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Baby Tips and Ideas Toddler Life

How To Start A Daily Routine – A Day In The Life Of A Toddler

How old is your toddler? Because mine is 22 months today and he is just a handful. I find the best way to keep him calm and happy is to keep him busy. But how can you keep a toddler busy all day when you are a stay at home mom? I have the perfect answers. Here’s how to start a daily routine. Let’s spend a day in the life of a toddler.

Morning Routine

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When you wake up in the morning with your little one, what’s the first thing you do? I often wake up before my son so I use this time to grab a cup of coffee and take a look at my emails from overnight. I check my Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, post a few pins on Pinterest and brainstorm about what I can write on my blog for that day.

Usually, by the time I’m finished with that, my toddler is wide awake and looking for his morning kiss and some attention. And, I love that. He calls for me, I get him up and to the bathroom to brush his teeth. Yes, brushing teeth, even at this age is a great way to start teaching them about hygiene and developing a routine for it.

I love to brush my teeth along with my little one so he can mimic what he sees me do. And he loves being able to stand on his stool next to me and do the same. I think he feels a sense of pride being able to do what mommy does. It makes him feel like a big boy and gives him some independence.

On To Breakfast

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The next thing we do is get ready for breakfast. You know what they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I’m sure by now you already have a bunch of ideas of what to give your toddler for breakfast so I won’t get too much into it.

I love to give my toddler fruit, yogurt, and wheat toast with butter. (He loves honey wheat toast.) Sometimes I mix it up and give him a Mickey mouse waffle with sugar free syrup and diced strawberries. These are his two favorite meals. He’s not one for cereal and milk or eggs.

After breakfast is when the real fun begins. This is the time a day I find that my toddler has the most energy. He’s well rested, fed, and now he wants to throw the couch pillows and take every toy out of the toy box. So, what do I do to stop him from destroying the house?

Click Here To Read My Post On Summer Outdoor Toys – 3 Awesome Toys To Play The Day Away

Get Him Out Of It!

Mid-morning is the perfect time to take your toddler to the park or for a nature walk. My son loves to explore and I encourage it so I take him to the big park down the street from our house and let him roam around. His favorite thing to find is sticks. While the other kids play on the slides and swings, he heads for the baseball field and looks for little things he can pick up.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m not just letting my little guy walk off, I’m right beside him every step of the way, and he doesn’t look for things to put in his mouth, which I love, he just likes to pick them up and hands them to me, and if he finds a stick he likes, he walks around holding it. It’s actually a funny thing to watch.

I know going to the park might not be ideal for everyday. We have some days here that get really rainy and windy in the spring and I like to use those days to go to an indoor park or on a play date.

Both of those options work to get him to release some excitement and energy for the day, and then we are able to head home for a snack and to rest.

Snack Time

how-to-start-a-daily-routine-baby-crush-6Once we get back home, this is a good time to do an activity where he can sit down and rest. And this is where my Google mini comes into play. I sit my son at his little table and give him his snack and when he’s done he can color with his triangle crayons.

Two tips I use for my son with coloring is #1, Triangle crayons, because they can’t roll off the table, and #2 tape his coloring page to the table so it doesn’t move when he’s scribbling on it.

I used to watch as my son would try and try again to color and the paper wouldn’t stay still. Before we knew it, the paper was on the floor so one day I taped it down and I haven’t looked back since. While he’s coloring I play some of his favorite music in the background. This is either music from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, or Music from SpongeBob Squarepants. And believe me when I tell you, he knows all the words and sings along.

how-to-start-a-daily-routine-baby-crush-4This is a good time for me to sit and get some work done because my desk is right next to my son’s table divided by a baby gate and I can see everything he’s doing and I also get a break to get work done.

When he feels like he’s had enough coloring, he will get up and start dancing and singing, and that’s fine with me. As long as he using up all that energy and not tearing apart the house.

Before you know it, it’s lunch time and the day is passing along as you two keep busy. After lunch is the perfect time to let your little one watch some educational television.

My choice of show? Sesame Street. I love that Sesame Street teaches letters and numbers as they play and I think it’s an excellent show for my son to learn while he watches. He loved Elmo so I’m not too bent on letting him have some television time.

