Transitioning from caring for a baby to engaging with young kids can be a hard change. I’m a stay-at-home mom with three kids under the age of 5 and I often struggle to come up with ideas about how to entertain my kids and teach them new things. I’ve found simple routines are helpful to schedule your day so kids know what to expect when they wake up. Just like babies have a feeding and napping schedule, kids benefit from routines for eating, playing, learning how to sit still, practicing following directions, and growing their attention spans. I’m excited to share my family routine tips that help create happier days.
1. Flexible Daily Schedule
Our daily schedule is broken into 6 sections:
Our daily family routine is very flexible so we can still run to the store after Quiet Time or visit a friend after breakfast. On days that are free of commitments, I try to implement our simple schedule for kids!
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Morning Structured Play: This could be any activity that I do with the kids. We love playing with homemade play dough, making colorful glitter slime, and practicing the alphabet. We have reading time together so the kids can practice sitting quietly and my girls love to color and make simple paper crafts. The important element to Structured Play is that I control which activities we do and the kids practice following directions, sharing, and having cheerful attitudes.
2. Regular Meal Times
It’s helpful if your kids know when lunch is going to be so they aren’t constantly asking for snacks. When we do have snacks the kids often enjoy Veggie Straws or fresh fruit and I try to give my kids a variety of healthy foods for lunch. Eating dinner together as a family is also a special part of the day.
Related Post: Cute Food Shapes and Lunch Ideas »
3. Quiet Time After Lunch
Kids often need some down time to nap or play quietly. My babies nap after lunch and my preschooler plays quietly on her bed or reads a book. She often falls asleep as well. Quiet Time is important for kids to rest and for mom to have a segment of time to herself during the day.
Cozy Nap Time Corner: My girls like to make a nap time corner with their cozy blankets and stuffed animals. This beautiful Coco & Kiwi mini tassel throw is a gorgeous blanket to cuddle up with and it also adds sophistication to the living room when draped over the couch. This tassel throw immediately became my daughter’s favorite and she loves the rust colored tassels. We use it for room decor, living room picnics, and as a cuddle blanket for warm weather naps. A tassel throw is a beautiful living room must-have and you can enter to win one of these gorgeous tassel throws below!
4. Segmented Free Play
After quiet time the kids can play in the backyard, watch a show, or sometimes we run errands or play with friends. This part of the day is very flexible and goes a lot more smoothly if the kids haven’t been doing whatever they wanted all day long. I’ve found kids with no structure easily get very bored by the afternoon.
5. Planned Play Dates
My kids love being social so we try to have a play date at least every other week. We also go to parks to see friends. Play dates don’t have to be painful or awkward with moms you hardly know. My kids generally hang out with my own friends’ kids, not the other way around. It’s also helpful to have extended family in town; cousins who are close in age often become natural friends. Play dates are also a great way to get to know another mom who you don’t know as well but want to!
Mommy life can be simpler if you just create a daily schedule for your family. What is your best family routine tip?
Coco & Kiwi Giveaway – Ended 8/16
As promised, we are giving away a beautiful Coco & Kiwi mini tassel throw! Enter to win one of these beautiful blankets by visiting our social media pages and leaving a comment. I love Coco & Kiwi because they design gorgeous diaper bags, universal basics for potty training, beautiful accessories for moms like this tassel throw, keyfobs and more. Coco & Kiwi is also run by a lovely mom-entrepreneur! Check out all Coco & Kiwi has to offer here.
- Lightweight, breathable and absorbent; this throw is perfect for every adventure.
- 100% cotton, measures 40″x 40″.
- Machine washable, gets softer with each wash.
- Not for use in cribs or without supervision because of small parts.
This giveaway is coordinated by Mommy Scene and is open to US entries ages 18 and older. No purchase required to enter. 1 winner will be randomly chosen and contacted through e-mail, and their name displayed on the giveaway widget after the giveaway ends on August 16, 2017. Mommy Scene and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand.
Katie enjoys all things creative; DIY projects, photography, decorating and family adventures. She feels blessed to be a stay-at-home mom with 3 kids and many artistic outlets.