How to Set a Smart Toddler Schedule

How to set a toddler schedule

Toddlers are known for being testy. While they learn the ways of the world around them, they are constantly learning and exploring, experiencing new things, and processing everything that they are taking in. In addition to learning how to communicate effectively, as well as understand others, a lot of this can be overwhelming for both the child and the parent, which can make getting anything done a challenge.

When it comes to setting up a daily schedule, it helps to stick to a routine, but allow yourself some wiggle room.

Make a List

Knowing what you need to get done is key, but how you will go about doing that may change. Keeping a list can help you stay organized and on-task even when things run a little later than intended or other things come up. When it comes to basic everyday essentials like breakfast, bath time, bed time etc., it helps to have a routine and stick to it. Routines help toddlers adjust to certain tasks, but sticking to them too much without much deviation can be tricky for you and sometimes bothersome for kids, especially if they aren’t sure what to expect or were expecting something else. In either case, routine activities should adhere to the same general rules every day, and all other activities and tasks can be scheduled around them. That way, if something doesn’t go according to plan, you still have the bare essentials down so you can stay on top of things and your toddler can rest easy.

Prioritizing Preparation

With toddlers, it helps to be ready for anything. With kids, it can be hard not to find a single stretch of time, whether it be in the morning before breakfast or right after dinner, where it makes sense to try and get everything done at once. It may make sense at first, but this can conflict with a toddler’s need for structure. Skipping a certain activity, especially if it is one that is part of your regular routine, it helps to have some alternatives in your back pocket to prevent any crankiness. Keep a diaper bag or other purse with some backup snacks, toys, and other tools that can help you in a pinch when you really need to get something done.

Be Flexible

It’s hard to balance structure and routine with being busy and unpredictability, and it can be even more challenging when a toddler is thrown into the mix. If something needs to be changed, rescheduled, or forgotten all together, you want to know that your child will be able to handle it. Routine is good for kids, but they shouldn’t grow too reliant on it either. Teaching them to be adaptable is important, so in between routine play times, snack times, and errands, make sure you add some variety to your daily routine whether it involves scheduling a playdate, going to a different park, or even alternating certain activities on different days.

Minimizing Melt-Downs

Sometimes, things come up and they can’t be ignored. Whether it’s a family emergency or a surprise visit from relatives, the change in routine can be difficult for your child to process if they are still very young. Providing some kind of set schedule and routine can help give kids a sense of normalcy, but it can also be harmful too. This is why no matter what happens, whether it is a an emergency or a small change of plans, it helps to sit down and talk with your child. They may not understand why things need to change and may feel uncomfortable as a result, but providing them with an explanation and some reassurance that things will be fine or certain things can be done later will help instill them with a sense of calm.

Remember, scheduling with a toddler can be difficult. Keep some basic building blocks in mind when it comes to routine, but keep things open, flexible and subject to change if need be. The everyday routine of some activities can give kids the balance and stability they need, but the exposure to the unexpected will help them in the present as well as later in life.

Everyday Learning Activities for Toddlers

Toddlers are of an age where practically any activity is a learning activity, but it can be helpful to parents to know exactly what types of skills kids of this age can gain the most from. While kids have fun and enjoy themselves, they can also be observing and learning from the world around them in a completely unique and wondrous way. The world is a classroom for toddlers and some of their everyday activities now can help to lay the foundation for future skills like reading and counting.

Letter Learning

Kids generally start recognizing letters around the age of 2 or so, right in the prime of their toddler years. The easiest thing to start with are the letters of their name. As kids learn names and words, observing and mimicking what things are called, what better thing to start with than their own name? There are plenty of letter games and toys that can activate this part of your child’s brain, whether it be block letters, magnets on the fridge or construction paper cut-outs for a future piece of room deco – get hands on with the letters that spell your child’s name and even things around the house. Once they have a grasp on things they know and are familiar with, the easier it will be to introduce new words and concepts. Our I See Do You See Alphabets? personalized book introduces the letters of the alphabets and things that start with each letter too and it’s personalized with their name which would appeal to them and motivate them to learn faster.

