Life is made up of many pieces, like a puzzle. Here I attempt to put them all together.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Planning for a Successful Day With Toddlers and Preschoolers

A day with toddlers and preschoolers can seem like fun, but without a little planning it can quickly turn into a headache. Toddlers and preschoolers thrive on having a routine and knowing what comes next. A daily schedule or routine can go a long way toward a keeping things running smoothly. It doesn't have to be set in stone - flexibility is also important - but it should have a degree of consistency.

Children at this age have short attention spans so be sure to take this into consideration when planning the day. Mix quiet activities with more active ones and if one thing is not working be prepared to switch gears. Flexibility within the routine is key. A typical day at Rose's House includes reading age appropriate books, building with blocks, puzzles, crafts or coloring, outdoor play, free play, dramatic play, and (my favorite part) rest time. There are many activities that this age enjoys so be sure to fill the day with variety.

Here are the links to a few of the blogs I enjoy reading that are full of quality ideas and resources for toddlers and preschoolers.
Preschool is Fun - Planning Activities
Preschool Playbook
Teacher Tom
Storytime and More
United Teaching
United Teaching Discoveries

Snacks are very important because young children use a lot of energy and tend to need to refuel often. A great article on this subject is Snacks for Preschoolers at The National Network for Childcare. Take advantage of this time while the little ones are occupied to have a small snack yourself, to sit with them as they enjoy their snack and simply enjoy them. It's a great way for everyone to quietly (or sometimes not so quietly) refresh and reconnect. Also having water available on demand throughout the day is a great way to keep little ones hydrated and feeling their best.

Most of all have fun.  Learning is important, routine is important, but unless everyone is enjoying the process very little of value will be accomplished. Be a little silly, laugh a lot, enjoy the children. The most important lesson we can teach children, or maybe the children teach us, is to be present in and enjoy the moment and the "little" joys along the way.

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