Right off the bat, I know exactly what many of you are thinking – homeschool routine for TODDLERS?! And while that might sound odd at first, hear me out. A toddler homeschool routine does NOT mean you are printing and prepping all the worksheets and academic resources. It DOES mean that at this time, you may consider adding more academic and fine motor PLAY into your day. Now, doesn’t that sound like a blast?!
In this post, I’d love to share how I planned our homeschool routine for toddlers – AKA Play School! Stick around until the end to grab our FREE Homeschool Preschool (and toddler) Planner with TONS of activity ideas!
Looking for a homeschool routine for your 3-4 year old? CLICK HERE!
Need a routine for 4-5 year olds? CLICK HERE!
Learn about our Transitional Kindergarten routine HERE!
Check out our homeschool 1st grade routine HERE!
What Skills to Include
The first thing I tackle when planning out Play School is the question – “What do I want to cover?” It’s important to have this answer figured out before you start pulling supplies and planning activities. The best thing I did at this time was turn to my toddler and watch to see what SHE was ready for. After all, that’s the point of homeschooling – we follow their lead.
At this point, it was clear that LG was excited about learning! She loved getting messy and exploring lots of topics in hands-on ways! So I decided to run with this love of learning and find developmentally appropriate ways for her to practice common early Math, Literacy and fine motor skills. Below are some of the skills we focused on the most!
MATH – colors, shapes, counting, identifying numbers to 10, patterns
LITERACY – identifying letters and their sounds
FINE MOTOR – pinching small objects, gripping crayons/chalk/etc, tearing paper, gluing
What Materials to Use
Now I’m sure this is a big question for you – WHAT materials need to be used? Is this going to begin an expensive trend of purchasing different “school” materials constantly? And my answer is absolutely NO! Please don’t run out and purchase all the things – unless, of course, you want to. Then who am I to shut that down?? HA!
At this age, some of our favorite materials came from the Target Dollar Spot and from our local Dollar Tree! They always have a great assortment of academic materials, especially during Back-to-School season! Whether you’re in the classroom or not, July-September is definitely a great time to score deals on materials for your kiddos at home!
Below, you’ll find some buttons that will take you to our Amazon lists of favorite materials. But before you check them out, I’ve listed some simple ideas that you can look for at any of your local stores for each topic!
MATH – shape puzzles, color puzzles, number/shape magnets, manipulatives for counting like pompoms, picture books about counting, number tracing trays, umber stickers
LITERACY – letter puzzles, alphabet magnets, picture books about letter formation, alphabet books, alphabet stickers, letter tracing trays
FINE MOTOR – play dough, kinetic sand, tissue paper, pompoms, blocks, puzzles, dolls with clothes, dramatic play kitchen supplies
*These Amazon links are affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if you choose to make a purchase using my links. Thank you for supporting The Stay-at-Home Teacher!
How to Plan
Now, here comes the fun part! (At least for me – I LOVE planning. Ha!) My plan for our homeschool routine with toddlers is simple. Each day I would write down ONE activity from each of the following 6 categories – Fine Motors, Literacy, Books, Crafts, Math, and Pretend Play. This doesn’t mean that we did it all. And even if we did, we split it all up throughout the day. But it DOES mean that each day, I had something intentionally planned for each area so I wasn’t just winging it!
And please note from the section above – in my book, academic does NOT mean worksheets or centers. Some days our Math activity was simply reading one of our favorite counting books or counting objects on our grocery list. Maybe our fine motor activity was helping Momma take the grapes off of the bunch so I could wash them.
These plans don’t have to be elaborate! The point is there IS a plan and at least a handful of ways that your little one is being exposed to academic content in every day life. In our experience, early exposure in lots of fun, hands-on ways has led to such a love of learning in our family! And I hope that this helps your family do the same!
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10 thoughts on “How to Plan a Homeschool Routine for Toddlers”
I love that you are focussing on 4 main areas and keeping play as an important part of her day! My LB is 3 (4 in November) and we did this for the last 2 years, this year I will be stepping up his learning time! I can’t wait to read more about your journey and routine. I am always looking for fresh new ideas – after 5 kiddos I need to change it up a bit! 😀