Quality daily schedules for toddlers…
- Are developmentally and culturally appropriate
- Include large periods of play and free exploration
- Balance indoor and outdoor activities
- Provide small group and individual activities
- Include routines
- Provide a flow to the day
- Are flexible and in tune with the needs of the children
A developmentally appropriate Toddler schedule has a balance of large and small motor activities, indoor and outdoor experiences and small group and individual choice activities. Whole group activities are not a necessary part of a toddler schedule and should only be used with intentionality and respect for the developmental abilities of the group of children. Teachers need to accept that young toddlers may lose interest in group activities while others may stay engaged. Offering other activities for young toddlers to do when they become restless is essential.
Daily schedules for young toddlers help them learn the pattern of the day and the routines they will engage in. Daily schedules should be posted for the children in picture form so they can see the flow of the day. The daily schedule should include plenty of time for the routine activities of the day (toileting, transitioning, meals, etc.). Toddlers need to practice and develop their own expertise in feeding, washing, and toileting themselves. Routine activities should be viewed as an essential part of the daily schedule and be viewed as learning opportunities. Teachers need to be flexible with the daily schedule in order to accommodate the skill development of the children. Toddlers also need plenty of time to engage in play and to be active on a daily basis.
Teachers should create a variety of creative and stimulating learning spaces and materials where children can explore their own interests. Teachers remain actively engaged with children during these times of the day by interacting during the activity.
The following link provides additional information on scheduling for toddlers. toddler_schedule.pdf