Whether at home with a toddler or facing the school holidays, we all know that having some kind of structure to the day can help and kids enjoy it too because they like to know what’s going to be happening during the day ahead. So, I have two top tips for helping to structure your days.
The first, is to grab a notepad and paper and over breakfast, try drawing out your day together. It needn’t be a piece of art, just symbols or stick drawings are perfectly suffice and avoid it being too detailed or rigid. Think simple. Children can then refer back to this visual timetable throughout the day to see what’s coming up next. It’s a great way to make sure essential activities like brushing their teeth are getting done while also enabling you to better manage screen time by allocating set periods for TV or iPad viewing (as an aside, it’s worth investing in a sand timer to help them visually measure the allocated time). Ideas for things you might include on your timetable are activity play, independent play, mealtimes, classes, outdoor exercise, family time, TV time and bedtime. Take a look at mine and Mason’s HERE. Alternatively, I love the Routine for Kids cards.
My second tip, is to theme your weeks. Personally, I find this technique super helpful, especially for school holidays as it makes it easier to think of activities while providing a bit of structure to our days, as you are focusing on one topic and not getting overwhelmed by all the content online. And this goes for play, books, tv, games, whatever and whenever we can. I tend to start with a book – they’re an amazing source of ideas. I recommend sticking to themes you know your child likes so will naturally capture their attention for longer. And I keep the themes, open ended (for example, you provide the resources for inspiration and let your child’s imagination decide where it takes them). You can find out more about theming your week by watching my YouTube video HERE.
Alternatively, if you would like the ease of your weekly themes planned for you, check out our downloadable six week play plan here for loads of educational ways to play at home with the kids all linked to great children's books.
I hope you find the above helpful but I do however want to say, please don’t put yourself under any pressure. If you find a routine that works for you and your family, then great. If you don’t have one, find them hard to stick to or just another thing to hold yourself accountable to then that’s fine too! It’s all about doing what works for your family and your family’s needs.