Establishing a successful routine for toddlers and preschoolers can be challenging, especially when life gets busy.
Despite any initial bumps as your family settle into a routine, children ultimately thrive with a predictable routine. A well-established routine allows children to feel safe, develop good lifestyle habits, and explore their interests.
A well-planned daily routine should include realistic expectations of what needs to be done (morning, afternoon, evening & night) and also time where your child can take the lead. For instance, your child will brush their teeth twice a day, but can also explore their interests during independent or outdoor play time.
To get started, you may focus on:
- Sleep, meals, and playtime, as proper nutrition combined with a good night’s sleep and ample activities will promote the overall health and well-being of the child.
- Dedicating time for singing, dancing, or reading together; before they learn to read independently.
- Positive bedtime involves preparing the bed together, reading a book, or discussing how they spent their day.
Tips to make your child follow routine
Building a routine is just one part of the process; the next is to embed it in your lifestyle so that your toddlers and preschoolers follow them.
To do this, tips & tricks may include:
- Create or use a toddler or preschool daily routine chart. This will grab your child’s attention and allow them to visualise the activity.
- Look for engaging ways to remind your child about their routine. If you have set up a particular time for dancing, play their favourite song to signal for dance time.
- Always acknowledge their effort when they begin to follow the routine on their own. This encourages your child to realise self-competence and self-esteem as they learn to learn or play with less supervision.
Remember: setting up a routine doesn’t mean being rigid or inflexible. You’re simply building a roadmap for a happy and healthy future for your child. As your child grows, their daily routines will also evolve; so be open to adapting the routine to meet your family’s present needs.