As Aha! Parenting explains, routines are important for children because so much in their lives is in a constant state of change, including their own bodies. Planning a routine and activities for children involves choosing the top priorities for the given time period, allotting time for regularly scheduled activities and determining how to schedule time for optional activities.
- Choose a scheduling format
Daily, weekly and monthly schedule formats are available online and in stationery stores. You can also design your own with the specific time breakdowns you require, or use an electronic scheduler. Make sure your format is one you are comfortable with and can use with ease.
- Fill in the scheduled activities
Write in all pre-scheduled activities on the calendar format. These should include recurring activities that happen at a regular date and time such as school, dance lessons and after-school sports. In addition, add in one-off appointments such as doctor's appointments or playdates.
- Make a to-do list of unscheduled activities
Write down everything you and your child need to accomplish during the given time period. This list might include household chores, homework or practicing a musical instrument. Have your child contribute to the list by adding activities he would like to accomplish during the week, such as building LEGO creations, reading certain books or watching favorite TV shows.
- Transfer the to-do list to the schedule
Transfer the week's unscheduled activities to the schedule. Start with the most important activities and give them priority times on the schedule. Make sure to leave unstructured time in case some activities run over schedule, as well as just to allow time to be spontaneous.