I previously spoke on social media about how I have been splitting up my kids' day with a structured playtime schedule. In this schedule I have included playtimes like structured play, creative play, free play, and others. Since so many asked to see the schedule and how it came about, I have written this post with my process as well as a sample schedule.
I first started by laying out everything I wanted to include during our day. This included times to get myself ready, get the kids ready, breakfast, lunch, dinner, naps, etc. I then divided up the day in half hour segments and started to fill them in one at a time. After that, I filled in the extra times with the playtimes listed below.
Here is the list of different play times that I wrote down to include in our routine:
MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU:
Now, I know that things get busy and including all of these PLUS naps, lunches, etc. can be too much. So I would then scale it back and plan them out over a whole week if needed. You could do structured playtime on a Monday afternoon, creative play on a Tuesday afternoon, etc. This schedule needs to fit you and make it easy for you to follow.
CREATE MORE OF A GUIDELINE:
Below I have a sample schedule that is similar to what we follow. Now this is a schedule that we would follow if we had a perfect day. This schedule is more like a guideline and can be followed perfectly if we have no plans to leave the house and if all goes as planned... which every mom knows... things NEVER go quite as planned. I personally like to create a 'perfect schedule' then work my way back and realistically do only what we are able to do, then alter it as we go.
OUR IDEAL DAY:
7:00-8:00 : Preschool prep and breakfast for sister/Bus pickup
8:00-8:30 : Breakfast for brother/Get ready myself
8:30-9:00 : Get brother ready and dressed for the day
9:00-9:30 : Brother free play/Work time for myself (emails, etc.)
9:30-10:00 : Mommy and brother time
10:00-10:30 : Structured playtime with brother
10:30-11:00 : Sister off of the bus/Free play for everyone
11:00-11:30 : Lunch time
11:30-12:00 : Brother's nap prep/Sister's quite time
12:00-12:30 : Mommy and sister time/Brother's nap
12:30-1:00 : Structured play time with Sister
1:00-1:30 : Sister free play/Work time for myself
1:30-2:00 : Screen time/Afternoon snack
2:00-3:00 : Outside/Active Play
3:00-3:30 : Structured Playtime all together
3:30-4:00 : Creative Playtime all together
4:00-5:00 : Free play all together
5:00-6:00 : Quiet time/Mom prep dinner
6:00-6:30 : Family Dinner
6:30-7:30 : Free play with Daddy
7:30-8:00 : Bedtime prep
8:00-8:30 : Bedtime
WHAT I HAVE COME TO FIND:
As I stick to this schedule and try to keep my kids busy with planned play times, I have found there have been less fits, fussiness, neediness, etc. because they not only are staying busy, but because they know what is coming next. This process provides predicability where kids then feel more comfort and confidence thus creating more opportunity for them to thrive. They also seem to appreciate the screen time, free play, etc. more when the rest of the day has been so structured. I am finding more peace and time for myself during their free play and quiet moments now than I did before. Also, when time is set aside for each child to get my full attention, without any interruptions, this can build their confidence in me as well as providing a huge opportunity to build upon our relationship.
Seriously, the benefits are endless.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.