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The Perfect 3-Year-Old Schedule To Structure Your Day

3 Year Old Schedule

3-Year-Old Daily Schedule 

Are you ready to unlock the secrets of a 3-year-old schedule for a well-structured day?


If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how to create a daily schedule for your 3-year-old that keeps your little one engaged, learning, and having fun, then you’re in for a treat.


In this blog post, we’re diving headfirst into the world of preschool-aged scheduling – and trust me, it’s not as daunting as it might seem.


As a preschool teacher and having a class full of energetic toddlers, a regular schedule was ESSENTIAL. Days went by so much smoother and the kids thrived when I stuck to the schedule.


Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a working parent, or somewhere in between, having a well-balanced routine can be a game-changer.


From play time to learning time, nap time to snack time, we’ve got you covered with a schedule that’s not only beneficial for your child’s development but also realistic for your busy life.


Get ready to wave goodbye to chaos and say hello to a well-structured day as you craft the perfect 3-year-old schedule that will bring a sense of order, joy, and learning into your daily routine!


Why is having a 3-year-old schedule important?

While it might seem like a bit of a challenge to stick to a schedule with your little ball of energy, there’s a rhyme and reason to it that goes beyond just structure.


A 3-year-old daily schedule provides a comforting sense of security. Knowing what to expect – when it’s time to play, eat, and rest – offers a stable anchor in their rapidly changing world.


A schedule with clear transitions helps them understand what’s coming next. This reduces anxiety and makes transitions smoother, whether it’s moving from playtime to mealtime or from bath to bedtime.


A basic schedule introduces the idea of time. It helps your child understand the passage of the day – morning, afternoon, and night – which is an important cognitive development milestone.


A schedule also naturally guides healthy habits, such as regular mealtimes, proper sleep routines, and designated times for potty training. These habits set the foundation for a healthy lifestyle as they grow.


And, having a structured routine helps your child prepare for future transitions, like starting school or engaging in more structured activities!


3-Year-Old Schedule

Here is an example of a 3-year-old schedule that you can implement into your daily routine. This schedule was inspired by how I ran my classroom as a preschool teacher, and now how I craft my day with my son!


Don’t forget to listen to your child’s cues. While this schedule serves as a great starting point, the goal is to create a routine that works for both of you. Every family is different, so don’t be afraid to adapt a schedule that fits you and your child’s needs.


3 Year Old Schedule
3 Year Old Schedule PDF
3 Year Old ScheduleBlank Daily Schedule
Blank Daily Schedule PDF


Download and print the ready made 3 Year Old Schedule PDF, or download a blank Daily Schedule template to fully customize how you want your day to look. 


There are spots where you can fill in the date, what you need to do during the day, and any other notes you may have. You can laminate your schedule and use a dry erase marker to fill it out every day! I like to have the schedule hanging up and in a place where my child and I can see it.


8:00 Wake Up

Wake up time is obviously up to you and what works best for your family. 8:00 is the perfect time for my child to start the day! It allows me some time in the morning to get things done (or sleep in) and give my child enough sleep so he is not cranky or tired throughout the day!


8:15 Breakfast

Having meal times at a consistent time helps your child distinguish when it is time to eat and when it is time to play. I like to have breakfast right when my son wakes up so he is fed and happy and we can get on with our day! Breakfast is such a fun time for me. My son and I are both recharged from the previous day and it is a great opportunity to spend some time together before the day begins!


8:45 Get Ready

Have your child help you pick out their clothes and get dressed! This is also a good time to go over your schedule for the day and what you are going to do. It is a great way for your child to feel like they are involved in planning the day, and also that they are made aware to what is scheduled so there are no unexpected surprises.


9:00 Free Play

Free play is a way for children to grow their imagination, develop skills, and learn through independent play. Provide different toys and materials to get your child thinking!


Related Article: The Best Montessori Toys For Two Year Olds


9:30 Snack

Making sure you feed your child often gives their little bodies and minds plenty of fuel to continue on with the rest of the day (also keeping meltdowns to a minimum)! Some favorite preschool snacks are apple slices, yogurt, cottage cheese, and graham crackers!


10:00 Morning Activity

Your morning activity could be anything from running errands, doing some chores, or, I recommend having a learning activity in the morning. It is a great opportunity to have fun but also engage your child in learning at the same time! If you are looking for fun, educational activities, here are 30+ Tried And True Activities To Do At Home!


11:00 Outside Play

Being outside is extremely beneficial for your child. It gives them a chance to be physical and move their body, while giving them the opportunity to explore nature! Go for a walk or have fun at the park with your child!


11:30 Lunch

I think meal times are the best for one-on-one interactions with your child. You can sing songs, read a book, or have a discussion on something particular they want to learn about. This is something that we always did in my preschool class! It keeps the kids fully engaged and also limits overly energetic behavior while they eat.


12:00 Nap Time/Quiet Time

Allow your child the chance to get enough sleep and rest their growing and developing bodies. Their brain needs a chance to process everything that it has seen and learned during the day. Giving your child a set apart time in their day to take a break and relax, allows them to do just that! If your child no longer takes a nap, you still should have some quiet time. They can color in a coloring book or read some books!


2:30 Snack

Your growing 3-year-old should eat every 2-3 hours or about 5-6 times a day. After your child is recharged from quiet time, give them a light snack!


3:00 Afternoon Activity

I personally like to do some kind of craft or messy sensory activity with my son in the afternoon!


Related Article: Parent Engagement Activities!


4:00 Outside Play

Go get some of that super important vitamin D, and let your child have fun being outside through boundless exploration, sensory stimulation, and physical and cognitive development!


5:30 Dinner

Each meal is an opportunity to create lasting memories and instill healthy eating habits. While there might be spills, giggles, and the occasional food rejection, these shared moments and connections formed at the dinner table are the best!


6:00 Free Play

Let your child be creative and curious, and encourage their self discovery as you close out the day. Feel free to jump in there and help build a tower, feed the baby doll, or race your car down the race track! This is a great time for family time!


7:30 Get Ready For Bed

Keeping your bedtime on schedule and sticking to your routine will help your child naturally transition from play to sleep. Your routine may include taking a bath, brush teeth, put on pajamas, go potty, read a few bed time stories, sing a few songs, and then say good night!


8:00 Bed Time

Lay your child down and close the door with the expectation that they will stay there until morning!



There you have it – your guide to crafting the perfect schedule for your 3-year-old!


From the moment they wake up with those bright eyes to the time they drift off into dreamland, each part of the day is a canvas waiting to be filled with activities that nurture their growth and curiosity.


Remember, flexibility is key. Life has its unpredictable moments, and it’s okay to veer off the schedule occasionally.


What matters most is the quality time you spend with your little one, fostering their development and creating beautiful memories together.


Keep nurturing those young minds and cherishing these fleeting, precious moments. You’ve got this!


You might also like:

How to Plan a Successful Stay-at-Home Mom Schedule

30+ Tried And True Activities To Do At Home

The Best Montessori Toys For Two Year Olds

Parent Engagement Activities


3 Year Old Schedule


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Tess Moulton

Blog creator

Hello! I’m Tess, a preschool teacher turned mom, and I love discovering and creating fun ways to keep kids engaged and learning! Welcome!

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