Stay at Home Basic Family Routine

Over the years while our family routine is constantly shifting and altering as the season of life changes I have found that we tend to stick to a basic routine that honestly doesn’t change all that much! I guess if it’s working for us why change it?!

a pin  image that reads stay at home family daily routine with four images. Top left is of two little girls looking at the floor puzzle below them top right is a 2 year old with pigtails grinning at the camera bottom left is a preschool girl pointing at a wooden 100sboard filled with rocks in front of her bottom right is two little girls laying down and giggling next to each other

Come on in and see what we get up to in our daily family routine

Welcome to a day in the life of a stay-at-home mom, a 4.5-year-old, and a 2-year-old. This is a highly specific day, Wednesday, March 23rd to be exact. I hope that a peak into our family routine inspires you to step back and see what kind of routines your family has and maybe inspires you to add a new family routine or two!

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a pin image for our family routine when my  girls were 3 and 6 months
3 year old and 6 month old

Real-life breakdown of our Family Routine as it is right now

Below I have documented a perfectly normal Wednesday at home. While I do document things by the hour know that this actually matters very little to me. With the exception of naptime our family routine is sorta just go with the flow vs. watch the clock

a detailed table broken down by the hour of our daily family routine for a 4.5 year old 2 year old and stay at home mama with

MORNING

7:00 – WAKE UP – Girls get some TV time, shows of choice these days are Story Bots, Gabby’s Dollhouse or Octonauts. I take this time to get coffee, try and wake up a bit more and get ready for the day.

8:00 – BREAKFAST – Today we had waffles and smoothies, that’s pretty typical breakfast for us. Bitty likes to help make the smoothies and I am trying to include her more in food choices so this is an easy one to start with.

two little girls sitting at a table sucking on straws in their smoothies

8:30 – FREE PLAY – The girls go play with their free play shelves I clean up after breakfast and take care of any work that might need to be done early in the day

9:00 – GET READY – the girls pick their clothes for the day and I help them get dressed. Bean still needs a lot of help. Bitty has it handled for the most part but she likes the moral support and me being there keeps her on task more.

9:15 – INVITATION TO PLAY – Some days I have my act together and I have some kind of activity for them. Could be playdough or sensory bin or painting or some kind of loose parts thing. Today I didn’t have anything planned, but they were really wanting to do something so we broke out a floor puzzle that we could all work on together

two little girls looking down at the floor puzzle of a neighborhood below them

MIDMORNING

10:00 – OUTSIDE – I tend to kick them outside around this time, as long as the weather is decent. We attempted a walk around the neighborhood but it was too windy! So we quickly returned home and took shelter on our porch

10:15 – SNACKTIME – in an attempt to get more hours for our 1000 hours outdoors challenge we had snack on the porch and it was a perfect solution. They stayed outside I rounded up a snack and second cup of coffee!

two little girls sitting outside, in front of a window grinning at each other with a snack sitting on the table between them

10:30 – FREEPLAY – So long as we stayed on the porch/by the garage we were able to stay decently warm so we stayed outside for a bit more 

10:45 – CRAFT – I try and do some kind of activity or craft or something more structured. If they are actively engaged in something else I won’t interrupt them but they are often looking for something new to do about this time. Today we did qtip seasons tree paintings for our Earth homeschool unit

a little girl holding a piece of paper with trees printed on it down on the table. she has q tip in her other hand and is painting fall leaves on one of the trees

11:00 – FREE PLAY – while I get the craft cleaned up and actually have a second to drink the coffee I poured like an hour ago… lol Bean disappeared into the guestroom and broke into the toy closet, Bitty grabbed some books and “read” for a while

11:30 – Bitty asked to do another floor puzzle…I was hesitant to say yes as I know her patience for puzzles and she had already done one earlier…in the end, we did get another one out but it was a struggle and required a lot of guidance from me. Bean did not join us and just generally wandered around, climbed the pikler, watched us, general toddler stuff

a little girl all dressed in pink kneeling on the floor and putting together a floor puzzle featuring dinosaurs

MIDDAY

12:00 – LUCNH PREP – I set up the nugget for them to climb on while I went to get lunch prepped

12:15 – LUNCH – Bean refused to eat and pitched one of her classic ‘ALONE’ fits and ran off.  Eventually came back and had a little more but not much. That is her way these days. I don’t have a better answer for you than ‘toddler’

12:30 – FREEPLAY – one of the most peaceful moments of the day. They are both fed and happy and tend to be content with playing in the living room. Today they were cute and giggly rolling around the nugget and then we read a book

two little girls laying next to each other giggling and smiling the toddler is wearing a bird shirt and the preschooler is in pink

