Establishing Routines for a Toddler

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May 4, 2011

Set A Routine for Your ToddlerThere is nothing more calming to a child then having a more or less constant routine. Here is what I used to have as a day's worth of learning and fun when my little ones were too young for school. Some days they would be interested in these activities and other days we would have to be flexible and do something else.


The thing about these activities is they can be interspersed with normal daily activities like breakfast, washing hands times, etc. They help the day go by. There also has to be periods of free play where there is no "set activities planned" and at these times, I would set up about four books in a corner of the room and have different toys available, but if they wanted to sit and stare into the air, then they could - everyone needs downtime!

Here is a sample lesson plan I would have for my toddlers and young kids when they were at home:

On a piece of paper I would write the following headings - Math, Science/Nature, Manipulatives, and Music. (You can add more headings like DVD viewing times or a quiet music tape you buy for nap-time)

Put five squares under them like a calendar for five days, and fill them in with the activities you wish to do. The key is to be flexible, if one thing doesn't take off very well, skip to another thing. The idea is to have fun together. None of these actions should take more than ten minutes, unless the child just has fun doing the activity.


Here is my sample lesson plan for a weeks worth of each heading: You can buy lesson planning books at the teacher supply stores too.



The theme here is leaves:


These are the toys that work your child's fine muscles, such as Legos, Mr. Potato Head, etc. I would have the larger sized Legos the smaller the child is, sometimes the small ones are a choking hazard.

I would have time each day to work on:

Any kind of toy or activity that requires them to sit down with their little hands and pick one thing up and then another will do. I like to make shapes out of board that is like greeting card paper, and then have them put like shapes together, this also counts as a math activity/art activity when it involves crayons.



I always had a video or some such tape that got played all the time, but it was themed around fun things like potty training, counting etc. There are so many good shows on now and there are music tapes you can make of soft music or buy that are good for nap-time, and pre-nap time readiness.

Most of these things can be made at home, making them even more frugal than ever!

By Robyn Fed from Tri-Cities, TN

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