What is a Daily Rhythm?
What is a daily rhythm and what makes it different from a schedule? Schedules are often rigid, encompass each moment of the day and follow a clock. A daily rhythm on the other hand is fluid and leaves time for spontaneity, while still providing a general pattern to our days. Though the exact time at which things happen might change day to day, the general flow of events is quite similar, even season to season. For example, in summer, bedtime might be a bit later, but the events leading up to it remain the same. In the summer more free play will be spent outside, and walks might be quite a bit longer than in winter.
In a world so big, young children are often overwhelmed, but having a daily rhythm allows them a sense of control over knowing what comes next. This is empowering and comforting to them, and often for us as adults too!
A daily rhythm also allows us to move at a slower pace. Rather than pack in a bunch of events (even fun ones!) into a day, we can make sure there is plenty of time for free play. This allows children time to become engrossed in whatever they are drawn towards.View fullsize
Following a daily rhythm allows for more flexibility than a strict schedule. No day is exactly the same, nor should it be. We travel and go on day trips and adventures. We have playdates and soccer class. Some events happen 1x a week and some 1x a month. Some are planned and some are spontaneous. A daily rhythm allows for this flexibility while still meeting everyone’s needs for routine.
How can you create a daily rhythm?
What works for one family doesn’t necessarily work for another. Your daily rhythm will look different than mine. If you are interested in creating one but don’t know where to start, first begin with the fixed aspects of your day (such as mealtimes, naps, or school) and then plan a rhythm around that. It also helps to jot down things you want to happen every day (e.g. periods for uninterrupted play, walks, reading) and add those in. There may be other things (e.g. art projects, baking together, library outings) that you make a specific day for each week, or just choose to do spontaneously. When creating your daily rhythm, try to avoid adding the times, at least at first. Focus more on the pattern of events, to reduce pressure and let the day happen organically.
I have included a template you can print to create a daily rhythm yourself! Click the image below to download.