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NAN: Daily Routines for Toddlers

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As toddlers have a growing need for independence, they also have a growing ability to participate in their daily routines and self-care. Having a visual schedule for a toddler to follow can help to reinforce the components and sequence of his daily routine. A visual schedule may include a picture of waking up, a bowl to indicate breakfast, a tooth brush to indicate brushing teeth and a set of clothes to indicate getting dressed, for example. Toddlers can move a clothespin with their name on it from image to image to indicate when they’ve completed each task.

Toddlers have a growing desire to do things for themselves. Since it will take additional time for a toddler to complete tasks like getting their shoes on independently, the nanny should build additional time into her schedule so that there is adequate time for the child to complete the tasks he can independently. When a toddler is encouraged to do what he can independently it builds self-confidence and will give him a sense of accomplishment.

Younger toddlers between ages one and two can remove their socks, get their shoes, give an empty dish to an adult, carry light items and practice eating with utensils. Older toddlers aged two to three can open doors, wash their own hands, wipe up minor spills and take off easy to remove clothes.

Between ages two to three many children are often ready to begin toilet training, though signs of readiness such as a child’s desire to use the toilet and his ability to dress and undress and follow instructions are better indicators of toilet-training readiness.

Toddlers can be actively involved with picking up their toys. Placing bins with labels and pictures at toddler level can help to reinforce putting toys away and putting them in the correct location. This also builds on the toddler’s desire for predictability since he’ll know where he can find certain toys the next time he wants to play.  By routinely singing the same clean up song a toddler will learn to associate the song with picking up his toys.

Michelle LaRoweNAN: Daily Routines for Toddlers