are talking about what you are both doing, explaining new things to your child, and having a bonding experience.
Okay – I am putting this here because it is something that I want to start including in a more deliberate way now that I am staying home everyday.
Independent playtime is when your child spends a scheduled time playing alone in a designated area such as his/her room. I found this article about independent play time interesting.
I am lucky that my daughter plays independently in small chunks of time throughout the day. One trick that tends to help her play by herself for longer periods of time is to put on music she likes in her play area. Maybe it will work for your child too!
Fine Motor/Art/Sensory Play
These types of activities can be interactive or more independent, depending on the difficulty. Now that my daughter is pretty independent with coloring, using water colors, and playing with sensory bins, I have her sit at the kitchen counter while I do some kitchen chores. I usually comment on what she’s doing periodically and make sure she doesn’t paint herself (this happens sometimes!)
If I want to make it more interactive, I might plan a craft activity. Pinterest is my friend when it comes to finding toddler-friendly craft projects!
Social Time/Play Dates
When my daughter was going to daycare a few days each week, I didn’t have to worry about her getting social time. Now that she’s home with me all day, I have to make a bit more effort to make sure that she gets to hang out with other kids (and I get to meet more Moms too!)
This can be as simple as going to the park, going to library story time, or making a play date with a neighbor!
We all have to get our errands done! Gone are the days that I could just run to the store on my way home from work.
Luckily my daughter is pretty good at the store if I go when she is rested and take a snack. So for us, that 9-11 time slot is perfect for running errands. I try to run errands 1-2 times per week.
Self-Care Time (for me)
There has been a lot of talk about self-care lately. When I first heard the term, I had no idea what it was! It’s just taking a few moments to focus on something for yourself, whether that is a beauty routine, a relaxation activity, exercise, or a hobby. For me, working on this blog and on my Teachers Pay Teachers store is self-care because I enjoy it!
I belong to a YMCA in my area, which is a gym with childcare. So I go 2-3 times per week to have time for myself, whether that is to exercise or to just take advantage of the childcare for an hour to work on the computer!
Also, my husband recently started doing 20 minutes of play time with our daughter every morning before starting work so that I can get ready all by myself. And let me tell you, it makes a huge difference in my whole day to have that “me” time in the morning!
Starting off with some positive affirmations for moms can be a great way to start self-care time!
I don’t even write this one into our schedule because it is built into our day. We read every day before nap and bedtime. We are also potty training, so we’ve been getting to read some extra books due to that! My daughter’s current favorites (at 2.5 years old) are We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Sound Book) and the Frog and Toad series (I was kind of surprised by how much she likes this classic!)
This is self explanatory. My daughter is 2.5 years old and typically take a nap from 1-3-ish. This is when I get some time for self-care, blog work, cleaning and food prep. I also love that it breaks up the day. I tend to plan one longer activity or outing either before or after nap.
Side Note: I only have one child (for now), but I know that making schedules gets more complicated with multiple nap times and feedings etc. Rhythms, Routines, and Schedules has examples of how to structure your day with multiple children!
We are lucky to have a really nice library close by with a great children’s area. We try to go a few times per month (more in the winter) to stock up on books and to go to a story time! Check out your library’s website to see when they have story time in your area.
TV Time/Screen Time
For us, screen time is a TV show or a movie. I am pretty strict about TV time and most days stick to the recommendations from the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) of 1 hour of high-quality programming or less. If you want to know why, read #5 of my article “Do’s and Don’ts to Get Your Toddler Talking.”
I hope that was helpful if you are trying to come up with a plan for your toddler weekly schedule!
Want more inspiration including tons of sample schedules you can follow? Check out Rhythms, Routines and Schedules here:
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