By Alexia Dellner
Published Apr 24, 2020
In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, schools and childcare providers across the country have ceased operations, leaving many parents wondering just what the hell to do with their kids all day long. This would be a challenge under normal circumstances, but it’s even more difficult now that the usual go-tos—parks, playgrounds and playdates—are out of the picture. Add in the fact that so many of us are juggling childcare with working from home and days can quickly spiral into chaos.
So what can you do to reign in the mayhem? Create a daily schedule for kids to help give them some structure. “Young children get comfort and security from a predictable routine,” Bright Horizons’ vice president of education and development Rachel Robertson tells us. “Routines and schedules help us all when we know generally what to expect, what happens next and what is expected of us.”
But before you roll your eyes at another color-coded, Insta-COVID-perfect schedule that accounts for every minute of your mini’s day (including a back-up plan for inclement weather), keep in mind that these are sample schedules created by real moms. Use them as a starting point to plan an itinerary that works for your family. And remember that flexibility is key. (Toddler on a nap strike? Move on to the next activity. Your son misses his friends and wants to FaceTime with them instead of doing crafts? Give the kid a break.) “Your schedule doesn’t have to be rigid, but it should be consistent and predictable,” says Robertson.
5 Tips for Creating a Daily Schedule for Kids
- Get kids involved. Some to-dos are non-negotiable (like tidying up her toys or doing his math homework). But otherwsie, let your children have a say in how their days are structured. Does your daughter get antsy sitting down for too long? Schedule a five-minute stretch break at the end of every activity—or better yet, make it a family affair. “A good breakfast activity would be reviewing the schedules and moving things around so schedules match up,” advises Robertson.
- Use pictures for younger children. If your kids are too young to read a schedule, rely on images instead. “Take photos of each activity of the day, label the photos and put them in the order of the day,” suggests Robertson. “They can be changed around as needed, but the visual is a great reminder for children and helps them be more independent.” (Tip: A drawing or printed photo from the internet will work, too.)
- Don’t worry about extra screen time. These are strange times and relying more on screens right now is to be expected (even the American Academy of Pediatrics says so). To feel better about it, stream some educational shows for your kids (like Sesame Street or Wild Kratts) and set reasonable limits.
- Have a couple of back-up activities ready to go. When your kid’s virtual playdate gets canceled or you have an unexpected work call, have a few things to do in your back pocket that you can whip out at a moment’s notice to keep your kid occupied. Think: virtual field trips, crafts for toddlers, STEM activities for kids or brain-busting puzzles.
- Be flexible. Got a conference call in the afternoon? Forget the playdough making you had planned, and cue up an online story time for your mini instead. Your kid has a hankering for Rice Krispies squares...on a Tuesday? Check out these easy baking recipes for kids. Don’t throw all routines and rules out the window but be prepared to adapt and—most importantly—be kind to yourself.
Example Schedule For Baby (9 Months)
7:00 a.m. Wake up and nurse
7:30 a.m. Get dressed, playtime in bedroom
8:00 a.m Breakfast (“The more finger foods the better—he loves it and as an extra bonus, it takes him longer to eat so I can tidy up the kitchen.”)
9:00 a.m Morning nap
11:00 a.m Wake up and nurse
11:30 a.m Go for walk or play outside
12:30 p.m. Lunch (“Usually leftovers from our dinner the night before or a pouch if I’m feeling frazzled.”)
1:00 p.m. More playtime, reading or FaceTiming with family
2:00 p.m. Afternoon nap
3:00 p.m. Wake up and nurse
3:30 p.m. Playtime and cleaning/organizing. (“I’ll tidy or do laundry with the baby strapped to my chest or crawling around on the floor—it’s not easy but I can at least get some household chores done.”)
5:30 p.m. Dinner (“Again, this is usually leftovers from yesterday.”)
6:00 p.m. Bath time
6:30 p.m. Bedtime routine
7:00 p.m. Bedtime
Example Schedule For Toddler (ages 1 To 3)
7:00 a.m. Wake up and eat breakfast
8:30 a.m. “Independent” play (“My two-year-old can keep himself busy with moderate supervision but his attention span per toy is about ten minutes, max.”)
9:30 a.m. Snack, playtime with parents
10:30 a.m. Go for walk or play outside
11:30 a.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m. Nap
3:00 p.m. Wake up, snack
3:30 p.m. Put on a movie or TV show (“Moana or Frozen. Always Frozen.”)
