Do you need a toddler schedule? This post contains schedules and routines that will make your day go smoothly!

Toddler Schedule – That Make Your Day Go Smoothly

Why is it important for to have a toddler schedule? Let me tell ya why…

It was only 9:30am. We had already played with every toy in the house which were now randomly thrown all over the place. We had already watched too much TV(Bob the Builder anyone?!). It was raining out. I was losing my patience by the second. Plus I was out of ideas, toys and screen time.

Did I mention it was only 9:30am?! That was just the beginning of a long day and I it was all my fault. I didn’t have a toddler schedule in place.

Like Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Without preparing a toddler schedule I had already failed that day by mid morning.

Do you need a toddler schedule? This post contains schedules and routines that will make your day go smoothly!

I knew better. My eight years of an education background taught me that daily schedules for kids give them a better understanding of their world and make them feel secure.

When I was a teacher in the classroom I spent hours planning and preparing for the week ahead. I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed for the activities we were going to do and allotted time to do them. Why should my preparation with my own son be any different?!

That’s when I sat down, did a little research into our days and came up with an ideal toddler schedule and a realistic toddler schedule. 

This way I would have an ideal toddler schedule for most days, but a realistic toddler schedule for days that don’t go ideally (think melt downs, blow-out diapers and crayons on the wall).

Then there are those days where both schedules just aren’t going to work. You know when life hits you in the face. Don’t worry, I got you covered!

For those days I have found that it’s important to have daily routines in place. Ones you do every day and  at least provide a foundation for you on days that go a little cray cray.

This way your toddler still has a since of structure in their day even when the schedule is not going to happen.

Example Of Toddler Routines:

Morning Routine:

  • Eat Breakfast
  • Brush Teeth
  • Get Dressed
  • Comb Hair
  • Put on Shoes

Meal Time Routine:

  • Wash Hands
  • Set Table
  • Sit in Chair
  • Pray
  • Thank the Cook (very important 🙂 )

Chores Routine:

  • Carry Dishes to Sink
  • Put Away Toys
  • Put Clothes in Hamper
  • Feed Pets
  • Mix or Stir

Play Time Routine:

  • Choose Toys
  • Set the Timer
  • Put Away Toys
  • Sing Songs
  • Read Books

Bedtime Routine:

  • Take a Bath
  • Put on Lotion
  • Put on Pajamas
  • Brush Teeth
  • Potty

Whatever routines work for you is what you should stick with and the most important part is the sticking. Children need some sort of consistency in their day, so they know what to expect.

Printable Routine Cards are a great visual to give your day structure even when you go off your toddler schedule.

Now that we’ve covered our back up plan, let’s get started with the Ideal Toddler Schedule:

Ideal Toddler Schedule

  • 7:00am    Wake-Up/Morning Routine
  • 8:00am    Sensory Play/Learning Activity
  • 9:00am    Go on an Outing
  • 11:00am   Lunch/Meal Time Routine
  • 12:00pm   Nap/Nap Routine
  • 3:00pm    Wake-Up/Snack
  • 3:30pm    Park/Play Outside
  • 4:30pm    Independent Play
  • 5:30pm    Dinner/Meal Time Routine
  • 6:30pm    Family Play Time
  • 7:00pm    Bed Time Routine
  • 7:30pm    Time for Bed
  • Ideal Toddler Schedule Explained:

7:00am—Wake-Up/Morning Routine

Once he’s up I go in and greet him and tell him what we are going to do that day while I get him a fresh diaper.

Then we go to the kitchen and begin our morning routine. This includes him helping prepare and pick his breakfast. Then eating and cleaning up his breakfast.

8:00am—Sensory Play/Learning Activity

This is when the real fun begins! Like I mentioned before, I was a teacher before becoming a stay at home mom. So, I like to utilize learning activities as much as I can. I have found that when learning is fun kids retain a lot more. Especially my little one who will not sit still for very long.

During this time I do sensory activities like sand in a rubbermaid and add in some toy trucks or bubbles in a bowl and he spoons them out. We stick to a lot of motor skills activities right now because that’s where his interests lies.

