Toddler Routines, #2: Lindsay and Jessica’s Entries

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Photobucket(Noah’s new rain boots, put to good use this weekend…)
Winner #2-- Lindsay:
Lindsay is a veteran kindergarten teacher who has this thing DOWN. She is now the proud mama of twin girls who are a little over a year old, so she’s already getting to implement some of her vast knowledge to her home life. Love her ideas! (and in COLOR!):
Lindsay writes--
I admit it. I am a schedule-loving nerd. Teaching Kindergarten was such a good fit for me, because I love a day that has a certain rhythm to it, and 20 five-year-olds CRAVE structure and predictability. Truth be told, I can be a little TOO rigid- it really throws me off and makes me nervous to have much of a deviation in my daily plans, whether it was teaching or now with the girls.
The first version of this schedule that I typed up was a little TOO over-the-top in terms of detail. I went through and loosened it up a little- just because it happens to take me an average of 12 minutes to prep the girls lunch doesn’t mean it takes you that amount of time. I stopped the schedule at 5 pm, because I was not sure when your hubs gets home.
I did not make it fancy or pretty, because as much as I would love to do that, I have NO TIME. At the end I put some little advice type stuff. Because I am a dork. But we covered that.
8:00-8:20 Wake up time: read a couple of stories, cuddle
8:20-8:45 Breakfast
8:45-9:00 Get ready for the day
9:00-10:30 Run errands, daily outing (Sample daily outing schedule: Monday- Library, Tuesday- Swimming, Wednesday- Mommy & Me Class, Thursday- Playground, Friday- Playgroup)

10:30-10:45 Snack time
10:45-11:10 Language Arts Center
11:10-11:30 Art/Spatial Skills Activity
11:30-12:00 Free play while mama cleans up and makes lunch

12:00-12:30 Lunch time
12:30-12:45 Dramatic/Musical play (or a little TV)
12:45-1:00 Prep for nap/stories

1:00-3:00 Nap time

3:00-3:30 Outdoor free play/nature walk
3:30-3:45 Snack time
3:45-4:00 Math/Logic Centers

4:00-4:30 Free play
4:30-4:45 Clean-up time
4:45-5:00 Gross Motor (or a little TV while you prep dinner)
Well, there you go. As for centers: preschoolers are just the right age to start enjoying these types of activities, and I have TONS of resources for shoe-box centers that would probably be perfect for Noah. I would do 5 centers per skill-set (5 for Language Arts, 5 for Math, 5 for Spatial Arts, etc) so you can have one for each day of the week to start with. They can be so simple and basically free: gather plastic bottle caps and write letters on them and have Noah sort through the box and look for matching ones, for example. Later he can use those same bottle caps with letters to find the letters in his name. If you decide to go the center-based route, I am happy to share resources. The other good thing about centers is that, while they will need a lot of guidance and interaction at first, as they gain in skills and confidence kids of this age will grow increasingly independent in their work. Clearly 20 minutes is at the upper end of what you can expect a 2-3 year old to focus on one activity, but I’m an optimist. I love doing integrated stuff: read the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” make a caterpillar themed snack, create caterpillar puppets during art time, make up stories for the puppets during dramatic play, count fruit during math time. You could do a whole week just on this one book!
It was hard to say what kind of outings you guys are in to because I just don’t know your scene there. For us, a favorite outing is to the pet store, but by the time the girls are Noah’s age, I realize that might not hold the same appeal. Also for us, morning outings are mandatory in the summer, because in the afternoon it is just too unbearably hot to do anything. You could easily flip morning and afternoon schedules if it’s easier for you to be out and about later in the day.
I could go on, but you wanted a schedule, not a dissertation. Needless to say, I can’t wait until the girls are big enough to start doing some more structured activities! Hope you find a schedule that fits you guys like a glove!
:) Lindsay
I’m loving that both the first schedule I posted and this one have specific time allotted for being outside. I remember as a kid this was PIVOTAL to my childhood memories. And event though my kiddo is too young to be sent outside without me just yet, we can certainly work on making this a habit early already. I also LOVE all of Lindsay’s information she includes with her schedule… lots and LOTS of cute ideas tucked into that! (Lindsay, I would have happily taken a dissertation! :)) This is good stuff!
Winner #3: Jessica L!
Jessica is my sweet cousin out West, and a mama to two sweet boys. She writes:

Emily how are you? I just had to do this even though we live so far away. It might help me out this summer. So here we go....
7:30 Wake up to mom singing a good morning tune.
7:50 Let kids help make some breakfast. Make it fun with funny face pancakes, add food coloring to what ever you are making. (helps learn colors)
8:30 Clean up dishes and let him help wash his own plate in the sink with you. My boys love to do dishes.
9:00 Go outside and enjoy the sun play with the hose, plant flowers and watch them grow, pick weeds, nature walks, chalk, paint outside.
10:45 Come inside before you get a sunburn. Watch a little show before lunch to settle down just a little.
11:15 Eat lunch something easy and fast. Make a sandwich and cut it out with cookie cutters, ants on a log, Jell-O jigglers
12:00 Nap Time
3:00 Wake up and dance and sing around the house.
4:00 Maybe do some coloring, play with clay, do stickers, read some books and listen to some music.
5:00 Dinner time
6:00 Go for a family night walk and watch for things you might not see in the heat of the day.
7:30 Bath time, brush teeth, read books, prayer, song, kiss and a hug. Sleep snug my little bug.
8:20 Time to clean up the house from all the fun you will have and start again tomorrow. Being a mom is such great fun.
If only days could be like this. It would be so great. Thanks for getting me thinking of how I can be a better mom and do more with my kiddos.
I love the details in each of Jessica’s items… The coloring food with food coloring is really fun, and I love the “family night walk”. Love the waking up with a good morning tune. That is SO up my alley! :) Jessica, I love visualizing you as a mama. I bet you are so great with them, and I can totally see you doing all of the above!
As for us…. well, any “dream schedule” is about to fly out the window for the next two weeks while we/I travel. But I get back by June 1st with the whole summer stretching ahead of us to get into a new groove. I am SO excited to take these ideas and form a version tailored to Noah and myself! I hope you readers continue to find some cool things that inspire you and YOUR daily rounds!


  1. In your copious spare time (Ha! *snort*), you might want to check out the book "Last Child in the Woods: Overcoming Nature-Deficit Disorder."

    If you are going to do theme weeks (love the bugs!) let me know and I will e mail you what we used for our weekly themes when I was teaching.

    Happy travels!

  2. I love the idea of food coloring! My older kids would get a kick out of it, and Neen would LOVE it!

    My mom always woke us up with the song "Rise and Shine". My kids normally wake me up, but if I wake them up I try to remember to sing it!

    Oh...and I love the rainboots! Neen has the same ones! Ribbit!

  3. First of all, I do not wake Callum with a song. I sleep as long as possibly and he wakes me with his babbling (or fussing, depends on the morning). :)

    Secondly, your teacher friend was cracking me up! The elementary teacher in me was grinning up a storm. Language Arts and Logic Centers.....with a two year old! Ambitious. But a fun idea.

    Hope you're having fun in Hawaii!


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