We know that a routine is crucial for young children and how important it is for them to have consistency in their lives. Really, it’s good for all of us. Below is our daily schedule. I follow it quite closely. That being said, I get bored sometimes with the routine so I’m sure my preschoolers do too! Sometimes we have to shake things up and do something different. Maybe longer free play, outdoor time or extra projects or longer storytime. I want to be flexible when children are really engaged in play or when their needs require it.
A Child Care Routine with Mother Goose Time
7:00 – 9:00 am: Drop off time / free play & music
8:45 am: clean up/bathroom time & handwashing
9:00 am: Snack
9:30-10:00: Outside play or music & movement
10:00 – 11:00 Morning activities: circle time, music & movement, writing, arts & crafts, stories, fingerplays, etc.
11:00-11:30 Lunch, bathroom time & handwashing
11:45 – 12:45: Outside play, bathroom time & handwashing
1:00 – 3:00 pm: Nap/Quiet time
3:15 pm: Snack
3:30-5:30: Free play & music/outside play
Having a full enrollment in my child care (currently 12) makes for busy days. Just cooking, cleaning, meeting needs and doing paperwork is a lot of work but adding in teaching children who are all at different levels of development, it just plain gets a little crazy!
I actually planned to write this post in December but unfortunately, keeping a routine became quite difficult the last two weeks. So many of my group were out sick, eventually, they all became sick with some virus or another. Between illness and holidays, our routine kind of out went out the window. When children’s weekends and evenings are so busy or they are recovering from illness, sometimes kids just need time to play freely or even get extra rest.
Then, on Christmas day, I became sick with influenza. I worked Friday but only had 3 children here so we had a play day. I really should have been sleeping but in real life, sometimes you don’t get the day off just because you’re sick! I usually try to just “push through” because by the time I get what’s going around, everyone else has had it.
I ended up taking Monday and Tuesday off and then child care was closed for Wednesday and Thursday for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. My day care was open for that Friday though, the only day that week. It was a bit unusual but parents and children were happy to be back at day care! Three families jokingly asked if a weekend program was available…uh, NO. 🙂 Obviously, they too were feeling the lack of routine!
So after all the illness and all the holidays, we are welcoming the return to our daily routine! The sameness, the predictability is comforting for people of all ages, but especially children. My child care daily routine is proven to work for us and after 10 years, it’s basically the same. A routine keeps me on track so we accomplish something!
Routines offer these benefits for children:
- Consistency provides a sense of stability, safety and comfort for children, even babies.
- A routine gives children a sense of confidence and sense of control.
- Guides behavior and safety.
- Supports social skills.
- Routines help children cope with transitions.
- Routines provide an opportunity for learning.
Mother Goose Time provides a wonderful routine for my preschoolers that influences every part of our day! The children look forward to circle time, ask “what we’re going to learn about today” and always are excited about the project we’ll be making. Actually, I find there’s so many activities offered with the program that I can’t get them all done in a day! Making lesson plans, planning ahead and keeping a routine is key to making the most of our Mother Goose Time themes.