toddler outside running - the perfect routine

What makes up the Stay at Home Mom Toddler Schedule? Something that works for you and your family! Everyone’s schedule is going to look a little different, but it will contain a lot of the same components. This is what ours looks like, and yes, it is perfect for our family!

I have two biological kids ages 4 and 9 and two foster daughters ages 2 and 3. So with 4 kids, I know how crazy things can get without a routine! I hope you find some ideas that help you form your daily toddler schedule!

7:00am Wake-up!

My alarm goes off at 7am. I know, I know. I am so lucky to have toddlers who SLEEP right now! (There’s a reason I say right now….because every time I say we are sleeping, someone goes and starts acting crazy at 3am). As soon as my toddlers wake, I take them to the bathroom, change their clothes/lay out their clothing for them to dress themselves. I get my 3 year old foster daughter ready and quickly rush out to meet the bus around 7:20am. She eats breakfast at school. I come back in, make sure my 9 year old has finished breakfast, I make her lunch, and do her hair. I let my 4 year old and 2 year old sit eat breakfast while finish those tasks and unload/load the dishwasher. My 9 year old meets her bus at 7:50.

8:00am Pre-K time

After breakfast, I usually get a load of laundry going and then I schedule a little bit of a Pre-K learning experience for my 4 year old. He’s working on cutting with scissors, so we make simple projects with construction paper, scissors and glue. Sometimes he works on sticker worksheets, paints, colors, or does puzzles. I try to take a moment to work with our 2 year old foster daughter as well. She can do a lot of the same activities, but of course, I have to adjust to her ability level.

9:00am Independent play

I like to eat my breakfast later than the kids, so I shoo everyone out of the kitchen so I can cook/eat my breakfast. My son and foster daughter have been doing an excellent job with playing independently lately. Sometimes, I will bring a tote of toys up from our storage area. Other times, they find their own activity like building a train track together or pretending to have a picnic. This is also the time frame that works best for me to schedule appointments for myself or the younger two kids. We often have caseworkers/foster care related people visit during this time.

10:15 Clean up and TV

Around 10:15, we take 15 minutes to clean up together. They do much better if I give them jobs like “pick up all the books.” Or else I hand them items to run to a specific location. 10:30-11:30 I let them watch tv. This is usually my time to get something done whether it is take out the trash, work on laundry, pay bills, or take a shower.

11:30 Lunch

I prefer a later lunch, but my foster daughter gets off the school bus at noon, so we like to eat before she gets home (as she eats lunch at school.) At noon, I run outside to grab my 3 year old off the bus. Then I clean up from lunch while the kids do free-play.

1:00 Nap

At 1pm, we start getting ready for nap. Sometimes due to appointments we have to push nap to a later time. I take every toddler to the bathroom, make sure everyone is in a pull-up, and they all sit on the couch. We read 3 books and I give them each just a sip of milk in a straw cup. After stories, we brush teeth and then I tuck them each in and sing 1 song. During nap, I work on my Etsy business, blog, or pay bills.

3:30pm Snack/Outside Time

My oldest daughter gets home from school around 3:30pm. I try to set aside time to talk to her about her day, look over her papers/homework, and get her a snack. Over the course of the hour, the toddlers will wake up and I give them each a snack. After snack, everyone goes outside to play (unless it is raining). We go out on the hot days and we go out in the snow.

Outdoor time is really important in a toddler schedule because it allows them to get their energy out by running, jumping, and exploring nature. There’s a lot of great reasons to send your kids outside every day. Check out this article by the Child Mind Institute to see all the benefits. In our family, outdoor time is a priority and our children love it!

toddler outdoor time
My son swinging outside

5:30pm Homework/Supper Prep

At 5:30, I call my 9 year old in to do homework. We strive to get any homework done before supper. I start supper shortly after this as well. The other kids come in after this and do indoor free play.

6:30pm Supper

We like to eat around 6:30-7pm. We do all sit down together to enjoy a meal and spend time together as a family. After dinner, the kids usually do free play again with a 10 minute family cleanup at the end. I let my oldest use our tablet if she has completed her homework.

7:40 Bedtime Prep/Bedtime

Around 7:40 we start bathes/showers and try to have our kids who go to school in bed around 8pm. We are a little more lenient with our 4 year old who doesn’t go to school yet and is our earliest riser, but usually it is more convenient to put everyone to bed in one big swoop.

Our bedtime routine looks very similar to our naptime routine with a few additions. We do bath time, pajamas, sit on couch for 3 stories, tooth brushing, tuck in, and sing one song for each kid.

Around 8:15pm, my husband and I are free to relax, watch tv, and do anything we didn’t get the chance to do earlier.

That’s our Stay at Home Mom Toddler Schedule! Nothing super hard, but our kids know when to expect meals, naps, etc. They know what comes next and it leaves little guesswork or “negotiation” in between. You might have noticed our kids get about 1 hour of screen time/tv time (and not every child gets tv every day). I strongly believe that if you set boundaries early and often, kids will happily play instead of longing for technology. Another tidbit that we throw into our routine is a regular cleanup time. Usually just 10 minutes of everyone cleaning up together, otherwise the chaos can take over quickly!

I hope this has inspired you to create a Stay at Home Mom Toddler Schedule that works for you and your family!

Have toddlers? Be sure to check out these posts:

Dealing with Tantrums

Free Printable Potty Charts