Schedule of the Day
Post a “schedule of the day” for each lesson so that caregivers and children know what is going to happen.
The warm-up time is the time between family arrivals and the beginning of the program. This is a time for children to get comfortable with the space and new faces. For the first class, our warm-up exercise is to make a name badge. As the children and caregivers arrive, have them write their names on a paper badge and place it in a plastic badge holder. If children cannot spell their name, have caregivers lightly write their names so children can trace over the letters. When children are done, introduce yourself, and repeat their names back to them.
- Have them create name badges
- Wear your own name badge
- Introduce yourself to each child and caregiver
Call all children and caregivers to our circle and introduce yourself. Demonstrate introducing yourself to someone, encourage caregivers to model introducing themselves to each other, and have children introduce themselves. Names are powerful and promote identity, independence, and friendships. Make every effort to pronounce names correctly.
Concepts (letters, numbers, shapes, & colors)3-7 min
- Alphabet Song: Sing the alphabet song together. Use an alphabet poster to point to letters. Hand out the letters and numbers printable to children so they can follow along.
- Counting Rhyme: Count on your fingers 1 – 10 or sing a counting rhyme.
- Write numbers or use numbers poster and hand out the letters and numbers printables to children so they can follow along (link in green “Printable Resources” on this page).
- Letters and Numbers Sheets
At this time, caregivers leave the room to attend Caregiver Gear Up. It is important for both caregivers and children to feel comfortable during this time. This transition time helps children redirect to a new activity while the caregivers leave.
- Sing Grownups Leave to caregivers. Give high fives, handshakes, or hugs.
- While caregivers leave, hand out props (shakers, bean bags, rings, or scarves). Play transition song with props (this can be any song of your choosing).
Have children take their item (bean bag, scarf, ring, or shaker) and sit. Have them listen for their color (bean bag, scarf, ring, shaker, or even shoes, shirt, etc.) before they put the items away.
Circle Time5-7 min
It is useful to have an activity calendar or board that is used for each class that lists the word of the day, weather, days of the week, and seasons. These can be purchased or homemade. Leader should find ways to ensure all children have an opportunity to speak. This can be done by calling out individuals but be careful to not pressure children who are not ready.