Twin Toddler Schedule: A Routine for 2-year-old Twins
Toddlers. They keep you on your toes, and twins can keep you moving twice as fast.
While my twin toddlers are great at getting into good-natured mischief and exploring everything, our days aren’t usually chaos. Okay, there is still chaos. I mean, there are two year old twins running around.
But overall our days follow a routine and we get everything done. Heck, we even get everywhere on time. (No, having twins is not an excuse to be late.) Toddler schedules are the key to not getting lost in the toddler craziness.
Here is the daily toddler schedule we used this past year. The nice thing about toddlers is that their needs don’t change as frequently as the first year. Baby sleep needs and feeding times need to adjust pretty regularly. So from about 24 months to 30 months old we kept this routine going for our little ones.
Let’s take a look at our twin toddler schedule.
Twin Toddler Schedule
Just because your child isn’t a baby anymore doesn’t mean they don’t need a schedule. Kids thrive on routine, and I find that especially true for toddlers.
This looks a bit long, but the important areas to hit are consistent meal times and sleep times. That means breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks at the same time (approximately) every day. It also means consistent nap and bed times.
7:30 am: Daily Wake Time
The truth is Ali and Sammy are almost always awake before this time. But this is when they are allowed out of their cribs.
Why do they have to wait until then? Having a consistent daily wake time allows them to fall into a natural rhythm, making the toddler routine easier to maintain.
Since we have been doing this since birth my twins don’t mind staying in their beds until I come to get them up. They talk to each other, play with their lovies. They can entertain themselves.
This wake time is the same as Ben’s (2.5 years older). It lets me get up and get ready before tackling the kids’ needs without having to wake up too early.
7:30 to 8:00 am: Breakfast
My kids love to eat, so they eat breakfast as soon as they wake up. We have to leave the house early each day. Because of this we do a cold breakfast that the kids can eat easily on their own.
I’d like to say they can eat quickly, but they so do not. Since they don’t need my help I can still be getting the normal morning stuff done while they eat.
8:00 to 8:30 am: Get Dressed and Ready to Leave
I am a stay at home mom, but that doesn’t mean we just stay home. Ben goes to preK and Ali and Sammy are a part of our carpool. They have to be up and out of the house early too.
While I am helping each child get ready the other two finish breakfast and free play.
9:30 am: Free Play Time/Learning Activities
By 9:30 we are back home and ready to play. This time can vary. Some days the girls just do free play with each other. (And yes having multiples is a blessing when they play happily together.)
This is also when we do a lot of our learning activities. These are usually more parent-directed, although sometimes I do just set them up and see what the girls do.
(If you want to see what sort of learning activities we do check out these options: Learning Activities for Toddlers. Also, make sure you are following me on Instagram to get new easy activities every weekday! Team Cartwright on Instagram)
10:00 to 11:00 am: Independent Playtime
A nice thing about toddlers is that they don’t need a morning nap time. That really frees you up to get out of the house more. But it also means more awake time that needs to be filled.
Enter independent playtime. You can learn more about how we work this with twins here: How To Do Independent Play with Twins
The important thing is that Ali and Sammy are working on important skills and having fun, and I get morning block to get some work done. (Learn the benefits of block scheduling to get everything accomplished: Block Schedules for Moms)
11:00 to 12:00 pm: Lunch
Yes, it can take an hour for my sweet little ladies to eat lunch. But they laugh and have fun, so it is a nice time for us.
12:00 to 12:30 pm: Free Play
As soon as the girls are done eating they are allowed to go play. Sometimes they get to watch a show during this time (Super Why is a big hit for us.) Other times they just play.
I clean up the kitchen and finish up housework during this time too. Then we head out to pick up Ben.
1:30 to 2:00 pm: Sibling Play/TV Time
After we get Ben we usually head home. (Sometimes there are errands or park time, typical mom stuff.)
The kids get to play together and get a little screen time, assuming everyone has met their behavior standards so far that day.
2:00 to 4:30 pm: Nap Time!
Don’t let nap strikes make you think your child doesn’t need to nap anymore. It is common for 2-year-olds to resist naps at times. And yes, Ali and Sammy are no different.
Having twins means we do have days where the two of them just laugh and talk to each other during nap time. (Or one talks to her sister enough to wake her up. Twin problems, you don’t always get to nap when you want to.)
Even if your twins stop napping for a few days do not give up this time. Ben is 5 and only stopped consistently sleeping during this time when he was about 4.5. Now he has quiet time in his room.
Yep, all three kids are in their rooms at the same time every afternoon. And I get more work time. Keep the nap, toddler sleep matters.
5:00 to 6:00pm: Dinner
Again with the hour meals, I know. Some days yes, they eat this long or longer. Other days they don’t. The nice thing about having almost 3-year-olds is that they don’t need to eat dinner quite as early. We can adjust within this window and still have happy kiddos.
Dinner is family time, so we wait until Pat is home to eat. But it always falls within this hour.
6:00 to 7:00 pm: Family Time
This time. This is a good time of day. We are all home and we just spend time together.
Sometimes we do bath time, play games, or read books. Other times we just watch a movie. Whatever we do I really treasure this time.
7:00 pm: Bedtime.
We actually start pajamas about 10 minutes before 7. But once 7 hits it is bedtime! We brush teeth, sing songs, and wrap up our routine pretty quickly.
A solid bedtime routine doesn’t have to be full of bells and whistles. It doesn’t have to take a long time. Ours can be done in as little as 2 minutes, though it usually lasts between 5 and 10.
(I am completely serious here. Learn the 4 core parts you need for a solid bedtime routine that doesn’t last forever: The Only Bedtime Routine You Need)
We do our routine and say good night. It helps that this is the same basic routine we have been doing since the girls were less than a month old. Consistency is key.
Daily Schedule for Toddlers
This looks like a lot when I read back over it, but really it flows pretty well. I know some people like to use toddler routine charts to help their kids know what comes next. If this works for you I think that is awesome.
To be honest though, we don’t need anything like that. We have had a solid schedule since the girls were just a couple of months old. They understand the routine.
Ali and Sammy aren’t always thrilled that it is nap time, but they don’t fight me. They might not be happy that free play is done and it is time to go to independent play, but they don’t protest for longer than a moment. They know what is expected of them and it eliminates a lot of tantrums.
Any work that goes into maintaining a schedule is worth it. And as your twins get older they can handle more and more flexibility.
The Organized Chaos that is Twin Toddler Life
I’m not going to lie and say every day runs smoothly and that we never have any tantrums or hiccups. Because we do. Two-year-olds have big feelings and lots of exploring to do.
But this steady routine keeps it from getting too crazy. We get things done and we are not just living in survival mode.
I hope this sample daily schedule helps you find the order in your day.
Looking for more info? Try these!