Number Crunching

Toddlers may be too young for math, and while counting may be feasible, it is always best to start off with simple number recognition. Like with letters, there are plenty of games and toys that revolve around the activity of spotting, identifying, and naming numbers. Once kids are familiar with their basic numbers 0-9 they can begin to tackle larger numbers as they get older, continually building on the information they already know. Memorizing numbers can be helpful, too. Play memory games involving your home phone number or even your address. This can be a fun way for your child to learn and become familiar with numbers while also learning helpful information in the event they ever get lost or need help. Our I See Do You See Numbers? personalized book introduces numbers 1 through 10 and is perfect for toddlers.  Not only do they spot the number they also have to count the items on the page providing hours of reading fun and education.

Colors Everywhere

Our world is full of color, and it comes in all different shades and hues – but before kids can begin naming intricate variations of any one color, they need to learn the basics first. For toddlers, it helps to ground them in places where they are familiar and places where they can easily practice, like at home. In addition to color games and puzzles, simply naming colors around the house or on clothing and out the window can help encourage your child to be curious and to pay attention to the world around them. By grounding kids in their surroundings, introducing them to new places, including places like daycare or preschool when they’re ready.

There are plenty of games, toys and other things that drive kids to better their familiarity with letters, numbers and colors, but there is so much that parents can do in every other aspect of their lives, too. Ask children to spot letters they recognize while driving around town or see what they can spot on their box of breakfast cereal. Count the number of items you have whether you’re collecting their stuffed animals or asking them to count their chicken nuggets at lunch. Learning can happen anywhere and everywhere, and when it is made a part of your child’s every day, they are more likely to keep looking and learning as they get older, too.

How To Keep An Active Toddler Busy

Taking care of toddlers is notoriously difficult. They’re called the “terrible twos” for a reason, right?

Between the ages of 1-3, children can be difficult, especially since they are still learning to speak and communicating with them effectively can prove to be a bit of a challenge. Kids are constantly on the move, and their overactive minds are alight with questions and general inquisitiveness that keeps their hands roaming, their feet moving, and their energy levels at full capacity. As a parent, it’s important that you encourage their inquisitive nature while also keeping them in line, making sure that they stay safe and that they are also preoccupied so you can get what you need done, too. Here are some ways you can keep active toddler’s busy when you cannot focus 100% of your attention on them.

Kinesthetic Activities

The more stimulation you can provide for your child, the better. Try giving them colored blocks, playdough and other similar items to keep them occupied but learning, too. Color matching games are great for teaching children colors, which seems obvious, but it can also teach them basic organizational and special skills as well. Same goes for shape matching games as well. Playdough is a unique substance, and similar goos and slimes can work just as well, but the texture and appearance of these types of toys can introduce kids to their innate sense of creativity while also providing them with a highly stimulating activity.


Finger-painting seems like a cliché toddler activity but it is a great way to encourage kids to be creative and explore their own modes of expression and exploration. There are plenty of mess-proof finger-painting kits out there, too, and you can even make your own. Place different colored paints into freezer bags and lock them up tight while eliminating most of the air from the bag. Place them on a window or a white surface so kids can play around with the paint, creating images with the negative space without making a mess!


Puzzles provide great exercises in logic, allowing kids to solve problems while actively using their visual imagination at the same time. Personalized puzzles is an added benefit because not only will the puzzle itself provide many benefits to your child but they will also learn their letters and spelling of their name. You can find personalized puzzles for kids on our website. You can also create puzzles of your own by printing out pictures from movies or shows that your child loves, or even make a copy of a piece of work that your child has created themselves, and cut it into sections for them to rearrange and place back together.

Get Creative

When you’re out of toys, games, and are wary of turning to television or mobile games, there are plenty of DIY solutions that you can whip up within minutes to help keep your toddlers occupied and actively using their brains. Doing a search on Google on Toddler Activities can return a plethora of blog sites with creative and unique suggestions that can easily be implemented at home.