The perfect preschool daily school schedule should include educational activities, playtime, and quiet time. The following is a suggested schedule that can be used as a guide for creating your own daily preschool schedule:
7:00-8:00 am – Arrive and serve breakfast
Most children should be arriving around this time. Breakfast should be served as soon as possible to give the children the nutrients to start their day. Allow children to come in and eat their breakfast at their own pace. Also, let them adjust to their parents leaving for the day.
8:00-9:00 am – Free play
Use this as time for children to explore the classroom, play with toys, and socialize with their classmates. It is essential to have free play time every day so that children can use their imaginations and burn off some energy. Forcing smaller children to do school work right away may not be developmentally appropriate and lead to frustration.
9:00-9:30 am – Circle time
This is a time for the whole class to come together and participate in activities such as singing songs, reading stories, or learning the Pledge of Allegiance. This is also a time for children to learn to take turns and listen to others. Children can get to know all their classmates and learn good communication skills.
9:30-10:00 am – Small group activity
Small group activities are more focused and can be used to teach children specific skills such as colors, shapes, or manners. This is also an excellent time to work on social skills such as sharing and taking turns. Working in small groups will help children feel more comfortable and less overwhelmed than working on these activities alone.
10:00-10:30 am – Large Group Activity
Large group activities are used for the whole class to participate in an activity together. This activity can be as simple as playing preschool games or learning a new dance. Large group activities help children feel like they are part of a team and can improve social skills such as cooperation and following directions.
10:30-11:00 am – Outdoor play
Fresh air and exercise are important for children of all ages. Being outdoors also gives children a chance to explore their environment and use their imaginations. If the weather is not suitable for outdoor play, indoor gross motor activities can be substituted.
11:00-11:30am – Snack time
Children will need a snack to tide them over until lunchtime. A healthy snack such as fruits or vegetables is best. You can either provide the snack or request that parents pack them for their child. This is also a good time for children to practice good hygiene habits, such as washing their hands before eating.
11:30am-12:00 pm – Quiet time
This is a time for children to rest or do calm activities such as reading or coloring. Quiet time gives children a chance to wind down and recharge before the afternoon activities. Therefore, it is important to have at least 30 minutes of quiet time every day.
12:00-1:00 pm – Lunch time
Lunch should be served around this time and should be about an hour. This gives the children enough time to eat and digest their food before the afternoon activities. You do not want to risk a child with an upset stomach. Depending on whether or not your preschool provides lunch, you may need to request that parents pack a lunch for their children.
1:00-2:00 pm – Nap time
Nap time for children to sleep or rest. Most preschoolers still need a nap and will be more energetic in the afternoon if they have had some time to rest. If a child does not want to nap, quiet activities such as reading or coloring can be substituted. As long as they take some time to rest, they will be fine.
2:00-3:00 pm – Afternoon activities
This is a time for more focused activities such as arts and crafts, learning to write their name, or practicing numbers. These activities help children review what they have learned in the morning and prepare them for the next day. In addition, you can teach your students subjects like math, science, and social studies during this time.
3:00-3:30 pm – Snack time
Growing children will need a second snack time to get them through the day. Ensure that each child receives at least two snacks per day and drinks water as needed. Never let a child go hungry, and if they are not feeling well enough to eat, contact their parents immediately.
3:30-4:00 pm – Closing learning activities and clean up time
This is the last learning activity of the day and is a good time to review what was learned during the day. Closing learning activities can include a quick game or a song to review the day’s material. After this, children will help clean up any materials used during the day. This helps them learn responsibility and good habits for taking care of their belongings.
4:00-4:30 pm – Outside time
One last instance of outdoor play time is important for students. Children should not be cooped up all day inside and need to be in the sun and have fun. This should be one of the last things you and your students do before pick-up time.
4:30-5:00 pm – Free play & Pick up time!
The last half hour before pick-up time is free play. This gives children the time to wind down and have fun with their friends. Parents will start coming around this time to pick up their children. Be sure to have a list of the students’ names so that you can check off each child as they are picked up. Also, always have a late policy for parents picking up their child after the scheduled pick-up time.
This is just a sample schedule, and you can adjust the times as needed to fit your preschool’s needs. Always put the children’s safety and wellbeing first and have a plan for each day. A daily schedule for preschool classrooms helps children feel secure and allows them to know what to expect each day. It also helps teachers maintain control of the classroom and keep the students on track. Having a set schedule will help your preschool run smoothly and ensure that each child gets the most out of their day.
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