Setting Up for a Successful Summer: Introducing a Home Schedule

img_4126If you don’t follow me on social media and haven’t already heard, our family just made the move to Fort Rucker, AL, while my husband completes some military training! While extremely exciting for our family…it is also a little bit nerve-wracking to think that I am about to go through an entire summer of being at home–in a brand new state– with a toddler and a newborn. Any other mamas feel me?! Instead of panicking in my 35-week pregnancy state of mind, I’ve decided to be proactive…

With my background in early childhood development (specializing in prenatal-8 years), I’ve worked with children of just about every age. Some of this work has been in a classroom, some in a research setting, and some one-on-one. I’ve found that every single child I worked with benefitted from having a schedule to follow–clearly supporting what all ECE research will tell you. It allows them to have some sort of routine to their day and to know what to expect, when much of their life is out of their control. Even though I’ve been big on keeping Hassell on a nap schedule and having basically the same night-time routine since birth, we’ve never really been on a schedule at home. If I’m being totally honest, he basically just runs around playing with whatever toys he wants while I try to do housework or put him in the car to run errands or get a little work done answering e-mails/texts or do any one of the billion things on my to-do list each day…all while praying for a good nap. I’ve never even really given much thought to having him on a “schedule” as I would in a toddler classroom at home. We’ve just been surviving these first two years!

But with all the change and the onset of turning two, I’m trying to respectfully meet his needs as much as possible. After much thought, I decided to try putting him on a daily schedule. Here are some of the benefits I’m hoping to see (fingers crossed):

  • Known and expected routine of daily events
  • Less destroying my house
  • More productive play
  • Less boredom with toys
  • A calm, happy environment
  • Easier transitions
  • Less meltdowns

By creating a daily routine schedule for our home, I have committed to also doing certain things at certain times of the day–so hey, maybe my laundry habits will improve! I am also committing to planning activities ahead for him and ensuring that we keep his toys organized and labeled for toy rotation (a HUGE benefit in my opinion). Of course, this schedule will have to be flexible…especially when Sallie Jayne is born in a month. But, honestly, we’re two days in, and I’m already seeing huge benefits!

Our Current Schedule

  • 7AM Breakfast
  • 7:30AM Screen time (I clean up from breakfast and prep daily activity for him)img_4102
  • 8AM Work in playroom, utilizing toy rotation (I plan to leave 3-4 toy options out each week, rotating through all his current toys periodically)
  •  8:45AM Get dressed for the day
  • 9AM Outdoor play (We have a nice patio/backyard but also often walk to playgrounds near by! For rainy days, I’ll have special activities to pull from here.)
  • 10AM Snack/Screen Time (My Cleaning Time)
  • 10:30AM Art Activity at Kitchen Table (Lunch prep is during this time!)
  • 11AM Lunch
  • 11:30AM Nap
  • 1:30ish Work in play room, utilizing toy rotation (Flexible depending on what time he wakes up. He usually naps 2-2.5 hours!)
  • 2:30PM Snack/Outdoor Time/Errands

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The rest of the day is pretty flexible! A lot of times, we run errands in the afternoons. Some days, Daniel is home early. When he gets home, Hassell immediately wants to see him and play. Other times, we have family events we go to in the afternoons. So far, this has been working really well for us!

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The first day, he was a little confused when I told him he had to stay outside and play or that we had to stay in the playroom to play, rather than doing whatever he wanted all over the house. We didn’t have any tantrums, but he definitely began to whine and protest. This is when I introduced some fun, developmentally appropriate planned activities–enter toddler teacher mode here! Over on my Instagram account, I took a little poll and 100% of y’all voted YES to me sharing the activities I’m planning for Hassell. I won’t go into details in this post, but stay tuned! Most of my next posts will be all centered around ECE developmental play activities you can do at home.

I’d love to learn more about what works for your family! Did you find this post helpful? Have other questions? Please take your time here and don’t forget to stop by and say hey! Have a wonderful week!

 

 

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