By Christa D. Reed
We have all had those crazy, hectic days we thought would never end… As soon as your feet hit the floor in the morning the hussle and bustle begins, especially when you have active and busy toddler twins that are constantly on the move and often running in separate directions! You may feel like nothing is getting accomplished and that load of laundry you started yesterday is in need of yet another re-wash! Ugh—what’s a tired twin parent to do?
It truly sounds like you are in dire need of creating a daily schedule and sticking to it! You may be thinking to yourself? Schedule…ha! But by taking a little time to get organized and developing a schedule, it may save you hours (and even years) of insanity and will create less stress and bring you more joy–what every parent wants, right?
The important part is by creating a schedule, your little ones know what they can expect. Toddlers who know what to expect are more confident, less whiny, and definitely more fun to be around! (You could also say the same of parents because we also need a schedule too!)
Plan to be Flexible. In my experience, the key to creating a good, solid schedule is planning ahead BUT also planning to be flexible. For example, if you go to meet other twin parents for a toddler play-date at the park, it’s perfectly okay if they snack a little earlier so that their tummies aren’t running on empty. Or, if they happen to wake up earlier, you can always move up naptime a bit, too!
If you are struggling to find a good routine for you and your twins, here is a good example to follow…
Here’s a Great Schedule for Toddler Twins When You Stay at Home:
7:30 Time to Wake-Up–want a great start for the day? Wake up your toddlers with your favorite morning song. It really does help set a good mood for the day.
7:45- 8:15 Breakfast.
8:30- 9:00 Quick clean-up with you. A great time to tidy and finish the breakfast dishes, etc. When you tend to start tasks in the morning you will have less of an excuse to not finish them later… like throwing in that load of laundry and actually moving it to the dryer!
9:00-11:00 Get Active! This is a great opportunity to take them outside and get some fresh air. Take them to the park, go to the library, take a walk outside, do something that makes you and your toddlers feel good…Plus, it is so good to get out of the house each day if you can. Some reports say that toddlers need 60-90 minutes of active play per day so this is a great time to get them moving!
10:30 Snack time! Somewhere in that morning playtime, be sure to offer them a snack.
11:00 You make lunch while they play with toys that will keep them occupied for a little while. We loved having a workbench activity center where both boys could play with the tools and all the activities on both sides kept them pretty busy!
12 noon-2:00/3:00 Naptime!! If you stick to a solid routine, your twins should be able to nap anywhere from 2-3 hours. One reader’s tip is to invest in a video monitor. A video monitor allows you to see if when one of them sits up, if they are really waking up, or just readjusting. So worth it!
Naptime for them means time for you to get your business done like any other household tasks you have on your list or paying bills, etc. Or… when your twins are infants and if your schedule allows you should nap, too!
2:00/3:00-4:00 Inside play, imaginative play, arts and crafts, reading, or tot school stuff. Think fine motor play. The internet has a ton of great ideas and resources.
4:00 It’s snack time again! Picky eaters? Here’s a good tip…buy yourself a mini-muffin tin and fill it with a variety of items, all of which are mom-approved. That way, they will get the freedom of choice within the boundaries you choose and everybody wins!
4:30- 5:30 Free play for your toddlers… blocks, trains, cars, dolls, or anything they love so much that they can play independently.
5:30 Dinner prep for you. This is a good time to let them watch a bit of TV or their favorite video. If they are more into reading books or coloring or playing a game this is also a good time slot for these type of activities.
6:30- 7:00 Dinner.
7:00-7:30 After dinner is a great time for on-the-floor playtime. Wrestling, rough-play with mom or dad is a great and fun bonding experience for all. This is also a good time to take a walk (weather permitting) and get some energy out after dinner.
7:30-8:00 Getting ready for bed. Some people do a bath in the tub at this time and other pre-bedtime rituals. If they take separate baths and you have both parents available this is a good time to divide and conquer. While one is in the bathtub the other could be havng a book read to them and then they can switch.
8:00 Time for them to get into bed and then you can talk about their day or read a book. then it’s lights out with double hugs and kisses!
Do you have a solid routine that you follow to make your life easier and more manageable? What would you change or add to this schedule? Share your tips and ideas with us!