I'm certain our schedule will be edited and adjusted in the future, but for many moms including myself, we are desperate for some sort of routine and predictability.
I know that a lot of us are home with kiddos and a lack of structure can make the days feel almost endless and lead to chaos, then frustration, and all in all - stress.
So I thought I'd dust off my preschool teacher hat and put together a flexible schedule and list of activities anyone can do at home.
This plan is set up for a my family - a single mom of two boys who also does some work from home.
Note : These are aimed at preschool ages 3-5 but can be modified for other ages.
Extra Note: Judge me if you may, but yes I allow my kids some TV time (educational kids shows) and screen time (child friendly monitored games)
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When I sat down to create a schedule, I had to take into consideration that these days are not like normal days. They are not the same as Spring Break or even Summer days home. We are in the middle of a global pandemic so I decided to make a list of things that are important now. I listed our family's priorities first. I recommend if you're looking for routine, you sit down and consider your family's priorities and core values.
The next thing I did was make a list of home help skills I want my kids to become more independent with. Here is a list of things I will begin to have them help with.
Our Loose Daily Schedule will go something like this until we find adjustments we want to make:
8:00 Breakfast + Clean Up + Chores
9:00 TV / Free Play
9:45 Outside Time / Play with Roxy (our black lab)
10:00 Learning Time + Activity (from lists below)
ACTIVITY : M (lang) T (math) W (science) TH (art) F (math)
11:00 Mom Workout / Kids Tablet Time
12:00 Lunch + Clean Up
12:30 Quiet Time / Mom work time
2:00 Get Out (go for a drive, ride bikes/scooters, go fish/ feed ducks, toss ball, hit softball, kick soccer ball, wash the car, pull weeds, play water, nerf guns)
I've compiled a list of activities under major Preschool Learning Objectives so I have a variety of simple things to choose from. Almost all of these can be done from home.
Fine motor skills - tracing, stringing, chopsticks, pinching/tongs, playdough, kinetic sand, coloring, painting, stamping
Large motor skills - jumping, skipping, kicking, hopping, rolling, balancing (try painter’s tape), riding, tossing, sliding on paper plates, moving like an animal, indoor hopscotch, balloon volleyball, riding bikes/scooters, youtube yoga (Cosmic Kids), freeze dance, active songs (hokey pokey etc)
I’m a Little Teapot
Language + Math
Language/Literacy - letter recognition, sight words, naming words that begin with a letter, rhyming, music.singing, storytime, find the letter game, letter flash cards, letter writing practice, name writing practice
Math - sorting by color, size, shape, type etc, patterns, number recognition/flash cards, counting items, simple addition, sizes, more/less, building activities
*not exhaustive lists but good place to start :)
Science + Art
Science - magnets, observing nature with senses, color mixing, oil and water experiments, exploring phases of water, observing weather, learning about systems of the body, grow plants, learn about dinosaurs and fossils, make your own playdough, cooking activities, make slime, oobleck, silly puddy
Art - coloring pages (we like to print out own), open ended coloring, painting, painting with spray bottles/squirt guns, finger paint, tape resist art, string pull art, sponge art, fork painting, make a rainbow to hang, create something from a favorite book/movie, decorate a shell/rock, paper plate, dye eggs, mini marshmallow sculptures with toothpicks, decorate a pillow/t-shirt, upcycle old clothes, use recyclables to create something
I understand not all of this will be a possibility for all. Getting out of the house may be completely prohibited where you live. In that case, I would simply pull from the list of activities like art or large motor exercises. A couple of our favorites include jumping on a mattress on the floor and chasing balloons around the house.
My goal is not to teach replace what my children have been learning in school. But I do believe that maintaining some sense of structure, instruction, and responsibility will help them transition back to school better when its time. And routines are absolutely helpful for kids.
I hope some of these ideas come in handy for you at this time. I wish you blessings of health, peace, joy, and everything you need at this time.
Start your day with graceful intention and infuse it with breaks as you need it.
Stay strong mama, you got this.
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Malia was born and raised in Kaneohe, Hawaii and graduated from Azusa Pacific University. She spent the majority of her career as an Early Childhood Education Teacher/Administrator.