I have been regularly sharing daily toddler tasks on my Facebook and Instagram pages. Many people in my circle have asked me how am I managing all these activities/tasks? What kind of daily routine am I following for Aurav, and what can I suggest to my fellow parents? Frankly, it is not easy, and I have days where I don’t want to do anything. But, I have realized that having a daily routine for toddlers is imperative for your sanity. So, the following is my reason for sticking to a daily routine. And a sample of daily routine for toddlers that is working for my family is mentioned below. I hope it helps you.
Why do you need a daily routine for toddlers/preschoolers?
By daily routine, I don’t mean that you stress yourself to the point where you have a breakdown. The routine should be such that it works for everyone and not just the baby. Don’t forget to set aside time for yourself when setting up a daily routine for the toddler.
Several types of research have proven that kids of any age do better when they have a daily routine, and they know what to expect during the day. The daily routine is essential to set the tone for the day. Set routine keeps toddlers focused on constructive activities, and doesn’t confuse them. Confused toddlers or toddlers with no routine are likely to have more meltdowns, and temper tantrums.
I have personally experienced it myself. If for one day, I decide to not follow the routine Aurav gets confused, and starts spiraling out. Let’s say it is easier for everyone in the family to get by the day. I have been very particular with Aurav’s routine from the day one. Even when he was baby, we had a routine for him and tried to stick it as much as we can.
Especially during these crazy times, when we are all under coronavirus lockdown. Coronavirus has changed everything we knew about our lives. If you are a working couple with a toddler, I feel you, mama! It can be so challenging to manage everything. Irrespective of where you live or who you are, most of the time, kids end up being moms’ primary responsibility. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home mom, or a working mom, daily routine for toddlers in the key to your peace of mind.
Daily Routine Sample
7:30 AM – Wake-up and freshen up
8:30 AM – Breakfast
9:00 AM – Free-play time for Aurav because mom needs to eat too
9:30 AM – Daily Activity/ Task (I try to prepare if needed a night before.) I also aim to create a mix of activities to engage him in mentally stimulating exercises for at least 45 minutes every day.)
10:15 AM: It is Aurav’s snack time. We also video chat with family and friends. We try to talk to family and friends as much as we can.
10:30 AM: A friend referred us to a Zoom Circle Time. It has been one of the biggest blessings for me. The team that conducts circle time is superb, brilliant, energetic, and fun. Aurav loves to see other kids online, as he can’t meet his other friends at the park. It keeps him singing and dancing for almost half an hour; I use it for cooking lunch. You can check out online classes in your area, or there a ton of fantastic learning circle times on Facebook. If nothing else works, ask your mommy gang to create a circle, and each day one mommy can conduct the circle.
11:15 AM: Lunch-time for Aurav. It’s more like a mini-lunch for him these days, because being at home means you can pester mom for snacks all day long, and not be hungry when it comes to having lunch.
11:45 AM: Since, Aurav is now potty-trained (Hurray!), it takes us approximately fifteen-minutes to get him changed in the diaper, and get him ready to nap.
Noon: I try every day that Aurav is on the bed for a nap by Noon. I cannot insist on how vital the rest is for your toddler. If he or she has transitioned from napping, then absolute quiet time in the house. It is crucial to nap every day for their mental and physical growth. Toddlers who don’t have naps in their daily routine tend to have more tiredness related meltdowns, they get overstimulated and are more likely to have tantrums. A well-rested toddler is a happy toddler. Plus, one or two hours, whatever is the duration of their nap, is the time for you to relax and recharge. I use this time to read, write, work on my blog, color, Netflix & chill, etc. My suggestion, don’t multitask. The only time of the day you will get for yourself. Use it wisely.
Post Nap Routine
2:30 PM – Family lunch-break, we all try to take lunch together. I like to finish all cooking-related chores in one go.
3:30 PM: Physical Activity Time: I like to reserve evenings for physical activities/play/tasks. Aurav is super-charged post naps. He needs to spend that energy, and fresh air is essential for kids. In our case, it depends on what the weather is. If the weather permits, long walks are a must in our daily routine. I am planning to buy him a trike as well, which will soon be part of our evening routine.
If you can’t go out, but you have a backyard or a balcony, that is good. There are tons of physical activities you can do inside the house as well. Some of the activities we like to do are playing school in the balcony. Sidewalk chalk and your balcony walls are all you need. I also try making an obstacle course for Aurav. We play fetch with Sparky. If you have a pet and little space for them to run around, then it is perfect. Just handover an empty bottle to them, and they can keep themselves busy for quite some time. If nothing else works out, turn the music on the speaker and break out into a dance party. Aurav is already a big fan of Indian Hindi Songs. We love having our dance parties.
5:00 PM – Self-play with his toys, which I keep shuffling like everyone out there.
5:30 PM – Screen-time. Like everyone else, I have no energy left by the end of the day. So, screen time is part of our routine. Aurav loves music, so we mostly play Cocomelon nursery rhymes. His other favorites are Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Thomas & Friends, Tayo the Little Bus. All these shows have good content.
6:30 PM: Dinner time for Aurav. It’s the time when I officially hand him over to his father. They spend some time together, and my “me-time” starts. Honestly, I still have many chores to finish, but “me-time” basically means completing all these tasks without worrying about what is Aurav doing.
7:30 PM: This is the end of our daily routine, where Aurav starts getting ready for bedtime with his dad, and I take Sparky for a walk. My walk with Sparky is the time when I finally breathe and take in the day.
8:30 PM: Aurav is on the bed, and I do whatever I need to or want to do.
I hope the daily routine sample I have mentioned above helps you. I believe having a routine is significant, but staying flexible is equally important. Kids like us are little human beings, and they have different days like us. If you are rigid about anything, you will end up frustrating yourself and your child. There have been so many times when I prepared an activity and Aurav didn’t like it, or he is not in the mood to do it. The daily routine needs to be flexible but the basic structure should remain same. I hope the Coronavirus pandemic is soon over, and our little ones can go back to enjoying fun times with their friends, and run around in the park. I so want the playdates to come back soon until they make the best of what we have, and for everything else there is WINE. Cheers!
Mum Mum Ma
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