Structuring Your Child's Day
Ask yourself this question. Is your children routine working? Maybe you have a routine but you’re looking to make it better or change it up a bit to better fit your season of life. Whatever the case may be, you have the power to make it happen and there’s so many great benefits in doing so.
In this episode of the Routine and Things Podcast we are kicking off the Routine Series beginning with your children’s routine. I'll be discussing components of a children's routine and supporting you in creating a children routine you and your family will love!
Word For Word
Ashley Brown 00:00
[Intro] Routines, my absolute favorite word, but you either love them or you hate them. And either way, I strongly believe that routines can be a springboard for improving your home yourself and your life. I'm Ashley Brown. And this is the Routine and Things Podcast. In each episode will dive into a specific routine or point of view that will move you closer to enjoy life more and more each day. Trust me, you're gonna want to keep listening because you're well on your way to getting and staying happy.
Ashley Brown 00:48
I am so happy you're joining me today because it is a special day. We are kicking off the routine series which will be diving into each of the five routines today. Starting with the children's routine. And if you haven't listened to episode two that talks about the five routines that you should have in your home, go back and listen to that episode, I go through each routine. Alright, so let's get into this episode. So today, like I said, we're going to be diving into the children's routine. And I want to start off by talking about the benefits of having a children's routine, because I know that you have a child's routine right now you have a routine a series of actions that you do with your child on a daily basis. So no matter what it looks like you have a routine, maybe it just doesn't work as well as you would like it to, or maybe it doesn't feel as good to you as you would like for it to feel. And so I want to give you some benefits of having a child's routine that works and that feels good to you. So that you can keep on track with having this routine. This is one of the routines that I first started with, when I started to create my routines. Especially when my first daughter was born. I mean, it was huge for me to have a routine for her. But even when my second daughter came along, I needed to revamp my routine and switch it up. And so that's how I have gotten to having a routine that just works for me is that I consistently change up my routine based upon what's going on in our household in our family, and in the season of life that we're in. Alright, so let me go ahead and dive into the benefits. So the benefits of having a children's routine is very clear. It's really honestly the benefit of having any routine is that it provides structure predictability, and stability for you and your children. Right. But I think the real reason that a children's routine is structuring your child's day is so so important is because it helps your children tremendously when they have a routine. How, you have to be like how sway how? So how it helps your children is one, they have an example, right? This is a really huge example for them, routines because it instills in them certain things that they're going to need throughout their life. Like being able to follow directions. Y'all know, that's huge. That is huge for us and light to be able to follow directions in a routine can help build up that skill of following directions, which will help your child in the long run when they go to school, even if they're in school right now, just as they progress through life when it comes to being an upstanding citizen, right? We want our children to be able to follow directions. And then also it gives them an example of how to start to cultivate discipline, discipline. Oh my gosh, this Discipline is so huge. Even like think about it for yourself. I came from a family where my mom was really disciplined. And so because she had us on a schedule and because she did a series of actions with me and my sister day in and day out, and even on the weekends, right, it really helped for us to learn how to be disciplined. And so those are some really great benefits of having a children's routine, it instills disciplining your child, and it also helps your child follow directions and what it is going to do for them, just help them learn and grow. And that's what we're here for, is to provide our children with learning opportunities, and helping them grow in life.
Ashley Brown 04:43
So now let's talk about what are the components? What are the actual components of a children's routine? What does that look like for your child because this is what the children's routine is all about. A series of actions centered around your children. So I want to go through and talk about some components that are within my children's routine. Because this is the foundation, I want to be able to give you some information and some really practical things that we do with our children on a day to day basis. So they can give you some ideas about how your child's day could be structured. And then you can take what you want from this, do away what you don't want to create the children's routine that is perfect for your family. And before I get started, I do want to say that our children's routine is centered around our children being at home. So as you know, I am a primarily stay at home mom, my children at home with me. So when I'm throwing out the components, some of these components may fit for you if your child is with you at home, but some of these components may not be applicable to you if your child is not at home with you. So take what you need, take what works and then if it doesn't work for you. If it's not applicable, then just leave it be. But I just wanted to throw that out here that I have small children that are at home with me. I'm a primarily stay at home mom. And so if you are a stay at home mom, these components could really be beneficial for you to add to your child's day.
Ashley Brown 06:17
All right, so let's jump into the components. Alright, so I want you to ask yourself, this one question. Does your child have a wakeup time and a bedtime? Is that clear for you? These are some components of my children's routine right? And of course, they're probably some components of your children's routine at this time as well. Is the wakeup time and bedtime clear. Do you have a rough estimate of when they wake up and when they go to bed? It doesn't have to be an exact time. It could be a window of time. Like for my children, my children wake up anytime between 6:30 and 7:30. I know that right especially for my youngest daughter. It depends on the day for her when she wakes up. But anytime between 6:30 and 7:30 is when my children wake up. And then when it comes to bedtime, we put our children to bed anytime between seven and eight. That is the clear wake up time and bedtime for our children. So, do you have that? Think about it.
