Life is crazy right now, to say the least. Both of us have taken the current coronavirus pandemic very seriously but even then we were not quite prepared for the level of closures that have happened. While we are extremely grateful for these closures and want everyone to stay home we now have been scrambling to figure out life teleworking with our kids at home. And we know every parent right now is struggling – whether you are an essential worker or are at home homeschooling or taking care of your newborn.
Right now between the two of us, we have three kids who are 5, 3, and 1 to keep entertained. My son Pierce is 18 months to be exact and always on the move. Plus he is used to a highly organized and creative daycare schedule that he adores. He is used to getting up, hanging out with us, eating breakfast, then leaving to see his friends and have his second breakfast. Right away I knew that with him cooped up at home we needed to figure out some type of schedule. After the last two and a half weeks we have started to figure out a routine that works fairly well and I wanted to share it in case it is helpful for any other parent or caretaker!
The first thing I did was look at recommendations for how to split up your day. Once you figure out chunks of activities it is a lot more manageable to split up your whole day. Given that playdates, playgrounds, libraries, and other fun outings were out of the picture I decided to focus on 30-45 minute blocks of time around the following: walks, outdoor time (yard, patio), reading, singing, snacks, free play, and structured play (i.e. indoor activities, art projects, and sensory bins). For me smaller chunks of time work well given Pierce’s age but for other toddlers I’d recommend thinking of splitting this up into 1-2 hour chunks for learning time (reading, puzzles, practicing counting, etc), walks/outdoor time, creative time, sensory play, and free play.