Time For A Nap

And now, oh, sweet nap time. I don’t know about you, but I love nap time because I get a couple of hours to not do baby things. I can watch a movie, work on my blog, or just relax and read a book, but before I do that, I have to lay down with my little man until he falls asleep. I’m okay with that. I love putting him to sleep. Just spending that time to unwind and watch him dose off to la la land is very calming for me.

I don’t want to keep going on about my day and really want to give you some ideas of things you can do to keep your toddler busy, so I have put together a list of things you can do and you can use them to make a schedule for your toddler and keep them busy and avoiding too much television time.

how-to-start-a-daily-routine-baby-crush--11Outdoor Activities

  • Go to an outdoor park
  • Go on a nature walk
  • Go to an indoor park
  • Go out in the back yard and explore
  • Go to kid’s story readings at the library
  • Go shopping to get out of the house
  • Play with bubbles outside (you can either blow or get a bubble machine)
  • Have a swim in the kiddie pool (if it’s nice weather)
  • Take them on a playdate and meet with other kids and moms

Indoor Activities

  • Play with blocks and other building toys
  • Listen to music and dance
  • Build a fort in the living room
  • Use time to teach about cleaning and chores (we use the clean-up song)
  • Play with bowls and water (my son loves this, although it does get a bit messy sometimes)
  • Coloring time
  • Watch educational shows
  • Look through board books and picture books
  • Play with flashcards and alphabet toys (we use alphabet blocks and name the letters and pictures)

So, aside from taking a nap and watching television, there are a lot of things you can do with your toddler to keep them busy. Before you know it your little one will be heading off to school so you want to try to spend as much time as you can with them before they are much older.

Getting The Routine Started

how-to-start-a-daily-routine-baby-crush-10I think this list is an excellent way to get started on teaching your kids about managing time, having fun, and spending time with other kids instead of the television. My son loves playing with others and getting out of the house. He loves being outside and he loves water so this is the perfect time to encourage him to use his imagination and be curious. And once the evening hits, the indoor activities are perfect for when you are preparing dinner.

I hope this post was helpful in getting you to think of starting a daily routine with your toddler. After all, by three years old, they are out of our hands and off to preschool. Cherish this time.

Are You Ready?

How do you feel about creating a routine for spending time with your little one? I think without it, it’s easy for the day to get wasted on television and nonsense. Do you think kids should have a daily routine? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment and share your experience with me and other moms.

Thanks for reading my latest post.

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16 Comments

  1. Great read! I remember the days all too well and now look forward to getting to know my grandkids this way, should I ever be lucky enough to have any. I know how important their daily routines can be.

    1. Hi Stasia. I agree. Daily routines are important for little kids growing and learning. Thanks for sharing and reading!

  2. Hi Jen, your little guy sounds adorable. Toddlers can be so busy – especially at 22 months of age. He is just starting to explore the world around him! Routines can be so important to start at this age. I think they set kids up for success for when they get older.
    I agree with you by setting up routines, you are teaching your child some great skills – time management, social skills, how to use their imagination and the list goes on.
    My kids are adults now, but I did the same things you are doing when they were little. I didn’t want my kids growing up attached to a t.v. screen. There’s a whole other world available to them.
    I especially liked your indoor and outdoor activities. I will soon be a Grandma and will keep this list handy for when I’m looking for activity ideas to do with my grandchild.
    Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas.
    Enjoy this precious time with your little one as it won’t be long and he will be all grown up and having his own children. LOL

    1. Hi Liz, Thank you. Yes, my son is very busy thats why I think its imperative to have a daily routine. It really helps the kids as you said with time management and social skills. And getting them out the house and running around in the fresh air does so much for them health wise. Thanks so much for sharing and reading my latest post.

  3. Hi Jen,

    I think all of that is excellent advice for any new parent, or even if you already have kids. I know they are definantly a handful. Any kid would like any activity you listed, and probably many more. I totally agree too with keeping them away from the Tv and letting them outside as much as possible. I don’t have any of my own, but I help out some with nieces and nephews so I know they can be a handful. Having a routine is definantly a must as well, thanks for the great information and ideas.

    1. Hi Justin, Thanks so much. I know, I love the idea of getting the kids out and letting them use their energy wisely. It’s so easy for kids to get adjusted to watching tv everyday so this is an excellent way to give them a routine and get them ready for school.

  4. you’re a great example for a mom. I love that, and of course your blog. I love what you have written awesome to read.

