Sunday, February 5, 2012

Details, Details! : A New Schedule

toddler schedule

Oh gosh! Where did my little baby Stink Bug go this week!? I have no idea! She has been growing and changing faster than my head can keep up with. Tantrums, and fussy idle times have become frequent around here. So, I decided that it would be a good idea to try to enforce a bit more a bit more of a schedule to see if that helps the Stink Bug's mood.

Until now, our Tot School routine varied in structure, time, length, and place, from day to day which worked well for me but, not for her. When I really think about it closely, most of our schedule has been pretty regular, except for between times. Those times between meals and napping. Those really shouldn't be the in between times. I think that those should be the main parts of our day, with the meals and naps as the break, not the other way around. It's time for a change of mindset, and some additions to our schedule.

The Stink Bug's New Schedule:

8:00-8:30 Wake up, care of self. (Some independent dressing work. Help when needed, but encourage to try do it first.)

8:30-9:00 Prepare breakfast, eat, clean. (Same applies here. Kids love to cook, and enjoy cleaning their table and chair with a soapy dishtowel.)

9:00-9:30 Free play time while Mom checks e-mail, etc! (Don't forget to take some time for yourself!)

9:30-10:00 Circle/calender/opening time shortly followed with independent work with Montessori lessons and Tot School. (No calender time for us just yet. A simple song is enough for us!)

10:00-10:15 Clean up lesson materials, roll mat, etc.

10:15-10:45 Imaginative role play, Waldorf inspired, natural materials, and/or art.

10:45-11:00 Clean up and quiet transition into nap time. (Perhaps part of a Praise baby DVD or other quiet and calm activity. A small snack or glass of milk may help here.)

11:00-1:00ish Transition to nap time and actual sleep time. (Nap time length will vary from day to day. Reading and free play times adjust accordingly. This is a good time to prepare materials for the next day's lessons and clean up anything missed - especially from art projects!)

1:00-1:15 Quiet reading together time in bedroom.

1:15-2:00 Free play.

2:00-2:30 Prepare lunch, eat, clean. (Give a job to do. Fold napkins? Get out cup and bowl from low shelf?)

2:30-4:30 Outdoor play (if possible), or gross motor play. (Really try to focus on gross motor activities if indoors. This is also great time to head to the park or do another activity away from home.)

4:30- 4:45 Hydrate and snack time at a small, child sized table. (A good time to have the child work on new eating skills at a non stressful time. Examples: Have the child cut their own banana or pour their own drink, and/or practice using open cups.)

4:45-5:30 Free play.

5:30-6:30 Prepare dinner, eat, clean. (Another great time to practice some practical skills.)

6:30-6:45 Night time activities like bath time or spending some time playing with Dad.

6:45-7 Get ready for bed. Pajamas, teeth brushing, read a few books. (Let them lead as much as possible.)

7:00 Bedtime

This schedule lends itself to some flexibility. If we have morning plans on a particular day, I can swap out her "directed learning" part of the morning for one, or both, of the free play times in the afternoon. Oh, and I do have to say that I am not a stickler for watching my clock, and keeping everything perfectly on schedule but, the Stink Bug will sure let me know when it is time to eat or sleep. Without fail, if I have not been watching the clock around nap time, she will pull her blanket out of her crib, and come to me saying, "Night, night!" She is definitely a creature of habit!

What do you think? Am I missing anything important that we should be doing? What type of a schedule do you keep with your toddler? I would love your input!

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