A Simple Guide to Creating a Schedule for Children
With the recent time change, Friday the 13th, Covid-19, quarantines and a full moon around the corner, we’re in for a fun year. I have been helping families find nannies for about 4 years now and have been a Nanny for 13 years. During this time, I have seen my fair share of child related schedules. I want to share a few tips for parents around creating schedules during this uncertain time.
Children and adults need consistent schedules to thrive. Children are still learning how to communicate their needs, and we need to help them by providing some sort of outline for the day.
It may feel like summer break for your kids, but I would encourage you to have them wake up and go to bed at the same time every day. Make sure your child maintains their morning schedule by waking up, getting dressed, and preparing for the day, even if it is going to be more relaxed than normal. This is a great time to lead by example and also get ready for the day, even if you will be working from home.
I would encourage having breakfast as a family. The kids may be driving you up the wall right now, but I promise these are moments to cherish. Breakfast together is a wonderful way to set the tone of your day. Talk about about what you would like the day to look like during breakfast and make sure to ask the kids what their expectations are. Little ones of all ages have opinions and listening to them will be very helpful during this uncertain time. It will make them feel valued, and give them a choice in how their day will go.
Each day is typically broken down into three sections; the morning, afternoon and evening. When planning your day, break it into these three sections, to ease the stress of scheduling. I suggest having the kids have outdoor playtime in the morning, and allowing them 2 options to choose from when it comes to specific activities. With the weather changing, it’s cooler in the morning, and warmer in the afternoon. Allow your kids to get their energy out in the backyard and utilize the time in the afternoon for crafts and projects. Below is an example/outline of how to plan your day. You can use this for a child of any age, just insert the time desired.
- Wake Up/Breakfast Time
- Get Ready for the Day
- Outdoor Time
- Snack Time
- Free Play
- Nap or Rest Time
- Playtime / Craft Time
- Bedtime Routine
Even if you take the time to plan your week out, please understand that with anyone – things will always change and we have to be a able to adapt. Right now most of us have lost the control we are used to having over our daily lives. I implore you to allow your children some freedom during this time while creating an atmosphere where they have a sense of normalcy. If you need ideas for crafts and outdoor activities, we will be posting more ideas in the near future. However, Pinterest is an incredible resource for this as well.
When planning a schedule for your children, think about what they will need to eat, if they have homework or reading plans, what chores need to be done, ect. Having children home while you work can be hard, especially when children are needing extra attention during this time. Let them know that you love them throughout the day, and that during meals and after a certain time they will have all of your focus.
It may seem like one more thing to do, but scheduling the day can create that stability they need to function in a more desirable way. This will be good for everyone in the home. You won’t be scrambling last minute trying to find a way to keep your child entertained while you are on a conference call. Also, consider consulting your childcare provider, whether that be a grandparent, nanny, or daycare, on how to keep your child on a similar schedule to one they already follow.