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When we were in process for our son’s adoption, I spent time searching for the perfect toddler schedule. I’ve mentioned before that my plan did not go as expected, but it is true that a general routine is helpful for little ones. My current stay at home mom schedule is still not perfect, but, thankfully, we are in a much better routine now. Having some sort of routine also helps you to be more intentional in creating an environment that consistently points your child to Christ. Here is our schedule and some additional tips for creating your own toddler schedule.
Here is my daily SAHM to a toddler schedule
7 am – Mommy wakes up, gets ready, reads Bible
8 am – My son wakes up, eats breakfast, gets dressed
- During breakfast, we go through the Children’s Catechism and our Bible memory verses
9 am – MWF: Free play and/or help while mommy does chores (clean, prep dinner if it’s a crockpot meal, etc); Tue/Thurs: Speech Therapy
- I like to stream Christian music during this time. Current favorites are Listen Up! by Sovereign Grace Music or Worthy by Beautiful Eulogy.
10 am – MWF: ABC Jesus Loves Me; Tues/Thurs Errands and Library – sometimes playdates or the park on Fridays
- ABC Jesus Loves Me is a toddler and preschool curriculum that encourages play-based learning in academics, developmental skills, and the Bible. You can purchase the printed curriculum or access it free from the website. For us, this normally looks like reading, coloring, a craft or two a week, learning/reviewing songs, and a gross motor activity.
11 am – Free play while mommy gets lunch ready. If nice, go outside or to park.
- We do a 15 min toy pick-up before lunch to help control the chaos
Noon – Lunch
12:30 pm – Read and cuddle before nap
- Current books on repeat are The Biggest Story ABC and First Bible Basics: A Counting Primer. These are two of my favorite Christian toddler books.
1-3pm – Naptime; Mommy works on the blog
- Yes, I can’t believe it either that my son sleeps 12 hours at night and takes a 2-hour nap. No, I don’t know how/why it happens, but we are beyond thankful!
3 pm – Snack time, sometimes we watch a show on Netflix or Youtube
3:30 pm – If the weather is nice, play outside; otherwise, Child-led play inside
4:30 pm – If we were unable to do it in the morning, ABCJesusLoves Me. Finish up any leftover chores
5 pm – Start Dinner. My son will sometimes play by himself, but most often he likes to help. We don’t have one yet, but I am considering purchasing one of these learning tower stools to make this safer and easier.
6/6:30 pm – Eat Dinner
6:30 pm – If daddy isn’t working late, they will play before bath
7 pm – Bathtime
7:30 pm – Cuddles and reading
8 pm – Bedtime
8-10 pm – Time with my husband
Tips for creating your own SAHM or toddler schedule
Know Where You are in Life
- Did you just add a new little one to your family? That’s where I found myself last summer after adopting our 18-month-old son. The first couple of months we were in survival mode, so I couldn’t expect to maintain a toddler schedule that included several hours of me cooking, cleaning, exercise, etc. Whether it’s a new child, illness, or moving, there are times in our lives where we must go back to the basics. Write down your bare minimums, and then (flexibly!) schedule those into your day. Don’t forget to try and include sleep! Can’t even manage the survival mode, basics? Be willing to ask for help.
Utilize Block Scheduling
- In my sample SAHM with a toddler schedule, I wrote down the approximate times that we do different activities. In real life, I prefer to think more in time blocks. Physical activity for an hour, crafts for 20 minutes, reading for 45 minutes, and errands for 2 hours. If you are a work at home mom, you will also find this to help with your productivity. I work on this blog for 2 hours a day during naptime, and I use block scheduling within those two hours. On any given day, I might allocate an hour for writing, 15 minutes for social media, 15 minutes for answering emails, and 30 minutes for reading and commenting on other blogs.
- It took several months before we got into any semblance of a routine. I’m also aware that my toddler’s schedule will look very different in a year or two. Adding additional children to our family will also change things. After you’ve written down your bare minimums and start adding additional items, be aware that these may change over time.
Keep Your Priorities Straight
- My priorities are as follows: faith, family, home, blog. Honestly review your day. Are you spending more time on social media or watching Netflix than reading the Word? Do you prioritize an immaculate home over spending time with your children? When considering your family’s daily schedule, make it one that reflects God’s rightful place at the center of your lives.
What Do You Think?
Do you have a general schedule or routine that you follow? What tips would you give someone who doesn’t have any routines in place? How does having a schedule help you keep your priorities straight, making sure you keep your rapt attention on Christ?
Additional Resources for a Toddler Schedule