Developing a consistent routine for your preschooler at home will encourage the formation of smart habits and skills as they grow! Though it may seem unrealistic to hold your child to a schedule, creating a predictable plan for their day will reduce their stress, help them feel comfortable and secure, and improve their attention span.
As the parent of a preschooler, you should feel free to switch up activities based on your child’s interests and your family’s lifestyle! Whatever your schedule, ensure you allow enough time for your child to sleep, play, read, and exercise safely! You might also want to think about including family and outdoor time into each day.
Realistically, the activities for each day of the week will differ based on your individual circumstances. Below is a basic overview of a possible schedule that you can modify for your child!
Keep in mind: the duration of activities for preschool-age children should generally fall between 10-15 minutes. As they increase their attention span and grow, activities can expand to 30-45 minutes, depending on your child’s pace and engagement.
Set a Wakeup Time (and Stick to It!)
Wakeup times and traditions will differ depending on the lifestyle of your family. However, it can be useful to determine a general time range in which you rise and prepare for the day! Ensure your child is well-rested and is waking at a time that will best help them be productive and content.
It is important to develop consistency with wakeup chores. Together, you might make the bed, get dressed, and brush teeth. If you prefer to start the day with breakfast, you might want to develop a consistent meal routine with your child that involves their help. If your child is not a morning person, you might want to begin the day with a mellow activity such as reading or yoga to ease them into the day!
Most preschools will implement a morning Circle Time into the day, during which students will share stories, read books, play movement games, chant rhymes, or sing songs. The goal of circle time is to warm up and prepare for the day.
You might want to assign themes to your weeks to keep your child engaged and excited for activities. Introduce and discuss these themes during Circle Time and base your readings and games off of them if possible. A theme might focus on different environments each day of the week (Jungle, Ocean, Mountains) or different character traits (Kindness, Courage, Respect).
Additionally, Circle Time is a chance to look at the day’s calendar and discuss any family engagements, specific activities, or goals you have planned, allowing your child the sense of what to expect. You might also share what you are looking forward to that day and ask your child to do the same.
For preschoolers, math should be highly interactive, varied, and fun. There are so many different games and lessons you can complete with your child to improve their number sense and memory.
Building in movement, music, and play into the day not only provide a break from sedentary activities but also allow for varied modes of learning. Singing songs, dancing, or playing an indoor or outdoor game are great ways to get your child moving and infuse some fun into the later morning or afternoon! You might even include multiple “dance breaks” each day if your child seems particularly restless.
Rest Hour or Independent Play
After lunch, it can be useful to create space for independent time or relaxation. If your child takes naps, you might encourage them to do so here. Conversely, if your child is not a napper, you could instead allow them to choose an activity, toy, or book to complete or play with on their own.
If you decide to implement screen time into the day, watching a short video or playing a tablet game could be a nice way to calmly transition into the afternoon.
Writing or Reading Practice
Make sure to dedicate time each day to books in order to help progress towards independent reading. In addition to reading aloud to your child, practicing letter tracing/recognition, as well as reading games, will help familiarize your child with the alphabet and the building blocks of words.
Collaborative, interactive activities are a great way to make learning new skills more fun. Introduce puzzles, art projects, or sensory bins! You can easily develop your child’s math, literacy, and science skills through activities that feel like games!
Hands-on activities can pique your child’s curiosity and encourage them to explore the world around them using all of their senses. You can also tailor your activities to your child’s interests or the specific skills you want to target.
Many children enjoy cooking and helping out in the kitchen. Particularly if your child is a picky eater, it can be useful to engage them in your meal prep so that they feel as though they have some control over what they are eating.
Additionally, making dinner together can be a great way to practice measurement, memory, patience, and collaboration. You might decide to look through a recipe book together and have your child choose a special dish or dessert. Dinner can also be a time to teach your child about healthy eating and different types of foods.
Reading before bed is a wonderful way to wind your child down and form healthy, long-lasting evening habits. Moreover, it will also inspire your child to read on their own before bed when they are older. Rather than looking at a screen, reading books will help your child relax and ready them for sleep.
Allow your child to pick out which books they would like to read. You might also use this time to ask questions about the books to practice comprehension and retention.
Creating and encouraging routines from a young age will help your child find joy in productivity and feel safe in their environment. You will also be able to more consistently develop skills over time by relying on an academic schedule.
Do you have a daily routine that works for you and your child at home? Let us know in the comments below!
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