You could also do the sponge letters and have your toddler match them to the letter you wrote with dry-erase marker.

We use foam letters and stick them to the window for some toddler fun!

Related: 5 Pumpkin Activities for Toddlers

9:00am—Go on an Outing

This is when we leave the house to go on an adventure! I use the word adventure lightly. Sometimes that literally means driving to Starbucks just to get out of the house. Other times it means going on a play date or visiting Grammy.

Just get out of the house. It’s good for you and your toddler.

11:00am—Lunch/Meal Time Routine

I usually try to keep lunch meals pretty simple. A protein (usually egg or cheese), fruit and if I’m lucky some sort of vegetable.

After he’s finished he helps me clean up so he can feel some responsibility Right now that means him putting his dish in the dishwasher or wiping down the table.

12:00pm—Nap/Nap Routine

To get ready for nap time I change him back in jammies (because I’m a germaphobe). Then we ready two books (only two because he’ll keep asking for more if I don’t stop it there). I say a prayer and them put him in bed with his paci and lovies.

3:00pm—Wake-Up/Snack

He usually wakes up around 3:00pm and I’ll have a little snack prepared for him before I get him out of bed. Snack usually consists of fruit, crackers or cereal.

3:30pm—Park/Play Outside

By this time he’s ready to stretch his eyes and see some daylight. If I’m short on time he’ll just play in the backyard since we have some great summer toys that he loves.

Related: 5 Fun Toddler Summer Toys

But, if time allows we venture off to the local playground or take a walk to the creek.

4:30pm—Independent Play

He’s way into to tools right now, so this is usually when he gets out his drill and fixes something. Sometimes he’ll forego the tools and play with the dog. It’s pretty much his choice because I’m busy cooking dinner.

5:30pm—Dinner

This is one of my favorite times because we get to sit down as a family, take a breath and be together.

6:30pm—Family Play Time

This time goes so quickly. We usually try to dance, play in the backyard or go for a walk.

7:00pm—Bed Time Routine

We do a bath every night. Also, if you’re child doesn’t like baths (like ours). Try popsicle baths.

It’s a great motivator and usually lasts the length of a bath. Bribing with popsicles is just one of the things I didn’t know I’d do with my toddler.

Related: 10 Things I Didn’t Know I’d Do With My Toddler

7:30pm—Time For Bed

We try to keep this routine as simple as possible. Brush teeth, jammies, lotion, lovies and paci. Once we have all the necessities. My husband reads two books to him and then puts him to bed.

Now for the days when things go less than ideal, which seems to happen a lot for us. Here is the Realistic Toddler Schedule: 

Realistic Toddler Schedule

  • 7:00am    Wake-Up, Morning Routine
  • 8:00am    TV time/Mom works out
  • 9:00am    Go on an Outing/House Cleaning
  • 11:00am   Lunch/Meal Time Routine
  • 12:00pm   Nap/Nap Routine
  • 3:00pm    Wake-Up, Snack
  • 3:30pm    TV time/Cuddle
  • 4:30pm    Independent Play/Finish Cleaning
  • 5:30pm    Take-Out Dinner
  • 6:30pm    Family Play Time
  • 7:00pm    Bed Time Routine
  • 7:30pm    Time for Bed
  • Realistic Toddler Schedule Explained:

7:00am—Wake-Up/Morning Routine

Even when our day doesn’t go exactly as planned we always stick to our routines. These routine cards help give my toddler a visual que as to what to do next.

So, he still knows we’ll eat breakfast, comb hair and get dressed. It provides some sanity to our “realistic” day.

8:00am—TV time/Mom Works Out

Sometimes I don’t get up in enough time to work out before he is up. I also don’t always have a great sensory activity prepared because I’m human.

So, on those days I allow him to watch 20-30 minutes of a show while I work out. I know it’s not the greatest thing but I also figure it’s not the worst.

9:00am—Go on an Outing/House Cleaning

On these days our “outing” literally tuns into a long drive so I can listen to a podcast and my toddler can have some down time.