4:30 p.m. Play and clean up (“I play the clean up song to get him to put away his toys.”)
5:30 p.m. Dinner
6:30 p.m. Bath time
7:00 p.m. Reading
7:30 p.m. Bedtime
Example Schedule For Preschoolers (ages 3 To 5)
7:30 a.m. Wake up and get dressed
8:00 a.m Breakfast and unstructured play
9:00 a.m. Virtual morning meeting with classmates and teachers
9:30 a.m. Snack
9:45 a.m. Schoolwork, letter and number-writing, art project
12:00 p.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m.: Science, art or music interactive video or class
1 p.m. Quiet time (“Like napping, listening to music or playing an iPad game.”)
2 p.m. Snack
2:15 p.m. Outdoor time (“Scooters, bikes or scavenger hunt.”)
4:00 p.m. Snack
4:15 p.m. Free choice play time
5:00 p.m. TV time
6:30 p.m. Dinner
7:15 p.m. Bath, PJs and stories
8:15 p.m. Bedtime
Example Schedule For Kids (ages 6 To 8)
7:00 a.m. Wake up, play, watch TV
8:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Get ready for school
9:00 a.m. Check-in with school
9:15 a.m. Reading/Math/Writing (“These are assignments given by the school, like ‘Grab a stuffed animal and read to them for 15 minutes.’”)
10:00 a.m. Snack
10:30 a.m. Check-in with school
10:45 a.m. Reading/Math/Writing continued (“More assignments from school for my daughter to do at home.”)
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Lunchtime doodles with Mo Willems or just some downtime
1:30 p.m. Zoom class (“The school will have an art, music, P.E. or library class scheduled.”)
2:15 p.m. Break (“Usually TV, iPad, or Go Noodle activity.”)
3:00 p.m. After-school class (“Either Hebrew school, gymnastics or musical theatre.”)
4:00 p.m. Snack
4:15 p.m. iPad, TV or go outside
6:00 p.m. Dinner
6:45 p.m. Bath time
7:30 p.m. Bedtime
Example Schedule For Kids (ages 9 To 11)
7:00 a.m. Wake up, breakfast
8:00 a.m. Free time on their own (“Like playing with his brother, going for bike rides or listening to podcasts. Every other day, we allow screens to be used in the morning.”)
9:00 a.m. Class check-in
9:30 a.m. Academic time (“This is a pretty regulated time. I leave tabs open on his computer to complete and I write out a separate schedule from the teacher schedule with boxes that he has to check off.”
10:15 a.m. Screen time (“Ugh, Fortnite or Madden.”)
10:40 a.m. Creative time (“Mo Willems draw-along, Legos, chalk on sidewalk or write a letter.”)
11:45 a.m. Screen break
12:00 p.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m. Free quiet play in room
2:00 p.m. Academic time (“I usually save the hands-on stuff for now since they need something appealing to get back into work.”)
3:00 p.m. Recess (“I make a list of things to do, like ‘shoot 10 baskets in the driveway basketball hoop,’ or I create a scavenger hunt for them.”)
5:00 p.m. Family time
7:00 p.m. Dinner
8:00 p.m. Bedtime
getting ready in the morning. eating meals. spending time playing and talking together. reading books or telling stories.What should a 5 year olds routine be? ›
- Physical play. If weather permits, include time to play outside and get active. ...
- Independent play. ...
- Sensory play. ...
- Local library. ...
- Chores. ...
- Learning activities. ...
- Errands. ...
- Screen time.
- 7:00 am – kids wake up, get dressed, come down stairs, read or color while waiting for breakfast.
- 7:30 am – breakfast.
- 8:00 am – free-play. ...
- 9:00 am – start schoolwork for the day.
- 11:00 am – I make lunch. ...
- 11:30 am – lunch.
Brushing your teeth nightly and getting ready for bed is a routine. Waking up at 6 a.m. and exercising every morning is a routine. Purchasing a bagel and reading the news before you head to work every morning is a routine. Even eating chips while watching Netflix is a routine.What is the rule of 5 for kids? ›
“The Rule of 5” states that you must say five encouraging remarks to the child before you can say something negative. This formula comes from a simple idea that every parent or teacher would acknowledge: even children with good self-worth take corrections as criticisms.How do I make a daily routine list? ›
- Write everything down. Begin by writing down every task, both personal and professional, you want to accomplish during a normal week. ...
