Life with toddlers is messy, chaotic and busy, but scheduling can help bring a little more order to your day. Not only will a routine help you to stay organized, it will also give your little one a sense of security. Toddlers operate best when they know what to expect and when novel events happen within the context of a normal routine. Additionally, maintaining a schedule will help your toddler develop a sense of discipline that will aid him in his school years.
Use a ruler to draw three vertical lines on a piece of poster board. Draw a horizontal line at the top through the lines about an inch from the edge.
In the left-hand column, write hour or half-hour increments starting with your toddler's wake-up time. You may also want to draw a clock face with each hour to familiarize your toddler with the concept of telling time. Draw a horizontal line under each time to keep the chart neat and orderly.
Write "Every Day" at the top of the second column. Think about the things you and your toddler must accomplish on a daily basis. For instance, your child must get up, get dressed and eat breakfast. Other everyday activities might include daycare drop off, meals, naptime, bath time, brushing teeth and bedtime. Fill in the everyday activities next to the appropriate times. Use different-colored markers to designate times for meals, naps and hygiene.
Write "Free Time" at the top of the third column. Use a colored pencil to shade blocks of time that are free for outside activities. For instance, you may have time between the end of your toddler's nap and dinner to go grocery shopping or schedule a doctor's appointment. Use a different-colored pencil to shade blocks that are free for adult activities. You may have an hour to workout, clean house or relax while your tot naps.
Write "Optional" at the top of the final column. Make a list of activities that you'd enjoy doing with your toddler. For instance, you might want to attend story time at the local library or make a trip to the zoo. Write the day and time next to each activity where applicable.
Items you will need
- Poster board
- Colored pencils
- Post the chart in a conspicuous place to keep both you and your toddler on track.
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