Ashley Brown 07:20
Next is the morning routine and a nighttime routine. So what is a morning routine you may be asking so the morning routine for your children are a series of actions that they do once they wake up. And then the same as a bedtime routine and a nighttime routine. These are the series of actions that your child do before they go to bed. So for our children when it comes to a morning routine, the first thing that they do when they wake up is of course they wake up and then what we'll do is snuggle in bed for a bit. So we'll snuggle together during our snuggle time we'll play a little bit especially my oldest daughter, she loves to play in the bed, and will also pray. I pray with them in the morning as well when we're snuggling. And so I know snuggle with them long. It usually is about 15-20 minutes of snuggle time. And then after that, we start getting ready for the day I start getting them ready. And so the first thing that I will do is I will usually get my oldest daughter ready first, because I do have two girls, girl mom over here. And so I will get my oldest daughter ready first. And so what I'll do is have her go into the bathroom and so I'll wash her face and brush her teeth and have her help brush our teeth. And then I will get her dressed. She gets dressed, she puts on her clothes for the day. I do her hair might be quick ponytails, and then that's for her after I get her dress. Then what I'll do is I'll get my youngest daughter dress, watch my youngest daughter's face, gets her dress change her diaper. And so that is usually our morning routine and the series of actions that I do with them every single morning and while I'm getting them dressed either listening to music, or I'm listening to a podcast while I get them dressed, but that is usually our morning routine. And then in terms of their nighttime routine, before they go to bed, these are the series of actions that I do with them on a regular basis. And so me and my husband are usually together helping with the nighttime routine. And so my husband will get our daughter, our oldest daughter ready and then I usually get our youngest daughter ready. And so how this looks is one they both get a bath and so they will get a bath at night, just calms them relaxes them and eases them into their night. So they will get their bath. And then we will get them dressed of course for the night. Brush their teeth, brush my oldest daughter's teeth and read a book. And so sometimes my oldest daughter will get read a book, sometimes both of them will get read a book at the same time, it just depends on what's going on and our night. But reading time will happen at night and then we will pray with them. And then they go to bed. And so that is the nighttime routine for us and for our family. So take what you want girl and leave what you don't want. But that is the morning routine and the nighttime routine.
Ashley Brown 10:22
And so also it's great to think about when is your child eating in the day? So as long as breakfast lunch and dinner, of course, right? We have to eat to live we need to feed our children. So as long as you have that within your routine, that is important. So breakfast, lunch and dinner are components of your children's routine as well. When are they eating? And including this is also snack time. When are you giving them something to snack on like fruit or some veggies with dip? Or some cookies right or some crackers? Like what does your snack times look like? And are you incorporating snack time into your child's day.
Ashley Brown 11:02
And then this is a big one I want you to think about when is your child napping? And before you say, Ashley, my child doesn't nap. If your child doesn't nap, this doesn't apply to you. But if your child is young enough, or even just naps throughout the day, do you have a set time or times that they nap? When does your child nap throughout their day? For example, our daughters nap, well, it's different because there are different ages. But my oldest daughter will nap once throughout the day. And this is usually anytime after she eats lunch. Usually from around two to three o'clock. That's when she will lay down. Take a one to two hour nap. And so I already know after lunch, she is going to be napping. And so is this a part of your children's routine? Are you structuring their day to include a nap especially if they're at an age where a nap would be beneficial for them. Do you have it in your routine? So if not, maybe you can start building that into the routine. But if it's if it's something that you don't want, or if it's something that you feel like your child doesn't need, it doesn't have to be a part of it. But I want to throw it out here. And have you think about, do you have a time in your child's day where they rest and they nap?
Ashley Brown 12:22
Now, the last component of your child's day that I want you to think about is when do they have activity time? What does activity time look like for your child? I'm going to go through certain activities that my child do throughout the day, so that you can kind of get some ideas about some activities that your child could do throughout the day and what these activities could look like.
