An Easy Peasy 2-Year-Old Routine That Works Every Time

Parenting 2023-07-27

Here’s a 2 year old routine that will help make increasingly peaceful days with your little one. Know that these samples take into worth “optimal” meal times and nap times equal to worldwide wisdom.

I love me some 2 year olds. I mean… they’re just *that* much easier than 1-year-olds (the hardest age for me) and they are so busy.

Developing skills, personality, and vocabulary.

 two year old toddler walking on the beach

They moreover need to be occupied well, supervised constantly, and stimulated increasingly than their younger siblings.

This 2 year old routine is moreover often the one I use for my 3-year-olds as well, but this is the age where they come into their own.

They’ve dropped their morning naps, are worldly-wise to go with the spritz a bit more, and can plane play by themselves without unvarying monitoring for longer periods.

Read: The Worldwide 2 Year Old Sleep Regression: How To Overcome

Basis of a Schedule or Routine for 2 Year Olds

Here are things to take into worth when creating a good 2 year old routine.

  • Wake times
  • Nap times
  • Bed times
  • Play times
  • Meal times
  • Snack times

Read: The Crucial Elements of a Rock-Solid Toddler Schedule

Daily Routine Brainstorm SHEETS

Get my trickery sheets and find your family’s groove. Chore, self-sustaining play, meal, nap, bedtime, and MORE routine ideas!


Needs of a 2-year-old

2-year-olds are their own breed.


They are a lot of work, but they say the dangdest things, don’t they?

  • Repetition | Toddlers need repetition and consistency. This is the easiest way to teach them to follow their routine without nagging.
  • Boundaries | Your 2-year-old will push the envelope, test the waters, and find out where the family boundaries lie. This is good all around, but does require consistency on your part.
  • Emotional help | There are big emotions going on at this age. You’ll need to both hear them out, make them finger understood, and teach them how they are unliable to express their emotions and how they are not.
two year old sitting with her mom
  • Sleep | 2-year-olds still need a nap. They’ll try to pretend they don’t and will plane go a few weeks at a time where they lay in the crib talking to themselves instead of sleeping. Persevere, don’t requite up considering of a 2 year sleep regression, and they’ll nap then soon. Also, lack of sleep will contribute to night terrors so, we want to stave that.
  • Routine | Never is a routine increasingly helpful than when your child is growing so much developmentally. Again, you don’t have to be hampered by the clock, but find something that works and stick with it. And know that not having a routine can result in over-tiredness and even bedtime battles in the evening.

Sample Routine / Schedule for a 2 year old

  • 7:30 am – Wake up and eat breakfast
  • 8:30 am – Self-ruling play or sibling play
  • 9:00 am – Self-sustaining play in location chosen by mom (Quiet Time)
  • 10:00 am – Outside play and snack (snacking tips here)
  • 11:00 am – Indoor activity, reading, crafts
  • 12:00 pm – Lunch
  • 12:30 pm – Wind lanugo to nap
2 year old smiling
  • 1:00 pm – Afternoon nap
  • 3:30 pm (or when nap is over) – Afternoon snack
  • 4:00 pm – Self-ruling play, wifely activity, screen time
  • 5:30 pm – Dinner
  • 6:15 pm – Suffuse and bedtime routine for whole family
  • 7:15 to 7:30 – Bedtime
Daily Routine Brainstorm SHEETS

Get my trickery sheets and find your family’s groove. Chore, self-sustaining play, meal, nap, bedtime, and MORE routine ideas!


Now, let’s unravel it down.

Now, if you are not a “clock oriented” person you’ll be very interested to read my post on how South Africans manage their time.

This will requite you all the benefits of a schedule, but that may better fit your own personality.

Because, no matter how good a routine is for your child, if you can’t manage to alimony the routine, then you’ll be the one who’s frustrated!

7:30 am | Wake Up

Even if my toddler wakes up a bit early, he stays in his crib until this time. This is breakfast time.

Awesome tip: when you serve breakfast is when their metabolism signals them to wake up.

It’s the easiest way to get them to sleep later.

If you feed them at 5:30 am they’ll wake then.

I’m a stay-at-home-mom so I know this time won’t work for everyone. This clock might help if they are an early riser.

big sister holding two year old

8:30 am | Self-ruling play

We do breakfast leisurely. We eat slow, put dishes yonder slow, and mosey yonder from the table slow. Without that I let the kids self-ruling play for a bit to ease into the day.

I try not to let this go on long unbearable they start fighting and going nuts.

But, I let them icon out what they’d like to do next whether it’s riding bikes, playing with the bunny, or just messing virtually with toys.

You can find age towardly bestselling toys here.

