It's okay if your daily schedule changes depending upon the day of the week. That's a good thing. We don't want to get in a rut and variety is the spice of life you now.
But for now let's just focus on the routines for one day. The goal is not to over schedule your child but to provide a bit of stability in the familiar and opportunities for learning and discovery.
Your morning and evening routines for your child are the most important. Giving your child a good start to each day and ending in the serene security of home.
And when you do plan the day leave space for the unexpected. Scheduling and planning each second of the day is inadvisable.
Here is an example of my daughter's daily routine at age 5.
She had different routines on Wednesday and the weekends.
I try not to cram to much into our day because we have a lot of the unexpected around our house. School and a relaxing evening environment are the musts. This printable is from our old planner version.
A Simple Schedule Template for Preschool Age Children:
For small children it’s great to follow the direction of daycares and preschools in providing a scheduled day to meet their needs.
You know how it is.
Maybe there is breakfast first and then as each child is finished with breakfast there is a time of free play with things like sand, playdough, water.
Then once everyone has played for a bit (that's the time you could be getting things done) then it's time to come together for song and a depending upon age instruction. Take it from there.
And when it’s time for naptime you’re ready for that break and can get some of your own things done.
As a mom since you’re most likely working alone things like crafts and circle time may often be replaced by running errands. That's where different schedules for different days comes in.
Here is a sample of what a daycare schedule might be like. (Circle time with your child can be 15 minutes of singing preschool songs and doing hand motions.)
Sample Preschool Day
- Hands on Activity
- Some kind of circle activity with music
- Play Outside
- More Circle Time songs etc.
- Story Time
- Snack time
- Play time (while you’re getting ready for dinner)
- After dinner it's time to play quietly, read and prepare for the bedtime routine.
Finding Things to do:
If you haven’t already discovered this one thing you will learn that if you do not encourage and help your child learn the art of entertaining themselves (without destroying something) you will have a whining child constantly clinging on to you to provide them with something stimulating to do even when they are surrounded by toys.
While we struggle with wanting our children to be in learning mode all the time remember that they are learning while playing.
Quietly playing while mommy is involved with something else is not a bad thing. In fact you want to teach your children how to constructively entertain themselves.
In the beginning show them a little how to do something such as play dough, coloring, building blocks, and the like and then move to do something near them. Study your child to see what interests them. Do they like to create? Do they like to read or look at picture books. Do they like to role play with dolls and kitchen sets? Do they like to dig in the dirt outside and find bugs or plant things? They may like to do all of these.
One of my closest friends has discovered that her young daughter loves to play the piano. Mommy is an accomplished pianist and she loves to sit at the piano and try to recreate what mommy has played.
I started giving my daughter piano lessons a little over a year ago. At first she declared she didn't want to play so I backed off. But just over the past 6 months there has been a 180 and she now takes online lessons and practices all on her own. Go figure.
My own daughter has also loved playdough since she was very small. I could sit her in her booster seat and she would play quietly while I did something else. Nearby of course. She still plays with it today as she races towards 10 years old.
Older toddlers and preschool age children can help you around the house and they often want to do that. Don't pass up this opportunity to begin giving them chores. It pays off when they're older. Really.
Begin showing them small skills they can progress on. Cooking is a great. Mixing together things like small salads, rice mixes before you cook them, and helping with bread dough are some simple ones. Let them help you with the laundry or a bit of cleaning. As they grow and are accustomed to this you will find they are a big help in the home (pssst and that's what we ultimately want right?).
If your child seems more difficult to get to entertain themselves turn it into a game. Have your child pick something. One activity from among their toys and crafts that they can do alone (you are nearby of course). Set a timer for 15 to 30 minutes and have them play with that item letting them know you are right there just not actively playing with them. You can even do this daily so you can get something done.