My youngest son turned six months old recently and I can confidently say I am starting to get the hang of this multiple kid shtick. Sure, every few months during a sleep regression, teething episode, or reflux flare-up, our regular routine is uprooted and our house devolves into chaos, but for the most part I’m in the groove.
During the first few months, bedtime was the part of the day that caused me the most stress. It seemed like every night when it was bedtime for my toddler, the baby decided that he needed to go to be rocked to bed RIGHT. NOW. I wanted to keep things as normal as possible for my toddler so he didn’t feel ignored, but that was hard when he kept whining at every step of our bedtime routine. With my husband working second shift, it was up to me to juggle both of their nighttime routines.
Enter Calvin’s routine chart. I made these a few months ago and it has made the majority of our mornings and nights run a lot smoother. There have been so many benefits of using these charts:
Gives him a sense of independence
Routine charts help shift the responsibility from me to my kiddo by providing a visual reminder of what’s coming next and empowers him to complete each task by himself. He can visually see the tasks that he’s completed and once he’s done with the list, he usually exclaims that he “won”, without the promise of a prize.
By implementing a set routine every morning and night, kiddo knows what’s coming next. The first few weeks were a struggle because he asked if he could move his clip after every single task was completed. But now he’s able to complete the whole chart without needing constant prompting. Every once in a while, he gets distracted and needs reminding to move onto the next item on the list. However, instead of me having to tell him what’s next, I can ask him “What’s next on your chart?” and he can easily glace at his chart to find the next task. This gives him more control and I don’t have to hound him and make sure he’s doing the next step.
Brushing his teeth twice a day and getting ready to head out used to cause extreme meltdowns. We once had an hour-long tantrum which ended in him throwing up in my hair when I was trying to console him (motherhood… amirite?) That’s around the time I made this routine chart. He didn’t know what the plan for the day was, and stopping what he wanted to do to brush his teeth was not on his agenda. Now that we have his chart hanging up on the fridge, I can simply tell him what we’re doing for the day and to start his list. 9/10 times it goes off without a hitch.
Keeps me and my husband accountable
My husband doesn’t usually put the kiddo to bed because he’s usually at work during bedtime. So when he gets a rare day off, it’s nice to have the chart there so he remembers to check that the kiddo has completed the little things, like put on lotion.
I also included “storytime” in our morning routine, because I wanted us to read more every day. We have been reading a lot more these past few months just because on the days that I forget to ask him what book he wants to read, he comes up to me and hands me a book in order to complete his chart.
Fine Motor Skills
By having to move his clips every day, he is developing stronger fine motor skills and building up the muscles needed for proper pencil holding. It took a few days for him to learn how to quickly switch the clips to the other side, but now he’s pretty fast at it.
- Download the file below.
- Fill out the text boxes with the tasks you want your kiddo to complete. Links to the fonts I used are linked below. You can be creative and use your own too!
- You can add clip art through Powerpoint or you can go to FlatIcon to download your own.
- Print and cut the sheet in half to make two separate charts. I suggest printing on cardstock for added durability.
- Optional: Laminate
- Hang in a place where your kiddo will see every morning and night.
- Put clothes pins on the red side. Once your kiddo completes a task, he can move the clothes pin to the green/completed side.