Do we really need a routine and a schedule? What is the difference between the two, and what are the pros/cons of having them? No frets I am here to help. In all of my experience in Childcare I find that they are important, not just to us as childcare providers but also to the children.
- Do we really need to have a routine or schedule, and what are the benefits?
Think about it as adults we have a daily routine and a schedule. It helps us plan our daily activities, get to appointments on time, keep organized, makes for less stress, and helps me to plan what I need to do next. Well that is the same with kids. They need schedules and routines starting at a young age. It prepares them for what is going to happen next, and helps them for when they will go to school. If they have a schedule or routine they will know what is going to happen next, and be able to predict what is going to come next. It is also really helpful in getting young babies to learn to sleep and eat. That way if you are out and about you can plan for what you need to bring and what time you need to be home for nap. Routines help children keep busy, it helps make sure they aren’t bored, helps makes planning easier, it helps with transitions, bedtimes/wake up times are easier, and getting the to listen is easier. Overall I believe that if you have a routine or schedule in helps you in the long run and is beneficial to everyone involved. The only con I see is that when you get a child used to a routine or schedule they will expect that daily. So it might be trouble if end up off of the routine or schedule. Routines are beneficial to all ages but especially infants and toddlers, and schedules are beneficial for older children but still can be good for infants and toddlers. It really depends of your preference.
- What is the difference between a routine and a schedule?-
Routines are a sequence of actions you follow regularly, or to put it simply it is the set things you do everyday. For instance, you wake up, get a shower, eat breakfast, get ready for work, go to work, have lunch, go back to work, come home, fix dinner, eat, watch TV, go to bed, and then the next day you do the same thing in the exact order again.
A schedule is a set time each day that you do activities everyday. For instance wake up at 7:30-take a shower, 8:00- have breakfast, 8:30- get ready for work, 9:00- leave for work, 9:30-12:30- work, 12:30-1:30- have lunch, and etc. You do these things everyday at the same time. That means you have a schedule. You can have a set schedule or a flexible schedule. For children it is good to have a flexible schedule. The reason for this is because you never know what kind of mood they will be in or if they have an appointment or something you may need to switch things around, like do a nap earlier.
Remember it is always important to be flexible, and to have patients when trying to set up a routine or schedule. It also makes things a lot easier when you have more than one child.
Here are some examples of schedules I have used, and an example of a routine I like to use. I always try to balance out activities like something very active and then something less active. It will help if you need to get them to sit down for something like circle time.
- Example of a Routine:
Ok this is what I usually do with C, and you don’t have to do it. This is more of a routine and you can adjust into your needs to make a schedule for your child.
*So I arrive at work at 8:00 am- She has breakfast and we read stories
*Then after that we have free play- which is just her playing with her toys on the floor for about 30 mins
*Then we do something active like dancing, climbing the stairs, exercises, chase, walking with her walker, pushing a stroller, jumping, etc.
*After that we do a circle time with our teaching board, and some songs that go with the theme, also a short book to go with the theme of the week.
*Then we go outside to play or for a walk. If there is a park you can go to the park too
*After that it is back inside for some educational play- toys to do with the theme, developmental goal, gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, or language activity
* We do our daily activity- see below
*Then we have free play inside with her toys
*Then we go outside again for some active time
*Next we have another circle time- this one is shorter with 1 theme book and some more theme songs
*Then it is playtime and mommy and daddy get home.
C still takes 2 naps a day so usually I just do this around her nap times.
*If you have more than one child you can do this if you have a baby and a older child:
When K is eating breakfast you can put H in the High Chair or bouncy seat and he can listen to stories too. The same with when K is doing circle time H can sit too and listen. When you are doing playtime with K, H can be doing tummy time or playing on the floor too. Outside is fun too, H can have a blanket on the ground to play on, or he can sit in the stroller.
If you have a child in school you can adjust this schedule to your needs. Also You can add in field trips for different days too and different times. The field trips I like to have relate to the theme and they can go in the time slot for educational play or one of the outside times.
- Examples of some Schedules-
8:00am-8:45am: Outside time / walk
8:45am-9:00am: Teaching Time
9:00am-9:30am: Free Play
9:30am-9:45am: Snack AM
9:45am-10:00am: Diaper / Stories
10:00am-11:00am: Nap #1 / Diaper
11:00am-11:15pm: Songs / Finger Plays / 2 theme books
11:15am-12:00pm: Flash Cards / Vocabulary Cards / Planned Activity
12:30pm-1:15pm: Outside Time / Walk
1:15pm-1:30pm: Work on Concept / Developmental Goal
1:30pm-2:00pm: Free Play
2:00pm-2:30pm: Developmental Skills Activities
( cognitive, social, gross motor, fine motor)
2:30pm-2:45pm: Sign Time DVD
2:45pm-3:00pm: Diaper / Stories
3:00pm-4:00pm: Nap # 2 / Diaper
4:00pm-4:15pm: Songs / Finger Plays / 2 Theme Books
4:15pm-4:30pm: Snack PM
4:30pm-4:45pm: Free Play
4:45pm: Mommy / Daddy Home
Monday: Music and Movement
- Daily Schedule
Friday: Field Trip
8:30-9:00-Cognitive, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Social/Emotional, or Language Skill
9:30-10:00-Educational Activity/Developmental Goal
10:30-11:00-Planned Daily Activity
12:30-12:45-Circle Time/Teaching Time
2:45-3:00-Toddler Page Activity
- If C had a Schedule this is what it would be:
8:00-8:30: Breakfast and Stories
8:30-9:00: Free play with her toys on the floor
9:00-9:30: Something active- dancing, walking, climbing, running, jumping, or outside time
10:00-10:30: Circle Time- Teaching board, short theme book, and 2 songs
10:30-12:30: Morning Nap
1:00-1:30: Outside time
1:30-2:00: Educational Play
2:00-2:15: Work on Developmental Goal
2:15-2:30: Cognitive, Language, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Social/Emotional development skills
2:30-3:00: Daily Activity- music, art, cooking, sensory, etc.
3:30-4:00: Inside Free time-playing with toys
4:00-4:30: Outside time
4:30-5:00: Circle time again- Theme book, and theme songs
5:00-5:30: Theme Toy play
5:30-6:00: Free time
* Notice I didn’t include TV time on here in any of these schedules. I don’t like to use the TV as a babysitter. TV is ok in moderation and I think a minimum of 30 minutes a day is good and a max of 1 hour a day is ok. I really think that it should be something that is educational though. This is a schedule of a working nanny or childcare provider that is at home. However if you are a stay at home mom/dad or grandparent I still think it is a good idea to have a schedule or a routine. It is also important to do education things. This will help your child to be stimulated, and helps them to learn things that they need to know. It also keeps them from being bored.
I leave you with a question, and would love to hear your feedback.
- Do you do a schedule or routine with your child? What does it include? Tell me why you have a routine or schedule, or why not. Thanks
As always thanks for reading my blog posts. Please feel free to answer the questions, and leave your feedback.