Scheduling Your Toddler’s Day

When my daughter was 3, she began asking me “what’s next”, followed by “then what”, and “what’s after that”…? Day after day I began to be worn out by the interrogation. It was understandable that she wanted to know what I had planned for the day, but I didn’t always know myself.

I sat down and wrote out a recurring weekly schedule. This is a picture/paper schedule I hang on the fridge for my little ones. As my children get older and start to have separate schedules I have switched to Google calendar so that I can input several events at the same time. In the summers, we usually go back to the picture/paper schedule.

Make Your Own Schedule

To get started on a schedule for your littlest of people:

  1. Break each day into time chunks. I started by breaking each day of the week into chunks of time, early morning, late morning, lunch, early afternoon, late afternoon, dinner, evening. There are many options on how to break up your time, start simple and pick something that will work for your family.
  2. Plug in your commitments. Remember this schedule is for your toddler/preschooler and yourself. I do not put school pickup and drop off for other siblings on this schedule.
  3. Look at your goals and list out what you want to accomplish. Some things that fall on my list are: bible lesson, homeschool preschool, discipleship night, library, game night, family walk, nature center etc.
  4. Plug your list of activities into your time chunks for the week. I also find pictures to represent each activity since my little ones can’t read. I then print and laminate this schedule for the fridge.

I have found that my schedules tend to change with the seasons. Each time my activities need to be changed I sit down and go through this process again. Remember, this schedule is a guideline, it is not written in stone. We often change our activity for the day, but this at least gives me something to start with so that I can make sure my day is intentional.

To work with the flexibility of my schedule we also use The Easy Daisies magnetic schedule. At breakfast we review the schedule for the day and the kids love putting the activities on the schedule, as each task passes the kids move it to “done” on the schedule. The Easy Daisies schedule also has extra kits with more magnets available.

I also use my weekly schedule to help plan our evenings after the kids go to bed so that we are productive. Some examples of our evening plans: finance night, reading, family improvement etc.

Do not stress out over having a schedule or making sure you stay on track. The purpose of the schedule is to give your little ones security and structure and to help you as a parent be intentional with your time.