9:00 am | Self-sustaining play

Now, depending on the season, this time slot may change. Self-sustaining play is substantially letting your child play vacated with their toys uninterrupted by you or siblings.

I try to have this happen daily. If your kids don’t know how to play on their own, this will help you teach them how.

Introducing a scheduled Quiet Time may be good idea at this time.

two year old playing on the floor as part of his daily routine

10:00 am | Outside play and snack

If we skip snack time, things go haywire. I am okay with letting the kids go hungry on occasion.

However, without a proper fulfilling snack they may stand by your side begging for veggie sticks or grapes until you want to zinger your throne versus the wall.

I love sending them all outside.

We have a designated fenced play area, but if it’s summer we’re by the pool all morning or in the front yard with the hose and the dirt.

There is usually a lot less fighting outside and the squeals seem less… grating. (Here are 7 things to do when it gets too noisy)

Daily Routine Brainstorm SHEETS

Get my trickery sheets and find your family’s groove. Chore, self-sustaining play, meal, nap, bedtime, and MORE routine ideas!


10:45 am | Indoor activity

I don’t do an indoor worriedness every day. And, the days I do, “activity” is loose over here.

This can midpoint towers together, reading a book, or plane doing chores.

There will be a time during the day when you need to do something structured or – at least – led by you.

This is weft building, helps teach them to obey instructions, and ways they aren’t trying to find something to get into or throw in the toilet.

2 year old toddler playing at park

11:15 am | Self-ruling play

I let my son (who is currently 2) find something he likes to do and either let him at it or join in if I’m able.

On the days when my mother’s helper (2 mornings a week) is here, she will often play with him.

This might be Spot It or it might be trucks in the dirt.

12:00 pm | Lunch

I aim for lunches that are filling unbearable to last through a good long nap.

I don’t do short order cooking, but I try to offer quite a few filling options on their plate so plane if they don’t eat it all (and since I don’t engage in meal time battles) they are still fairly full.

After lunch, I have them put their dishes in the sink or dishwasher (ahem, if I’ve emptied it from the night before) then we mosey lanugo the hall to get ready for naps.

Nap time can be a struggle if your child isn’t “buying In.”

Here is how you can get your child to buy into their routine.

12:30 pm | Wind lanugo to nap

This doesn’t unchangingly pan out as I hope, but all in all I try to utilize this wifely lanugo method or have someone else (if they’re around) read to some of the kids so I can get the others to their rooms.

Here are some wind lanugo routines for bedtime and many wield to nap time as well.

Daily Routine Brainstorm SHEETS

Get my trickery sheets and find your family’s groove. Chore, self-sustaining play, meal, nap, bedtime, and MORE routine ideas!


1:00 pm | Nap

It doesn’t unchangingly happen at exactly 1, but 1 is the goal.

This ways by virtually this time all the kids are in their rooms with lights out to nap or, those who are old unbearable they don’t need a nap every day, have a few quiet activities they can play independently.

My 5-year-old may only nap once a week, and my 4-year-old only 4 days a week or so.

two year old toddler laying on couch

4:00 pm | Wake up and snack

The time at which everyone wakes up varies.

If my older kids aren’t napping they can come out of their rooms without a couple of hours and do something quiet.

Or they often go into each other’s rooms to play quietly. Often all the nappers will sleep until 5:00 pm if I let them!

I’ve found waking up cranky is remedied by a quick snack (not too filling or sweet).

2 year old playing outside

4:30 pm | Self-ruling play, TV, or wifely activity

If the weather is good the kids may play outside.

If we are currently watching TV each day for a bit (I go through seasons where we do no TV all week except movie night for this particular reason) they may watch TV.

I like when the kids offer to help with dinner, but I can’t have all the kids underfoot so rotating which child can help avoids this and allows you one on one time.

Daily Routine Brainstorm SHEETS

Get my trickery sheets and find your family’s groove. Chore, self-sustaining play, meal, nap, bedtime, and MORE routine ideas!


5:30 pm | Dinner

We aim for eating between 5 and 5:30 pm.

This is early, I know, but ways we aren’t in a manic panic to do the wind lanugo routine and the kids still get to bed at a reasonable hour.

Reasonable stuff between 7 and 7:30 pm most nights. This works for our family.

Read: 5 Dinner Time Hacks To Simplify (And Sanify!) Family Meals

old dinner bell

(Our old fashioned dinner bell)

6:00 pm | Suffuse and bedtime routine

If we haven’t swam that day then it’s usually bath time, books, pajamas, and wifely play surpassing bed.

That said, kids will be kids and wifely can turn to unconnectedness quickly.

My husband and I conquer and divide so each child can have a few minutes vacated with each parent surpassing bed. These wind lanugo routines are key for babies, and I normally get victual duty.

