Friday, November 20, 2015

Scheduling a Toddler's Afternoon... hmm...

Well- we came up with a schedule and tried it yesterday.  We ended up going with 30 minute blocks to make it easier for us to work with him knowing times on a clock.

3-3:30 Get home, eat a snack (if he didn't just finish at school)
3:30-4 Free Play (we'll soon limit how many toys are out at a time)
4-4:30 Arts & Crafts (M,W,F) or Words (T,Th)
4:30-5 Sorting (M,W,F) or Outside Play (T,Th)
5-5:30 Music
5:30-6 Reading
6-6:30 Dinner
6:30-7 Free Play
7-7:30 Chores
7:30-8 Movie Time and Bible Time (usually 20 min and 10 min respectively)

J's bed time is 8pm, which usually means around 8:10 after songs and kisses and such.

Our plan is to print off the schedule, laminate it, and post it on the fridge.  (pg 1 is pictured below)
We've gotten a "special" magnet (as in we let him pick out his own $0.50 magnet so it was "special") for him to move as we work through the different activities.  We're also working on getting a very easy to read clock with a gentle alarm/timer to help with transition reminders.  

Here's my feedback on this idea after day 1:
1. I was flippin' tired.  I thought keeping up with him when he was mischevious and playing was tiresome, but keeping this chart going was tiresome.  I think that'll decrease as we get used to it and as J becomes more independent with some of these.  I also told hubby he'll have to tag in for some things so this mama can rest!
2. It completely cut down on discipline issues.  For real.  I was super surprised at how much less fussing we had in our day yesterday.  I am pretty sure some of it was because he had more of my undivided attention but also some of it because he was engaging in new things every so often rather than just trying to decide what to do next on his own all the time.
3. I'll likely make a new one when I see this rotation wearing thin.  One thing I already know to be true with children is that they're constantly changing as far as what they like and what works, so I know nothing is a permanent idea. 

Hubby and I agree that it seems like a really positive start and we're excited to see how it goes as we put more days in a row together with this routine.  Next week will be about 3 days like this before Thanksgiving, so it'll be another good run without being all 5 days like that.  

Anyone out there have experiences to share?  I'd love to hear ideas, suggestions, and stories!

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