Ashley Brown 12:51
The first one is learning time. What does this consistent so learning time is an opportunity to teach your child and to help them Learn. So some learning activities that you could do with your children are reading books, right reading books, even taking them to the library to read books, taking them to the library to check out books, going to a children's book store is really, really great. So reading books is huge. Also doing flashcards, so I love doing sight words with my daughter. I started her when she was probably around like a year I think I started doing sight words with our daughter. You can even start before then, but I started doing sight words with her pretty early on. And so doing flashcards like sight words, numbers like my daughter can count to 10, I am so proud of her. Numbers, colors, shapes, the alphabet. These are some flashcards that you can do that will help your children learn. You can also buy them learning activity books, learning activity books for your children. You send love doing these as a child, you get to do like the math, or do math problems in a really fun way. And so some learning activity books, I usually pick ours up from the dollar store. So Dollar Tree is where I am, but you can get them really cheap. So that is another way learning activity books. And then also joining or attending a learning event. Right. So at our public library here where I am, we will go sometimes to storytime and storytime is really fun. And so these are some great ways for you to incorporate learning time into your child's day. And of course, like I said, this is not everything. You can go on Google and search learning activities for your child, you can start learning activities outside of the home and learning activities within the home to get even more suggestions about what type of learning tivities you could do with your child, but I just wanted to throw a few out there for you that I do personally with our children that could be great for you to incorporate into your child's routine.
Ashley Brown 15:09
Next is imagination time. Oh, I absolutely love imagination time, I was a huge imagination, child. And so I just think being able to help your child use their imagination. Being able to help them strengthen their imagination is a beautiful thing. So that's what imagination time is all about encouraging your child to strengthen and use their imagination. So some ways that you can help do this. So what I do with my daughter, usually on a day by day basis when I'm here with her, is I will help her to use her imagination by setting up a scenario or a play area for her. A lot of times I love to give her the beach scenario because she loves the beach. When we went to the beach for the first time, she loved it. And so I love to just Take her back to that time by using her imagination and so I will lay out a blue blanket. And I will say this is the water and I will put her beach toys because she has like a shovel. And she also has a bucket, a sand bucket and so I will put that down. She has a beach ball and so I'll put that down I will say you're at the beach and so she like will grab her shades, she will grab her goggles for under the water and she will just start acting as if she's swimming. It is the cutest thing because I'm like, Oh my gosh, like you are really into this girl and so I love it. So that's one of the scenarios I will give her. She will also during imagination time, like play with blankets, she will like run around. I don't know what she'd be doing. She will run around and just start just putting the blanket over her head and acting like I don't know what she's acting like to be perfectly honest. But she is in her own world and she is having a ball and so just Giving her objects that she can use her imagination with. She also plays with her favorite stuffed animal. And so she will try to feed him and she will try to clothe him and she will try to put a diaper on him. And so just using her imagination, in terms of objects, and scenarios is really huge for our family, because it just strengthens our imagination. So I love to get on the floor and play with her in this way as well. So we'll play with her dolls, and play with her stuffed animals. And even doing puppet shows is really great. We have like the little finger puppets of like the pig and the cow and different animals that I will play with her using that as well. And so it is a really, really great way to strengthen her imagination. So this is just something that you could do for your children and with your children is to have them play in an imagine a different world and imagine that they're in a different place than where they are. And it can be a really, really great way for them to strengthen that part of their brain. So this is really a great component to add to your child's day.
Ashley Brown 18:13
Now the next one is sensory time. And so sensory time is an opportunity for your child to engage in their senses. So in terms of seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting, it is a way that they can engage in all of their five senses. So some things I love to do with my daughters, especially my oldest because she's a toddler. In terms of her, I love to do things like going on nature walks, this is definitely something you could do. We go on nature walks and so I will point out things to her out she will like go and play in the grass, we'll pick up sticks. During the summertime she picks up flowers and smell the flowers. I will poit out certain objects to her while we're walking like what color is that car? What do you hear? Do you hear the train? Do you hear the bus? Do you hear the cars? Just have her engage in her senses while we're on the walk. And so that's what I love to do with her is take her on nature walks and let her explore. Also, we do a lot of craft projects. And so I love to do crafts with her, whether it's finger painting, coloring, whether that's drawing, I just love to do certain crafts. And so I remember this one craft that she absolutely loved and that was making a bird feeder. So we made a homemade bird feeder, and she loved it because we were actually able to eat the sunflower seeds that we put into the burst feeder. She was able to help me put it together and then we went outside and we hung it out for the birds to come in enjoy and so it was a really, really fun activity for her. There's so many crafts projects out here that all you have to do is go google crafts and you will be able to find some really dope craft projects for your child, trust me is a ton out here. And some do not require you to buy anything. And so you don't have to go out and buy anything, the things that you need for craft projects, a lot of things are already in your home. So that's the beauty of craft projects. And they help your child use the senses of touching and seeing and all of them and so I love love love craft projects.
