Skylight Logo

Benefits and Tips for Creating a Daily Schedule for Kids

Kids in a school setting wearing backpacks surrounded by books pencils and clock

Many people create daily, weekly, and monthly schedules to help keep their family lives organized. Weekly and monthly schedules are great for moms, but daily schedules can help your kids stay on task and promote good behavior. 

You may already have some ideas of how you would like your children's day to go, which is essential to set up an effective daily schedule. This way, your child knows what to expect throughout the day and what activities they need to complete before bedtime or when they get home from school.

If there are any changes in your daily routine, such as going back to work after having a baby, make sure to communicate with your child about this new change so they do not feel left out.

The Benefits of Putting Your Child on a Schedule

A daily schedule and predictable routine help maintain order in your household because it reminds everyone what needs to be done each morning and night. It also helps teach responsibility by giving your child a sense of structure. A daily schedule will help your child learn time management skills that will benefit them throughout life.

By setting expectations for your child, you are helping them develop self-discipline. You teach them to plan, organize, follow directions, and remember things. These are all skills that they will use in later years. 

Your child will also enjoy a daily schedule because it gives them something to look forward to every morning, which will increase motivation and enthusiasm.

Daily Schedules for Toddlers & Preschoolers

Toddlerhood is a beautiful stage in your child's development. At this age, toddlers learn independence and many new things daily. They want to do everything on their own, and they love playing alone. However, if you want your toddler to succeed at home and school, you must help them learn to follow directions, complete tasks, and behave appropriately.

Daily schedules are one of the best ways to accomplish these goals for toddlers. Although your toddler might seem happy to spend several hours playing independently, a daily schedule keeps your child focused and ready for the next activity. 

Even when nap time is next, keeping activities at regular times can help prevent meltdowns. 

Reasons for a Schedule

Some parents start a daily schedule early on in their child's life because they believe it'll help them succeed in school. Others prefer to wait until their child begins kindergarten. Whatever your reasoning, creating a daily schedule can help your child improve their ability to manage their time effectively in school and at home.

In addition to improving your child's academic performance, a daily schedule can help them become more responsible. Children who follow a daily schedule tend to be more organized and follow instructions better than those who don't. 

Tips for Creating a Daily Schedule for Kids

When planning your child's daily schedule, remember that all kids are different. Some are morning people while others are evening people. Keep in mind that even though your child might be young, they still have their own preferences. What works for one child may not work for another. 

  1. Ensure that you include fun and educational activities in your child's daily schedule so they don't grow bored.
  2. Include chores as well as playtime on your child's schedule—plan for a fun activity and quiet time. Remember, daily activities can be something simple in your home, but it is something for them to look forward to. 
  3. Let your child make decisions about when to wake up, eat breakfast, go to bed, etc. Letting them help you establish their morning routine may make it easier for your children to stick to it. Keep the same thoughts in mind for a bedtime routine as well. 
  4. Plan your child's day around their interests. For example, if your son loves animals, include an animal care lesson in his daily schedule.
  5. Consider having a visual schedule. When they see it completed, it can give them a sense of accomplishment. 
  6. Include a break from scheduled activities once per week. This break gives your child a chance to rest and relax.
  7. Don't forget to reward your child for following their schedule!

How to Create a Daily Family Schedule

When it comes to nailing down your schedule for your family, here is a wonderful process to help guide you on your schedule-making journey: 

Take a Day to Assess

The first step in creating a schedule for your family is to figure out exactly how much time each member spends doing what throughout the day. Take note of the answers to the questions below, and then add the totals for yourself and your spouse.

If you're like most couples today, you probably have very little time together away from the kids. Make sure to carve out some quality time for yourself and your partner when possible.  

Take this day to figure out what you think your family needs and what they do not need in the schedule to have fun and productive days. Don't forget to schedule some outdoor time and some family time. 

Consider What You Want Your Day To Look Like

Now that you know how much time you spend doing different things during the day consider what you want your day (and your family’s) to look like. Think about what activities you'd like to see your children engage in. How many hours do you think your kids should be awake per day? Is there anything else you want your family to do? How does your schedule fit into your overall plans? 

Once you've decided what you want your day and your family’s day to look like, use these tips to create a schedule that fits your needs and your family's lifestyle. 

Take Note and Set a Schedule

After assessing where you stand right now and figuring out what you want your day to look like, take note of the times and activities, you want to include in your schedule. Now write it all down or put it in a digital calendar.

Include everything from waking up, eating breakfast, going to school, playing at home, working on homework, watching TV, reading books, hanging out with friends, getting ready for bed, and sleeping. 

Also include any other activities such as doctor appointments, sports practices and games, church services, field trips, and errands.

Create a Schedule That Works for Everyone

An excellent way to ensure everyone gets along with their schedules is by including everyone in the decision-making process. If you don't agree with something, ask why.

Don't criticize or argue over every detail. Instead, just let people know what you're thinking and why you feel the way you do. Then listen to them and try to work together.

Give it 7 Days 

It may seem impossible to adjust to a new daily schedule after only one day, but if you follow our tips above, you'll find it will get easier. If you stick with it for more than a week, you'll start seeing a difference in your family's happiness and productivity. 

So give it seven days. You can always tweak the schedule later if needed. But if it works for a week, great. And if it doesn't work, make adjustments. Don't worry about making mistakes. Just keep trying until you find the perfect balance. 

Adjust As Needed 

As you try to find your balance, you may notice that some parts of your schedule do not work. That's okay! Adjust the parts you need as you see fit! You are making this schedule for you and your family, and it's okay if you need to change parts of it to make it work better. 

How To Maintain Your Family Schedule

You've created a schedule that works for you and your family. Great job! It is a task that is not always the easiest to figure out. Consistency is key in keeping your family on schedule.

It is okay for your schedule to be flexible, life is always full of surprises, and it's okay to go with the flow, but the more you stick to your schedule, the easier it is to keep it implemented with your family! 

And finally, as your life changes, so too will your family's schedule and needs. It won't stay perfectly balanced forever, but as long as you're willing to work hard at finding the best fit for your family, you'll find success!