Also, I’m not gonna lie. House cleaning has taken a major hit since becoming a mom. It’s just hard to get it done without someone trailing behind you and undoing what you just did. So, I’ve incorporated it into our day and try to make it fun for my toddler to help.

11:00am—Lunch/Meal Time Routine

Again, even on days that aren’t ideal we always stick to our routines. So, at lunch time we eat and clean-up.

Also in reality, somedays he has no interest in what I prepared for him (aka only wants fruit). That’s when I pick my battles and try to remember that sometimes I don’t want a certain type of food either.

12:00pm—Nap/Nap Routine

This is a routine I NEVER mess with. Oh, unless he falls to sleep in the car and then I very cautiously transfer him to bed because if he wakes up that nap is ruined forever and somedays the nap is ruined.

He might of slept ten minutes in the car and when we get home he wakes up and refuses to nap the rest of the day. And I’m sure you know that a cranky toddler is not the most fun to be around.

That’s when I’ll usually go on another drive or watch more TV. That’s my last resort but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

3:00pm—Wake-Up/Snack

We never miss a snack! It may not be organic and grass fed but it’s a snack .

Related: Healthy Toddler Snacks on The Go

3:30pm—TV time/Cuddle

Somedays you just don’ t have it in you to move anymore. That’s when we turn on a little Bob the Builder and cuddle. Honestly, I let him watch TV sometimes just so he’ll cuddle with me. Again with the bribery.

4:30pm—Independent Play/Finish Cleaning

This is when he plays on his own while I attempt to finish the cleaning that I started earlier. Oh and laundry. There’s always laundry.

Related: Toddler Activities & Easy & Indoor

5:30pm—Take-Out Dinner

What sounds good tonight, pizza?! Thank God for delivery. There are days when cooking just isn’t going to happen.

And for nights that you go to a restaurant. I’ve created the  Toddler Restaurant Kit to help your toddler stay entertained, screen free. So, you can enjoy your meal instead of picking mac and cheese off the floor.

6:30pm—Family Play Time

Sometimes this turns into dad plays with toddler while I finish cleaning the house and the mess from dinner.

7:00pm—Bed Time Routine

Always keep the same bed time routine!

7:30pm—Time For Bed

Same here! We always do the same thing for bed time routine. Well, because we like sleep!!

Toddler schedules help children have security and make your day go smoother!

Click Here for Your Free Toddler Schedule

Sign-Up Here for more Freebies! Help me, help you. -Jerry Maguire 

And full disclosure sometimes nothing on either toddler schedule happen, but routines ALWAYS do. As long as you keep a routine your kids will feel like there is structure to your day(and so will you).

Routine cards are a great way to nurture independence. Instead of you saying fifty times “go brush your teeth!” They’ll know that it’s time to do that just by looking at their routine cards.

toddler schedules need a routine. These routine cards will make your toddler feel more secure in their day.

Use printable routine cards to help teach your toddler independence and to keep your sanity!

It is always good to have visuals. More than half of people are visual learners so posted in your home will help keep you on schedule. Wether they be routine cards or your actual toddler schedule. Figure out what is best for you and your family and will help your day go smoothly!

Until next time, Go get ’em mama!

-Lindsey

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7 thoughts on “Toddler Schedule – That Make Your Day Go Smoothly”

  1. you’re an amazing. love your system.I am a new mommy again with a newborn, 4 yr old toddler, and pre-teen. I will be on maternity leave for the summer and was just looking for some ideas for a daily routine with my little ones. This blog gave me some great insight.Thanks for this.

    1. Jacquelin, Congratulations on your new little one! You definitely have your hands full. I hope this will help give your Summer some structure and allows you to have less stress! Thank you for reaching out!

  2. Pingback: Toddler Restaurant Kit |

  3. Great post! Thanks for sharing BOTH! There are so many out there that definitely don’t talk about the REALISTIC schedule along side the ideal. Your suggestions make me hopeful that we can get a little more structure to our days. 🙂

    1. I am absolutely certain that the days you are creating for your kids are amazing! We have way more of the “realistic” schedule happening over here lately. 🙂

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