Ashley Brown 20:31
My daughter plays with Play Doh, she plays with slime and so she plays with water. So I love this activity with water that keeps her engaged for a good 30 minutes. So this is one that I love to use. So what I do is I get out two buckets and so they just like bins that I put food in there, they're just like containers I put food in and so I will put water in each and so I will dump certain items in there. So during Halloween time what I did was I bought like some little eyes from the dollar tree and from the dollar store. And so I put those in the water. And so I put those in there I handed her a spoon that we had, just like a basic like big spoon that you have in your kitchen. And so what I had her do was transfer the eyes using the spoon one eyeball at a time. I know this sounds completely weird, but follow along with me as best as you can. So I had her transfer the object, the eyeball, from one bowl of water to the other bowl of water. And so that is what I did for her. And this kept her engaged. She loved to play in the water. She loved transferring the eyes and she got super, super excited. So that's one activity that I love to do with her because it does engage their senses and it's fun for them and they can learn colors from it as well and numbers. So you can just incorporate a lot of things into this activity. So there's just one activity that you can do that can help engage your child's senses. And it's a fun activity for my daughter. So it may be fun for your child as well. And so those are just some activities, those do not include all activities. So I do want you to go and Google activities that you can do. In terms of sensory you can just google sensory activities for my child, and a lot will pop up. I hope that this was helpful.
Ashley Brown 22:30
I hope that going through those types of activities were beneficial for you and just gave you some ideas about the things that you could do with your child. Now, let's say your child is not at home because this routine was based upon my children being at home and the things that I threw out to you were components based upon my children being at home. But let's say your child is not at home with you throughout the day, and they are at school at daycare. A lot of the components that are talked about are still within your children's routine and can still be components within your children's routine. But I wanted to add on maybe two components that you could have within your routine if your child is away from home at school at daycare. And this includes getting your child prepped for school and daycare. So within your routine, maybe you have a time or maybe you can set aside some time to prep your child for school and daycare. And this could be things like making sure they have their lunch with them right in the mornings, making sure that they have their lunch, making sure that their permission slips are signed. Maybe if your child is in a certain activity and they go to school and they're in like a sport activity, or any type of like dance or choir activity, that they have the things that they need for their activities while they're at school. And then also just making sure that they have their homework readily available, any type of activity that they need to do and need to turn in is this with them. And so that's one component that you could add, or include within your child's routine. If you don't have it already, it's a school prep or a daycare prep component.
Ashley Brown 24:12
And then of course, if your child is in school, they are going to probably have homework. Right? And that they probably are like, I don't want to do this, but they will have homework. So setting aside some time for them to do homework is really a great component to add to your child's routine to those are some components that you can have, even if your child is away, I just want to throw that out there for you.
Ashley Brown 24:36
And so I went over these components because I didn't want you to feel like you had to have your day structure specifically how I have our children's routine structured. I wanted you to have some insight into what some components that you can have within your children's routine, and piece it together however you and your family choose and whatever works best for you and your family. And so hopefully it was beneficial to go through those components and to give you some ideas about the things that could be included within your child's day. Hopefully it was really helpful. Next, I want to just throw out something to you really quick that I want you to be aware of when it comes to your children routine. The one thing that I need for you to understand and is important for you to understand about children's routine, that you may already know is that your children's routine will change. This routine will change on a very regular basis. Why? Because children grow. And so when they're growing, their routine will grow as well and their routine will switch up and will change and that's okay. And so I wanted to throw this out here because I wanted you to know that it's okay if your routine changes for your child. And I want you to not feel like it is something that you dread or something that you don't want to do. Children are really adaptable and they catch on to that things really quickly, honestly. And so, for you to switch up your routine is okay, and do what works best for your child. Maybe you have to switch around their nap time, at certain points, maybe you have to switch around their morning or nighttime routine. Whatever you need to do in order for your routine to work for your children, for to work for your family, do what you need to do, and know that it's okay. So I just want to give you that encouragement today is that it's okay if your routine changes as long as it feels good and works for your family. So that's it for today. That is all that I have in terms of a child's routine, and your children's routine and how to structure their day.
Ashley Brown 26:44
Next week, we're going to be jumping into the cooking routine. And so I'm going to be giving you all the tea about a cooking routine and giving you some really good suggestions for how to build up a cooking routine. So make sure that you listen next week because is going to be a really good episode, especially if you've been thinking about cooking more. If you've been thinking about, well, what could I do to help more with my cooking routine, this can be the perfect episode for you. So make sure you come back and listen next week.
Ashley Brown 27:16
Last but not least, make sure that you subscribe to the podcast if you haven't already. And if you haven't rated or review the podcast, get on that girl rate and review I would truly truly appreciate it. And make sure that you share this podcast, share it with friends with family with a random stranger, whoever you feel like would need this and who would want what I am offering and what we are talking about on the podcast, go share with them, I would truly appreciate it. And until next time, I hope that you're enjoying wherever you are and whatever you're doing. Talk to you next week.
Ashley Brown 27:53
[Outro] Thanks for listening. If you enjoy today's episode, could you do me a huge favor and take a screenshot and share it on social And for more routine goodness, be sure to visit irritating things calm. Here's to staying happy