I never realized how much my kids and I thrived on connection and activities outside of the home. With everything canceled and not being able to leave the house regularly, trying to keep them engaged and excited has been such a wild ride!
Set schedules don’t work in our home because 1. my kids are a bit too young to understand what that means and 2. Montessori is child-led learning so my role is to create freedom within clear limits for my little ones. I found finding rhythm through routines has helped us navigate the day, even on those really hard days. Routines are different than schedules. Routines are activities that are done without planning and are usually things that you are already used to doing on a regular basis, whereas schedules are more planned out.
In our home, we thrive on using routine cards. I was first introduced to routine cards through The Montessori Toddler, I used the ones she provided but over the years I’ve tried a variety of different ones but ended up asking my sister to create a custom set for us with images that Aliyana connected with so that helped her understand the sequence throughout the day. The only thing I have set times for is breakfast (because it marks the beginning of the day), nap times, and bath time (routine to initiate bedtime).
I do want to note that routines don’t become successful right away and you will experience a bit of push back when you first introduce the cards but don’t feel discouraged and just let it flow naturally. The kids are always absorbing even though it doesn’t feel like it.
Our day looks something like this –
7:30 am – wake up
8:00 am – breakfast and we talk through what we might be doing (themes, outdoor time, visit the grandparents, etc.)
9:00 am – Free Play. Activities for the specific themes are set out for her to explore. The key here is if she’s not engaged, do not force it. She’ll come around later to work on it.
10:45 am – Zoom class with Aliyana’s Casa Class. Magali is usually napping.
12:00pm – Lunch for the kids
1:00 pm – Aliyana naps. Activities are set up for Magali and I’ll make myself lunch and maybe check a few emails.
2:00- 3:30pm – Outdoor time or practical life activities. This time is really fluid and we normally go with the flow. Somedays we go for a walk, somedays we are in the garden, somedays we are baking and sometimes we are doing imaginative play.
4:00pm – Quiet time (reading or a show)
5:00pm – Bath time & bedtime routine starts.
I often get asked about screen time and although we do offer screen time to Aliyana, we limit it to approx 30-45 minutes max. because any more than that we notice a huge shift in mood and neither of us will benefit from that. I hope this was helpful and gives you a bit of insight into our day!