Regular Toddler Activity Schedule

January 14th, 2010 by Dionna | 2 Comments
Posted in Carnival and Special Series, Children, Eclectic Learning, Learning Activity Series, Preschoolers, Toddlers

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While I am not a huge resolution maker, I have intended to get back into the habit of creating a weekly schedule of activities and sticking to it. For awhile, I was planning regular games and activities for Kieran, but I fell off the wagon. A wide-open schedule is bad idea jeans for this mama. Without some kind of loose structure, I will literally dissolve into a frothy little puddle of laziness, which can ultimately spiral into a black hole of depression.

Not pretty.

I don’t think that a toddler’s time should be incredibly structured, but a set of to-do’s helps *me* have a goal, and it helps me not feel so directionless. What can I say – I spent a lot of time in the public educational system.

Consequently, I sat down this week and decided on some daily categories. If I’m feeling even more adventurous later, I’ll even think about doing weekly themes. (Did I mention I used to teach preschool?)

Someone stop me!

Kieran & mama studying something very intently.

Here is what I have so far (any activity can be replaced by a co-op class or play date. I got some of the category ideas from this site):



Monday Fun-day with Jax & Sarah
*Usually arts & crafts

Pretend play
*This can be something as simple as cooking in his play kitchen or creating a city full of cars and people, or we could work on something like creative storytelling, putting on a puppet show, building a fort, etc.

3:00-4:00 – outside
4:00-5:00 – Music & Movement (I’m thinking we’ll do yoga and/or check out some kind of dance/movement/exercise video from the library)


Fun with numbers
*I’d love to focus on counting, number recognition, patterning, geometry, measuring, and problem solving through real life situations and playful activities. I’m thinking of activities like “let’s split the apple into four sections and eat it with peanut butter,” not “What is four times four dang it?! ANSWER ME!”


*These activities will focus on the emergence of language and literacy. We’ll do things like read books, play rhythm and rhyme games, talk about words and letters, poetry, continuing sign language, starting a foreign language, etc.

3:00-4:00 – outside
4:00-5:00 – Music & Movement


See the city field trip day!
*We’ll join some friends to visit different KC destinations – museums, parks, etc. And no, I won’t actually publish where we will be on a certain day; I’ll record what we did the week prior.

Exploring our World
*I want Kieran to know that he is a part of something bigger. His actions have an impact, and he can make a difference. I want to teach him about our city, country, the world, and the people who live in each.

3:00-4:00 – outside
4:00-5:00 – Music & Movement


Science Adventures
*I have always loved science, but the time I was given to explore scientific concepts in school wasn’t really enough. I’d like to foster Kieran’s curiosity in the world around him, even if that starts with something as simple as “hey, we can make playdough by mixing flour, salt, and water – wow!”

Library & grocery store

3:00-4:00 – outside
4:00-5:00 – Music & Movement


Kid Swapping with Melody
*We take turns watching each others’ kids in order to get a two hour sanity break every couple of weeks. I wish we could do this more often! The kids enjoy unstructured play time with an occasional crafty project thrown in if they want one.

Messy Play
*Need I say more? This is a time for us to get down and dirty. We’ll do activities that stimulate all of Kieran’s senses, without worrying about the mess we make. I’ll also try to incorporate fine motor skills here as much as possible – lacing, cutting, tracing, etc.

3:00-4:00 – outside
4:00-5:00 – Music & Movement


I know this might seem like a lot, but categories help me pre-plan activities. The only times I assigned were daily slots for going outside and for some music and physical activity. This is solely for my benefit: if I’m not reminded to go outside, I won’t do it. Same for getting up and moving – plus both of those things are good for Kieran and me. The sunshine and movement help our mood and health.

Like I said – this is a flexible schedule. It’s something to get us on the right track. If we miss or change activities, I won’t be upset.

I will publish a weekly schedule on Code Name: Mama. If you need inspiration, you’ll get some activity ideas a few days in advance of Monday (in case you need to scrounge up supplies).

I’d appreciate any ideas you might have – please share them in the comments or in an email.

Do you use a schedule with your toddlers/children?

What categories are must haves?

What sites do you have bookmarked that provide you with activity ideas?


Would you and your child benefit from a weekly activity schedule? I’d love to share with you! Please take a moment to subscribe to my RSS feed for free updates.

2 Responses to:
"Regular Toddler Activity Schedule"

  1. Heather   xakana

    “This is solely for my benefit: if I’m not reminded to go outside, I won’t do it. Same for getting up and moving”

    Boy do I hear that. Unfortunately, with just me, I don’t ever want to go outside with both of them and I drag my heels about suggesting it. I am looking forward to spring in that Naomi can walk now, so she can explore and not need me to hold her for the majority of the time, thus making certain activities impossible. Hopefully, with a preschooler and a toddler instead of a pre and an infant, going out just me won’t seem as bad this spring/summer.

    I don’t do well on schedules, though, unless there’s a bell ringing and no choice. All that school taught me about structure is to do anything I can to avoid it, apparently.

  2. OK, I am saving a copy of this post and I am going to use it when my daughter is older! I had to laugh, because when I was younger, my mom stayed at home with me– and every Wednesday, we had a field trip! I loved those days; I still remember visiting a particular children’s museum with my mom when I couldn’t have been more than four. You’re building more than just skills for your kids… you’re building MEMORIES too!

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