I don’t know about your kids, but mine THRIVE on following a set schedule. This works out great for us when our kids go to daycare during a normal work week, but it quickly turns to chaos whenever we have vacation time or even a three-day-weekend.
Myself, I am totally a lists person, but following a super strict schedule on a daily basis never has worked out for me. So I began experimenting with schedules that help my kids get the structure that they need each day, but that are flexible enough for me to keep my sanity.
STEP #1: I checked their daily schedule at daycare. Being that they typically spend 5 days a week there, it just made sense to try to match our home schedule to theirs.
STEP #2: Find your “big ticket” must have items from the schedule.
To me it seemed obvious that their snack, meal, and nap times should stay the same. The issue? I was not factoring in the HUGE value that play has in their days. I don’t mean playing with toys here. I mean physical, non-stop, outdoors if possible play; and according to their daycare schedule they need at least 30 minutes of it 3x a day. This was the game-changer!
The Challenge: Weather. It has been very rainy this year, and it seems like we have had more rainy days than sunny days lately.
The Solution: Indoor high-energy activities. You can check out my list of suggestions for that here:
Once the focus-areas were figured out, I just needed to plug-in the times. Any time not-specified on the schedule can be used for whatever works best for you and your family.
Again, “Active Play” here refers to playing outside or doing an active indoor activity for a solid 30 minutes.
This routine helps us out a TON, and it is realistic for me and my family to follow. I do not follow this schedule perfectly everyday, but the attempt has made each day better.