Toddlers can be un-predictable... understatement, right? Just when I think I have my toddler figured out, he goes it changes it up on me! Well, since I have 3 toddlers in my care, keeping everything predictable is a must. That is why we have a working schedule. It is working because I am constantly 'working' on it to meet our needs. But, I think I've about got it down! Here is our daily schedule (see below). Please take into consideration that things do change sometime, like when we go on an outing or have other kids over to play. But, in general- we follow this schedule. I am a firm believer that children need to know what is coming next in thier daily lives. I think it creates a sense of comfort knowing what to expect. Plus, it makes the transitions in the day a lot easier for me too.
Most events on our schedule are self-explanitory. But, if you would like to learn more about how we do Toddler Circle Time, click here. Also, Intentional Play: intentional play is when you create an environment for children to learn through play. Tot School and Tot Trays is one way we learn through play. We also may do an art project during intentional play time. Also, please notice how short circle time and intentional play is. Toddlers should not be expected to sit more than 10 minutes at a time. With that being said, during intentional play, if your child is engrossed- let him/her keep learning as long as the interest lasts!
Don't feel like you can adopt a strick schedule? Well, I suggest making sure that these three things are the same most days. 1. Wake time 2. Nap time 3. Bed Time. Sleep is vital to a child's daily learning success, health and thier mood! If you are not waking your child at the same time everyday, then they will not nap at the same time. Therefore, they may not be ready for bed at the same time each night. Which leads to ups and downs of how much sleep your child is getting compared to how much he/she needs. So, if nothing else- try a sleep schedule and try to keep it consistent. You may find that enforcing this schedule is hard at first, but all in all kids will learn that this is the time for sleep, not play. You might even notice a well-rested, less prone to tantrums toddler...which is awesome!
Does your toddler have a schedule? Do you feel like your schedule is a huge help to you? Are you constantly tweeking your schedule like me?!