How to: DIY Toddler Curriculum


Two words: Toddler curriculum.  It dawned on me that a lot of people send their children to daycare.  And in daycare, the days are structured with a routine, where early childhood educators build curriculums. Maybe you’re thinking, “Curriculum?  Don’t you mean messy activities like painting?”  You’re right, I do mean messy activities like painting, but it’s actually curriculum. So, it got me thinking: I should do the same.

Where do you start to build a curriculum for your kid? Especially if you don’t have an early childhood education degree?  I may not have a degree in early childhood education, but I do have a degree that requires me to understand childhood development at varying ages.  So based on what I know about development- this is what I did:

Step 1:  Need to have a Plan.

(Sketch Plan): Research different activities in different subjects. (Language, Science, Math, Art, Music, Gym). Spread throughout the day…lets say at 30- 45 minute intervals ( for 18-24mons).  Now, I’m saying this, because McKinley’s attention span is about 15-30 minutes depending on the activity.  In those 30-45 minute intervals I am including set up & clean up.

Step 2:  Need to have activity ideas -age appropriate- in varying subjects/ Need to create routine through the day.

Step 3: Need equipment.

Step 4: Put projets together.

These are some examples of the activities I’ve read about, heard about, or thought of: 

  • Matching games
  • Coloring, painting, play-doh – Art
  • Puzzles
  • Sink or float with water
  • Water transfer
  • Game related to learning: shapes, colors, numbers, words, letters
  • Sorting games
  • Reading
  • helping with chores (laundry, feeding dog, putting away dishes)
  • Outside play time (running, throwing)
  • Play time/play dates with other kids
  • Adventures (ex: zoo)

Sample Routine: 

  • (7-8)Wake up
  • Breakfast
  • Get ready for the day
  • 9:30-10:30 subject area #1
  • 10:30 snack
  • 10:45-11:45 subject area #2
  • 12:00 lunch
  • 12:30-1:00 nap
  • 2:30-3:00 subject area #3
  • 3:00 snack
  • 3:15-4:15 subject area #4
  • 4:30-6:00 Free play
  • Dinner
  • 7:30 Nighttime: bath, books, and bed

Look for curriculum activities weekly on Friday’s.  And if you have awesome ideas to add please share them!

1) Toddler Transferring 


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