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Monday, June 15, 2015

Mommy Monday: daily routines for preschoolers

My girls turned 3 in January. My school year ends a week from today and, after summer vacation, the girls will be starting preschool at the end of August. So we have a lot of changes to our routine coming up over the next few months! Last summer I realized very quickly that it was important, for the sake of everyone's sanity, for us to find a balance between relaxing/ being spontaneous and maintaining structure/ schedules during summer vacation. On the one hand, the girls and I all relish the opportunity to stay in our pajamas and lounge around all morning, but too much boredom and lack of structure can quickly lead to acting out at this age as well!

Last week I shared my plan for this summer to keep me motivated to get us out and having fun, while also allowing for enough down time, with a loose weekly schedule. Today I want to share my plan for maintaining a certain amount of predictable daily routine without taking away the opportunity to lounge around in our PJ's when the mood strikes!

I made a very simple addition to the girls' visual calendar this week to help us with our changing morning and night routines:

I used to have things that I now just consider "morning/night routine" (like brushing teeth, getting dressed etc) as chores on their chore chart:

They have learned to do so much more now, so I'm going to be updating the chore chart with some new magnets next (you can read about what chores my girls are doing these days in this post). I found that, since brushing teeth and getting dressed are not really the major accomplishments that they used to be, the girls and I stopped even moving those magnets on the chore charts. They just do them. So now I just have a visual, which helps them remember what they need to do, but nothing that we "check off" when it's done. I also have found that the girls do better when they decide what order to do things and they feel they are initiating each thing, so I think this way it will make it seem less like something I am forcing them to do and more like a helpful reminder when they need it (which they sometimes still do!). 

I'll be updating you on the changes to the chore chart section soon, but if you're interested in reading more about the girls' visual calendar and original chore chart, click on the picture below:

I am hopeful that this simple visual will help us strike a balance between structured and relaxed, and between independence and support. I'm also hoping that we can keep this system when they start school in the fall and our morning routines change again! If you want to print one off yourself, here is the image I made- you can copy the image directly below or leave me a comment with your email address if you want the PDF version. Enjoy!

Twinkly Tuesday


  1. I feel like, if I ever have kids, I'll be reading back through these posts like a fiend ;) Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Oh I love all of these ideas. So many gorgeous bright things to keep you all on track. Hope you have a wonderful summer off togteher - I look forward to reading all about it :) Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  3. It's amazing what a difference simple visual ideas can make to children when it comes to structure, routine and developing independence. I'll definitely have to try to remember this for the future! #TwinklyTuesday