1:00 – SCHOOL – Bitty and I start School while Bean tends to fidget with stuff on the shelf or sit in my lap and “listen” to calendar time

1:15 – NAPTIME- I leave Bitty to pick some shelf work while I quickly get Bean settled in for a nap. I take her back to their room, we check her diaper, read a book, sing a song and tuck her in and leave her to fall asleep

a toddler girl laying in her crib with her pink and blue blanket and pillow covered in hearts snuggled and ready for nap as part of our family routine

1:30 – ONE ON ONE – We have Shelf work that Bitty is free to choose from at any point in the day, but if I am honest she doesn’t choose it as much as I would like. So I have started setting aside 2 “lessons” where she has my undivided attention, and we cover a topic that she needs practice on or a shelf work that she hasn’t done yet. Today’s specific lessons ended up being an introduction to the 100s board and a land-air-water sorting activity. If you want to know more about our homeschool setup you should check out some posts here

a little girl all dressed in pink putting wooden number tiles along the top row of a wooden 100s board with a printed control chart next to her on the floor

AFTERNOON

2:00 READING – we spend 15 – 30 mins reading everyday usually nonfiction or topical books for school but can also be free choice books if we arent feeling anything from the school shelf

2:30 QUIET TIME – Bitty has transitioned from independent quiet time to more of a free choice quiet time. She still has a quiet time bin (you can learn all about that system here!) that she often plays with but she now spends that time out in the living room where there are her normal toys as well and if the weather is nice she is allowed to go out there as well. I spend the time getting my personal world done, taking a quiet time break myself or doing household work. Today’s task was some follow up from an Usborne party

a little girl all dressed in pink kneeling on a red play cushion with a plastic box and toys spread out around her as part of her quiet time during our family routine

3:30 SNACK& TV – Bitty cleans up her quiet time mess and I get Bean up from nap. She is a slow wake so we put on a show and get a snack and they chill for a bit. This is also when I usually take resetting the dining room and the kitchen before the mess of dinnertime

two little girls snuggled in a bead with books near the foot of the bed. The girls are watching TV and not looking at the camera

4:30 FREE PLAY – This part of the day really varies. If it’s nice we arere outside, we might be working in the shop or the garden or just enjoying the sun and playing out back. I might be tackling a bigger house project like folding laundry or a massive load of dishes. I might be prepping homeschool lessons or Instagram work. It’s really free flow and some days the girls are in the mix and some days they are still watching TV. Today was a housework day for me and the girls sorta floated between the living room playing and the TV.

EVENING

5:15 – OUTSIDE – the weather wasn’t amazing, but it was decent enough and Dad took them for a little scooter ride just to get them out from underfoot for a bit and burn a bit of energy since they had gotten a little extra TV time.

a dad holding the hand of a toddler as they walk down the driveway in the evening sun and shadows

6:00 – DINNER – tonight was easy, leftovers baby!!! Bitty helped prep some salads while I warmed up the food. We ate, wiped down the table, loaded the dishwasher, and made sure that the living room was picked up

6:30 – DOWNSTAIRS – This is code for TV/Family time. Some nights we all watch a show together, some nights I fold laundry and watch something with the girls. Other nights they are watching their own show/free playing around the room while Dad and I work/play on our computers. 

two little girsl sitting on the couch watching Bluey on the TV that is mounted to the wall of the basement room. Below the TV is a set of bookcases all filled with books, movies and toys. Part of our evening winddown time in our family routine.

7:30 BEDTIME ROUTINE – we recently bumped this up a bit to allow for a bit more of a relaxing (less rushed) routine. We grab a simple snack (mostly just because Bean isn’t eating much at most meals so we want to make sure she will make it through the night with enough in her belly), take a bathroom break, brush teeth, jammies, read a book, tuck them in and lights out.

a bald man with glasses wearing a blue shirt with two little girls dressed in cozy jammies sit in his lap. He is holding a book in his hands and reading to the kids. A bedtime book is always part of our bedtime family routine.

8:00 PERSONAL TIME – for me this most often looks like computer work – editing pictures, writing posts, homeschool prep, etc, etc. but I usually have a sweet treat to snack on, and then I call it a night around 10:00

How to Make your own Family Routine

Kids thrive on predictability and routine and odds are you already are following some kind of family routine. The most important step is to set a few hard and fasts. Could be lunchtime, carline, naptime, bedtime… Whatever things you have in your life that are non-negotiable then work backward and plug in the things that have to happen before those things. The most simple family routines are based around eating and sleeping so start there!

a pin image that reads a day in the life SAHM routine. How a mom with a preschooler and a toddler in toy attempts to get it all done with 9 images of the kids' day set ou tin a grid of 3x3

What does your family routine look like? Share it down in the comments or connect with me on Instagram!

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