- Identify priorities. ...
- Note the frequency. ...
- Cluster similar tasks. ...
- Make a weekly chart. ...
- Optimize your tasks. ...
- Order the tasks. ...
- Stay flexible.
- Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day. There are so many benefits to waking up at a fixed time every day. ...
- Spend Some Time Exercising Daily. ...
- Spend Some Time Meditating Daily. ...
- Improve Your Time Management. ...
- Don't Skip Breakfast. ...
- Invest Time into Self Care Throughout the Day. ...
- Tidy Up at the End of the Day.
Find small ways your child is making an effort and let them know you see them. Build celebrations into your routine. For example, after getting through your bedtime routine, snuggle together and read before bed. Or, in the morning once ready for school, take a few minutes to watch a favorite cartoon together.Do kids need a schedule? ›
Just like adults, children feel more confident and secure when their daily activities are predictable and familiar. A consistent daily schedule and step-by-step routines give children a predictable day.What is daily routine simple? ›
You can make a list of everyday activities: wake up/get up, brush my teeth, have/eat breakfast (or have something FOR breakfast), have a shower, get dressed, go to work/shool, get to work/school, check my emails, check my social media, work ON my computer, have lessons, have/eat lunch, finish work, go home, get home, ...
Just look at the uber-productive “5-9” routines — a trend beloved by folks who willingly wake up at dawn to organize their life to a T. They hit the gym, drink water, pop vitamins, cook breakfast, make their bed, vacuum, and complete a full skin and hair care routine in the four hours before work.What are the 10 good habits at morning? ›
- Wake Up Early. The majority of successful people wake up early and at the same time every day. ...
- Set Daily Goals. ...
- Always Eat Breakfast. ...
- Read Motivational Quotes. ...
- Be Flexible. ...
- Incorporate Motivational Practices. ...
- Track Expenses. ...
- Drink Cold Water with Lemon.
The activities of daily living are classified into basic ADLs and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). The basic ADLs (BADL) or physical ADLs are those skills required to manage one's basic physical needs, including personal hygiene or grooming, dressing, toileting, transferring or ambulating, and eating.What are the 5 routines? ›
- 1 – Morning Routine. Morning routines are the bee's knees and are probably the most straightforward of all the routines. ...
- 2 – Bedtime Routine. ...
- 3 – Cleaning Routine. ...
- 4 – Gratitude Routine. ...
- 5 – Self Care Routine.
Arrivals, packing up, mealtimes, rest periods, toileting, managing personal hygiene and transitioning from one part of the day to another, are all examples of routines rich in learning possibilities.What do 5 6 year olds do? ›
Between 5-6 years your child may:
Be able to hold scissors properly and cut shapes from paper with them. Be able to draw more recognisable pictures such as houses, cars, flowers and people. Be able to write one or two letters in their name and recognise and sing along to the alphabet song.
A bedtime routine for kids usually consists of three or four activities, for example, having a snack, brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, and reading a book. These should always be done in the same order.Should a 4 year old have a routine? ›
While your little one has outgrown toddlerhood, you may find they're still not quite at that “big kid” stage just yet. Four year old's still benefit tremendously from a daily routine that's structured around play, learning, and rest.What is the 5 by 5 by 5 rule? ›
The 5x5 rule states that if you come across an issue take a moment to think whether or not it will matter in 5 years. If it won't, don't spend more than 5 minutes stressing out about it. When your problems need to be put into perspective, the 5x5 rule is a good thing to remember.What is the golden rule for kids? ›
"Do unto others"… One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself. When teaching The Golden Rule, look for opportunities to praise and encourage your child when they exhibit the rule's behaviour.
Minors engaged in adult activities, such as flying an airplane, driving a motor vehicle or driving a motorboat, are held to the standards of an adult engaged in such activities. Many states apply the “Rule of Sevens.” Under this standard, a child under the age of seven is presumed to be incapable of negligence.What is a daily checklist? ›
A daily checklist is a list of all the tasks you need to complete in a single day. This will change from day to day depending on what's on the agenda.What are everyday tasks? ›
These activities include eating, dressing, getting into or out of a bed or chair, taking a bath or shower, and using the toilet. Instrumental activities of daily living are activities related to independent living and include preparing meals, managing money, shopping, doing housework, and using a telephone.How do you manage a routine with kids? ›
- Plan routines for demanding times in the family day – for example, before and after work and school. ...
