The Perfect Daily and Weekly 2-4 Year Old Schedule

I’m a newbie stay at home mom, so crafting my 3-year-old’s daily schedule has been an exciting part of the adventure! Having been a preschool teacher for many years, I wanted to make sure that our days at home are balanced with enough play, rest, and active times. Here are some things to consider if you are working on crafting your daily toddler schedule:

Children love predictability and knowing what is going to come next, so it’s important to have a general rhythm to your days. With this said, don’t feel like you can’t change things up for special events and activities. Our schedule is always fluid and changes when necessary!

This is the general “flow” of our daily routine that works really well for us:

Daily Schedule

7:00-7:30         Wake up routine & breakfast

7:30-8:00         Independent play during breakfast cleanup (I usually unload the dishwasher)

8:00-8:15         Get dressed, brush teeth

8:15- 9:00        Interest-led learning activity (see weekly schedule below)

9:00 -11:00      Outing (see weekly schedule below) *We bring a snack with us*

11:00-11:45     Lunch time

12:00-2:30       Naptime

2:30-3:00         Snack & Book time (see weekly schedule below)

3:00-4:00         Outdoor play or park time

Check out: 10 Kid-Friendly Ideas for your Tiny Backyard

4:00-5:00         Independent play while mom preps dinner

5:00-5:45         Family Dinner Time

5:45-6:15         Family playtime & dinner cleanup (load & start the dishwasher)

6:15- 6:45        Bathtime & PJs on

6:45 -7:00        Goodnight books & Prayers

7:00 pm           Bedtime

Weekly Schedule

I like to have ideas for activities and outings ahead of time each week, so that I’m not scrambling to figure out our day in the midst of a toddler tantrum. Here are some of the ideas that we use often – feel free to use for inspiration to come up with your own weekly schedule that works for your little ones!

Interest-led learning activities

     Monday: Play Doh or age-appropriate puzzles

     Tuesday: Sorting or color matching

     Wednesday: Preschool Day (my son attends ½ day)

     Thursday: Preschool Day (my son attends ½ day)

     Friday: Painting or Books on Tape

*Note: I always try to coordinate these activities with whatever my son is really interested in. Some weeks, we do nothing but play doh during this time of day because it’s what he’s really into. And that’s totally ok! The best learning happens when the child is interested, so there’s no point in forcing activities that they aren’t excited about.

Outings

     Monday: Grocery store or other errand

     Tuesday: Park or long walk

     Wednesday: Preschool Day (my son attends ½ day)

     Thursday: Preschool Day (my son attends ½ day)

     Friday: Library Story Time

*Note: If my son is really involved in his morning play, we may skip the outing for the day. But if we do, I try to make it out to the park in the afternoon just to give us both a change of scenery and some fresh air.

Snack & Book time

This is a very special time of our day when my son and I share a snack (we usually go for popcorn) and we snuggle up around the coffee table for books. What I love about this time of day is that it’s an opportunity for him to practice listening to stories read aloud while also spending quality time together.

The snack helps keep him in one place while I read. Usually when he’s done with snack he will wander around the living room playing with his toys while I continue to read aloud. We usually get through about 5-7 picture books, and one longer book (right now he’s enjoying Disney books or stories out of our big classic storybook).

Independent Play

It’s so important to build in plenty of time into your child’s day for them to play independently. If your child struggles with this, check out my post on helping your child expand their independent play skills: 3 Easy Ways to Teach Your Child to Play By Themselves.

What tips and tricks did you use to craft your daily toddler schedule? Share with me in the comments below!

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