Craving structure

I am not really sure who is craving it more. Actually, that is not true. I know.

It's me.

As the fog of the first six months of new babyhood is starting to clear and a predictable schedule is slowly beginning to form (yippee), I am getting back to creating a bit of structure for our family, our toddler and myself. Though I am totally unsure how one marries the dual nap schedule of a 6 month old with the action packed needs of a 3 year old, I am certain that a little bit of "here is how we do this" will be good for everyone.

I am of the belief that children, especially toddlers, tend to thrive when they understand what is expected of them, when they feel empowered with some decision making and when they have structure. And as I am a visual person who still uses a big paper calendar on the wall, I wondered about a visual activity chart.

I started to look around for different activity charts and came upon the wonderful designs by A Kid's Day. Simple, appropriate design for little ones.

I ordered 2 sets of custom labels and used our magnetic board as the chart back-drop...

With the few blank ones that I received, I made bilingual days of the week titles.

By ordering the custom labels, I was able to mix both German and English words. The artwork is by far my favorite thing, as it is clear and totally recognizable. (Well, the clean up label below is actually made by me and you can see that my artistic hand is not even in the same ball park! But I tried.)

The labels are up and in plain view and this when preschool starts again, I plan on spending some time talking about the activities and letting him help set each day up. For now, I have noticed this:

1. He immediately could identify each label based solely on the artwork
2. He immediately started to ask what the word next to image said
3. Many activities, when I referenced back to the chart, were done without push back or tantrum

Not bad for setting up a little structure. Maybe I need to order some for myself.

1 comment:

  1. These are great!

    Here's my best nap advice (based on experience as a family child care provider, often with a baby amidst a group of bigger kids): Baby's morning nap comes during outside play time for bigger kid. I've done stroller, hammock hanging on the clothesline pole, pack-n-play set up in the snow, nap in a sling on me, a blanket on a heap of autumn leaves...whatever works. The fresh air works wonders. Then I try really hard to get the second nap to be on the bigger kid's schedule so you get some mama time.

    Best wishes for good sleep!