    1. Hi Fernando, thanks for the comment and thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed it.

  5. Hi Jen – this is such a sweet post I can almost visualize your mornings! It is so important to get a routine going as it provides a safe, consistent environment for the little ones and makes your daily life so much easier as a parent. Getting them outside and running around has to be the best way to tucker them out, and it’s such an enjoyable thing for all of us to do too, but there are so many activities for indoors that will stimulate them into sleepiness for the nap as well. 22 months is a beautiful time and I’m glad you’re enjoying it and it’s so wonderful to see your child’s personality and interests develop. I’m going to take on board your advice around triangle crayons – I never thought of these and my granddaughters love coloring in. My floor, lounge chairs and house become covered in pencils! The crayons are a great idea seeing as they don’t fall off the table and roll away, only to be found weeks later or never at all. The other thing I picked up in your post is how you have a baby gate between the play area and your desk – great thinking! When I was a child it was the time of playpens – I look at them now and think they look like a prison – but they did serve their purpose and I don’t think we have any subconscious damage from playing in them!
    Thanks for your post Jen.

    1. Hi Lindsay, Thank you. This is so true, getting them out is best and I love seeing my son run around outside and explore. Its fun to run after him and to see him having such a blast. Thanks for sharing and definitely get those triangle crayons.

  6. My little one is 3 years old now and no longer naps, but when he was 22 months old we definitely stuck to a routine, especially when it came to naps!
    Now he’s older, we still have a loose routine, particularly around bedtime.
    I agree that routines are good for little ones 🙂

    1. Hi Ashli, 3 is such a great age, My niece is 3 and she is just so curious and asks a lot of questions. Having a routine is a definite in our house, but my son does go to bed a little later. After napping he usually has a lot of energy and it’s hard to get him down by 8pm. But as he gets older and the naps are over I think it’s be easier once he’s tuckered out for the day. Thanks for reading and sharing.

  7. Hi there,
    Wow, reading your article takes me back to the days when my kids were young. Those were very busy times indeed!
    I love that you model tooth brushing with your son. I am sure he loves doing what you do and he is learning the right way to do it.
    Building a routine with your son is a great idea. He will learn so many valuable skills that will go with him into adulthood.
    I work in a school and it’s all about routine. The kids know what is happening and when. The daily schedule is such a valuable tool. Do you use a visual tool with your son?
    Outdoor play is also important. In our modern world of technology it can be so easy to waste time staring at a screen for hours. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology but I strongly believe in limiting the time children use it.
    Thanks for sharing your daily routine with us. It was fun reading about you and your son. Like I said, it took me back to the days when my kids were little. It made me miss those fun filled days. Treasure the time you guys have together, soon he will be all grown up!
    Your site is just fantastic and always fun to read.
    Take really good care of yourself and your little family!
    Angela

    1. Hi Angela, yes he does. He loves following me through the house and watching what I do. Even sitting on his potty is a thing now. And he absolutely loves brushing his teeth, although I think it’s the bubblegum toothpaste, lol. I don’t use a visual tool with my son. I just go by my own schedule and plan things for him to do. I noticed that some of the kids in my family are so attached to phones and ipads but not my son. He loves to play and interact with people so i’m happy for that. Thanks for reading and sharing.

  8. Madeline says:

    This is a great post and Im so glad I found it, I have been looking for things to do with my little one throughout the day, seeing as we just moved to a new place and are trying to get back in a routine.

    I love the idea of going to a park, because even in a new place there are good parks everywhere, and my daughter loves being outside and exploring! Thats a great idea, so thanks!

    Also, the idea of taping a coloring page to the table is simple yet so genius. Why didnt I think of that? And of course, nap time is probably my favorite time of day haha.

    Thank you so much for all the helpful tips and ideas, my daughter needs a routine and this really gave me some great ideas!

    1. Hi Madeline, Thanks for reading. I’m so glad I could help. I also love the park because it gets my son out the house and running around and he gets some fresh air in those lungs and sunshine which is so good for kids after a long winter. I’m glad you were able to get some ideas for your daughter and I think the tape idea is great also. I felt bad watching him try to color on a paper that was running away. He doesn’t yet know that he needs to hold the paper with one hand and color with the other so he just keeps trying. Also the triangle crayons because the first time we bought crayons they were rolling every which way and I said they need to make this, and sure enough, crayola had it. So great. Thanks for sharing and reading my post.

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