Wait! You are asking yourself, did she just skip Scheduling- Toddler Edition? And yes, yes I did.
In the early toddler-hood of my daughter, we had a schedule. She still had an afternoon nap. We were a one car household and only had the car once a week to go to the library. We had regular times for stories, television, and outside. By the time my toddler was 2.5, we had moved into a new house, she had given up her naps, and I once again was a “single” parent with a deployed spouse. The world revolved around us and what we wanted to do everyday. Only, I went to the gym 1+ hours a day, most weekdays. I don’t recommend this necessarily for your toddler – that is just how it was – and why I have NO thoughts about scheduling a toddler. Check back in a couple of years.
That said, what I am about to suggest may in fact be fun for your toddler.
Two years ago, I visited with a mom that had recently moved to Georgia (she has since moved back to Texas), and asked about a daily schedule posted on the wall. She told me that after they moved her 3 year old became a whiny, cranky, misbehaving person that she didn’t know AT ALL. Her daughters world had been turned upside down and she didn’t know what to expect anymore. Her mother had made the schedule as a way for her daughter to understand what to expect. It worked like a charm for them.
Mom had looked up some clip art for various daily activities, such as Make Bed, Use the Bathroom, Reading Time/Quiet Time. She laminated them and mounted them on a chart in the order for the day. Her daughter could earn rewards for filling up the chart – like some TV time. Mom even made re-usable “stickers” – laminated shapes (I think they were apples) that they could put up and take down as needed.
I am in the process of making my own daily chart. In the meantime, I’ve been using a WEEKLY preschool calendar, and I love it! This chart has “buttons” for things like Church, vacation, McDonalds, Splash pad, Zoo, holidays, shopping, cleaning, and playdates. The buttons have pictures for kiddos that cannot read. It is helping my daughter learn the days of the week. We talk about her calendar every day so she knows what is coming up. And if she asks to go to McDonalds, we can find the button and pick a day that works for everyone.
I can’t really take any credit for this awesome idea, I found it on a site called Sugardoodle. Follow this link and you can download the pre-made calendar and buttons for your own use! Cut, laminate (cut again for the buttons) and you are done! I just use tape to put the buttons up. We’ve been really happy with it! And it’s a start for a schedule!
What do you do to help your toddler or preschooler stick to a routine?by