A mommy privilege.

Daily Routine Brainstorm SHEETS

Get my trickery sheets and find your family’s groove. Chore, self-sustaining play, meal, nap, bedtime, and MORE routine ideas!


7:15 pm | Bed

Sometimes this is a bit older or later, but virtually this time most kids are in bed.

My 2-year-old may often stay up and talk to himself (or sing God Bless America) in his crib if he’s had a late nap, but we’re okay with that.

He doesn’t cry or fuss so it’s less stimulating and increasingly relaxing (not to mention consistent) for him to be in bed at similar times.

Issues moms have when creating a 2 year old routine

Let’s swoop into some worldwide issues moms have when they’re trying to either create or alimony a routine for their 2-year-old.

Toddlers can resist transitions like it’s their job

Transitions can be unbearable to make any mom go cross-eyed. Sometimes little ones don’t want to stop doing something. Other times they don’t want to start doing something.

Keeping a resulting routine will help, for one, considering nothing will come as a surprise. Surprises are what often rationalization transition struggles.

  • Give “warnings” well-nigh changes.
  • Order your day well so you don’t stop something fun to do something not fun.
  • Intervene early. Don’t alimony repeating yourself a million times to a 2 year old, simply pick them up and bring them where you want them to go.

Don’t wait until too late to start motivating your little one or it can rationalization stress.

Daily Routine Brainstorm SHEETS

Get my trickery sheets and find your family’s groove. Chore, self-sustaining play, meal, nap, bedtime, and MORE routine ideas!


What do I do with my 2-year-old all day?

Toddlers can have limited sustentation spans, for sure. Luckily, if you focus on creating environments conducive to unscratched play then you won’t have to do too much to entertain them.

If you want to start some increasingly structured activities, go small. 5 minutes at a time, then maybe 10. Expectations (yours) play a part here and make a difference in whether it’ll be fun or not.

  • Do easy activities. My friend from Hands On As We Grow focuses on activities you can do with vital household things, no massive craft drawer needed.
  • Start small with low expectations.
  • Buy unshut ended imagination inspiring toys and indulge your child plenty of time to play.
  • Don’t start the habit of unvarying entertainment. It’s addicting and not nearly as satisfying to kids as good ole fashioned play.

Nap transitions… 2 year olds daily routines can shift with the months

Some children will nap until 4 years old happily. Others will have dropped their daily nap by the age of 3. Your 2 year old’s daily routine will depend on this nap.

  • If a nap has been dropped, an older bedtime is in order (7pm latest, in my professional sleep certified opinion, plane 6:30pm wouldn’t go amiss!).
  • Continue to offer afternoon rest time regardless of whether they sleep or not.
  • Don’t let your 2-year-old sleep later than 4 hours surpassing you want them to go to bed. So, for example, if bedtime is 7pm, wake your toddler up by 3pm or so at the latest. Otherwise, it’ll interfere with bedtime. If you let them nap later, move bedtime when slightly.
Daily Routine Brainstorm SHEETS

Get my trickery sheets and find your family’s groove. Chore, self-sustaining play, meal, nap, bedtime, and MORE routine ideas!


The Key to a Good 2-Year-Old Routine

This may be so simple it goes without saying… but the key to a good routine is keeping the routine.

It can be nonflexible to remember what all you want to do with an energetic two year old running around, but once you get the hang of it, routine will be second nature.

Here are some ways you can learn to alimony your routine without the hassle.

Daily Routine Brainstorm SHEETS

Get my trickery sheets and find your family’s groove. Chore, self-sustaining play, meal, nap, bedtime, and MORE routine ideas!


Hang a routine reminder up.

If need help remembering the routine and want to teach your budding toddler to follow the routine at the same time (so you don’t have to nag) I recommend using our routine cards (shown below) or something similar you can whip up at home.

You hang them up in the towardly room (bedroom for morning routine, washroom for suffuse routine, kitchen fridge for mealtime routine, etc.) and then use them to help your child learn independence.

Set alarms virtually the house or on your phone.

While you don’t need to live and die by the clock, setting your phone, watch, or a timer will help you alimony enlightened of routine transitions.

We can often get so wrapped up in what we’re doing we forget and we’re an hour or two past nap time and now they’re having trouble going down.

I set alarms on my phone that show on my watch and this works for us.


As with anything, if you want something to work then work it. Alimony pushing what you’ve decided to do.

If it doesn’t work then transpiration it up a bit and alimony going. Move forward.

I reassure you 100% that a routine will work if you alimony at it.

2 Year Old Routine Printable

Print, tweak, and watch how your days transform with your little one.


The post An Easy Peasy 2-Year-Old Routine That Works Every Time appeared first on A Mother Far from Home.