Fun Daily Schedule Ideas for Preschool Classrooms
Having a daily schedule in place for your preschool classroom isn’t just good practice — it’s also important for your students’ development.
But how do you keep your little ones engaged while also ensuring they’re getting everything they need out of the day (both mentally and physically)?
At LifeCubby, we know a thing or two about creating the perfect daily schedule. The team behind our childcare management software is full of former educators who know circle time and transitions like the back of their hands.
That’s why we’re sharing these top daily schedule ideas for preschool to liven up your classroom:
Start with an arrival activity.
Have a question of the day and/or table activity for students to complete as soon as they arrive. These types of preschool activity ideas for teachers are a great way to begin the morning with structure, while also giving your students something fun to do. These questions can tie into whatever theme you’re teaching in the classroom and can help reinforce a core concept (literacy, math, science, art and/or motor skills). If you’ve got extra cubby space, we recommend creating boxes like these from Pre-K Pages so your students can easily find that morning’s activity.
Get moving and grooving.
Having plenty of active play ideas for preschoolers is a must. Incorporate music time into your daily schedule to help students work on key concepts while also getting out some of their energy. Music is also great in that it can be combined with a number of daily activities (like circle time or calendar time) for efficiency. Encourage your students to practice their language skills through a song or rhyme — or if you’ve got instruments, add in a layer of motor-skills practice. Not sure which rhyme to start with? Here are some of our favorite preschool-friendly tunes.
Give your students some freedom.
Free play encourages cognitive development and helps children’s ability to solve problems, so be sure to include at least one free play block in each day’s schedule. Set up centers around the classroom and have your students select the one at which they’d like to play. These centers can reinforce that week’s theme and should be updated frequently to ensure students don’t get bored with the same activities.
Plan for transitions.
Transitions can be especially messy in preschool, so put activities in place to help make the change easier. Whether it’s a clean-up song after messy activities or a counting activity as they go from one activity to another, it’s important to have something in place that cues students for what’s to come and helps them focus on moving from one station to the next. Check out our blog on behavior management for more transition time ideas.
Have a back-up plan for outdoor play time.
Outdoor play can quickly be derailed by inclement weather, so make sure you’ve got a set back-up plan in place that students can expect each time the weather is bad. By setting expectations for rainy days ahead of time, you can also cut down on the tantrums and challenging behaviors for students who really want their sandbox time. If structured play is your plan, here are some inside active play ideas for preschoolers that will have your students forgetting all about the dreary weather outside.
Make circle time engaging.
What if you could use some of these daily schedule ideas for preschool to enhance your instructional time as well? It can be easy to view circle time as a strictly instructional time, but in reality the best (and most effective) circle times are those that incorporate play and engage your students. For example, if you’re introducing a new shape during circle time, try passing around a mystery box with the shape in it and ask your students to describe it. This will give your students an opportunity to actively involve themselves in their learning and can help them retain the information better than if you just showed the shape on a flashcard.
Include an alternative to rest time.
For some students, nap time just isn’t going to happen every day, so plan a fun (and quiet) activity for those who are not sleeping. Reserve a table in the back of the room, away from the nap cots, and have students meet with a teacher to quietly practice various skills like literacy and math. This can be as simple as having a stack of books out for students to choose between or it can be something more hands-on like these from Hands On As We Grow. These are great preschool activity ideas for teachers because they allow you, the teacher, to cater to the different needs of your students.
These preschool activity ideas for teachers will ensure your students are learning — and having a blast — every day they’re in the classroom. They also make for great opportunities to snap photos and videos to share with parents as updates for what their child is doing and how they’re progressing over the course of the year.
Don’t have an easy way to share snapshots with parents at your center? LifeCubby’s award-winning childcare management software can help! Not only will it allow you to quickly send photos and videos from the day, but it’s also packed with a host of features that can help make your daily routine seamless including: customizable lesson planning tools, digital daily sheets, pre-loaded curriculum, activity logs and so much more.
Click HERE to schedule a demo today!