- Add some downtime into your child's routine. ...
- Link activities together. ...
- Make limits part of the routine – for example, limits on activities like screen time.
- 8 to 9 a.m.: Eat breakfast and clean up. ...
- 9 to 10 a.m.: Playtime. ...
- 10 to 11 a.m.: Outdoor time, exercise, etc. ...
- 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Planned activity or errands. ...
- 12 to 1 p.m.: Lunch and wind down. ...
- 1 to 3 p.m.: Nap or quiet time. ...
- 3 to 3:30 p.m.: Afternoon snack. ...
- 5 to 6 p.m.: Family dinner and cleanup.
|Age range||Ideal bedtime|
|Teen||14-17 years||9 - 10:30 p.m.|
|Young adult||18-25 years||8 - 12 p.m.|
|Adult||26-64 years||8 - 12 p.m.|
|Older adult||65 years and up||8 - 12 p.m.|
Bedtime gets a little later when kids start school, and have other activities going on. But they're still quite young. So don't let them stay up too late. Around 9pm-10pm should suit, and allow for 9-10 hours sleep.Is 9pm a good bedtime for kids? ›
School-age children should go to bed between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. Teens should try to go to bed between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. Adults should try to go to sleep between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m.Can a child have too much routine? ›
But from the perspective of cognitive psychology, extremely rigid routines and heavy parental control is not always beneficial for children's development. That's because a fundamental part of growing up is learning how to tackle new challenges, going beyond predetermined routines.Does having a schedule help ADHD? ›
If you have ADHD, creating a routine can help you manage your symptoms, boost your productivity, and improve your overall well-being. If you're living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), there are other habits you can add to your medication and therapy practice to help you manage your life.
Your child has performance anxiety. “Sometimes, when kids are overscheduled, they start to question their ability to learn new skills and feel like they're not good at anything,” says Dr Kimberley. “They might start to withdraw from the activities in which they're not excelling or don't see progress.What is your daily routine simple answer? ›
To answer the question, discuss your daily activities before describing your workday. Example: "After breakfast, I check my messages and emails to see if anything requires immediate attention. After that, I make my bed, clean my room, wash my clothes and do my daily shop at the supermarket.What is a good routine for a 12 year old? ›
- Make a habit of waking up at around 8 am. ...
- Then take a shower and wear clean clothes. ...
- Go for breakfast. ...
- Once done eating, pick up your dishes and help your parents in cleaning them up.
- Complete this task by 9 pm.
- Get back to your room for the educational activity.
Definition: A daily routine refers to the regular activities that a person engages in on a daily basis. These activities may vary depending on a person's occupation, personal interests, and lifestyle.What are daily routine tasks? ›
- Have a glass of water when you wake up.
- Track your healthy habits.
- Take time for gratitude.
- Stop screen time two hours before bed.
- Make your bed first thing in the morning.
- Clean as you go.
- Do a load of laundry.
- Take 10 or 15 minutes before bed to tidy up.
Answer for “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” “In five years, I see myself as an integral part of the company who has helped contribute to the growth and success of the organization. I would like to continue developing my skills and knowledge in order to be able to take on more responsibility within the company.What is a perfect morning routine? ›
Go for a brisk walk around your neighborhood, or get some sun, fresh air, and exercise at a nearby park or beach. Journal or write morning pages, which involves penning a stream of consciousness in your journal and filling three pages every morning, to help you reflect, analyze, and ideate.What is the 10 10 10 daily routine? ›
The 10/10/10 routine consists of spending 30 minutes doing three 10-minute leisure activities. These 10 minutes can be completed consecutively or split up throughout different times of the day. The ideal is to have at least 30 minutes of personal time per day.What should a 12 13 year olds bedtime be? ›
6-12 years old: should go to sleep between 7:30 and 8:30 pm. 13-18 years old: should go to sleep around 10:00 pm. Bare in mind that once puberty hits, it will be difficult for teenagers to fall asleep until around 11 pm.What is a good school routine? ›
Follow the same schedule before and after school. It can look something like this: Wake up, wash face, eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth, go over the day's schedule, leave for school. You can even use a picture schedule to help the day roll out easier.
- Get Your Child Thinking by Getting Their Input. ...
- Teach New Skills by Interactive Modeling. ...
- Practice to Grow Skills and Develop Habits. ...
- Support Your Child's Development and Success. ...
- Recognize Effort and Quality to Foster Motivation.