Jan 31, 2023 5 min read

Fun Daily Schedule Ideas for Preschool Classrooms

Leah Woodbury By: Leah Woodbury
preschoolers sitting around a table playing with toys

Having a daily schedule in place for your preschool classroom isn’t just good practice — it’s also important for your students’ development.

But how do you keep your little ones engaged while also ensuring they’re getting everything they need out of the day, both mentally and physically?

Let’s take a look at some daily schedule ideas for preschoolers to liven up your classroom!

Start With an Arrival Activity

Have a question of the day for students to answer as soon as they arrive. This is a great way to begin the morning with structure, while also giving your students something fun to do. These questions can tie into whatever theme you’re teaching in the classroom and can help reinforce a core concept (literacy, math, science, art and/or motor skills).

If you’ve got extra cubby space, we recommend creating boxes like these so your students can easily find that morning’s activity.

Get Moving and Grooving

several preschoolers dance and play instruments

Having plenty of active play ideas for preschoolers is a must. Incorporate music time into your daily schedule to help students work on key concepts while also getting out some of their energy. Music is also great in that it can be combined with a number of daily activities (like circle time or calendar time) for efficiency.

Encourage your students to practice their language skills through a song or rhyme — or if you’ve got instruments, add in a layer of motor-skills practice. Not sure which rhyme to start with? Here are some of our favorite preschool-friendly tunes.

Give Your Preschool Students Some Freedom

Free play encourages cognitive development and helps children’s ability to solve problems, so be sure to include at least one free play block in each day’s schedule.

Set up centers around the classroom and have your students select the one at which they’d like to play. These centers can reinforce that week’s theme and should be updated frequently to ensure students don’t get bored with the same activities.

Plan for Transitions

Transitions can be especially messy in preschool, so put activities in place to help make the change easier. Whether it’s a clean-up song after messy activities or a counting activity as they go from one activity to another, it’s important to have a routine in place that cues students for what’s to come and helps them focus on moving from one station to the next.

Have a Back-Up Plan for Outdoor Play Time

four preschoolers and a teacher sit around a table painting

Outdoor play can quickly be derailed by inclement weather, so make sure you’ve got a set back-up plan in place that students can expect each time the weather is bad.

By setting expectations for rainy days ahead of time, you can also cut down on the tantrums and challenging behaviors for students who really want their sandbox time.

If structured play is your plan, here are some inside active play ideas for preschoolers that will have your students forgetting all about the dreary weather outside.

Make Circle Time Engaging

daycare students participate in circle time

What if you could use some of these daily schedule ideas for preschool to enhance your instructional time as well? It can be easy to view circle time as a strictly instructional time, but in reality the best (and most effective) circle times are those that incorporate play and engage your students.

For example, if you’re introducing a new shape during circle time, try passing around a mystery box with the shape in it and ask your students to describe it. This will give your students an opportunity to actively involve themselves in their learning and can help them retain the information.

Include an Alternative to Rest Time

For some students, nap time just isn’t going to happen every day. Plan a fun (and quiet) activity for those who are not sleeping once they’ve met state-required nap time requirements, if applicable.

Reserve a table in the back of the room, away from the nap cots, and have students meet with a teacher to quietly practice various skills like literacy and math. This can be as simple as having a stack of books out for students to choose between or it can be something more hands-on like these.

How Procare Can Help!

screenshot of the Procare child care app detailing a child's daily schedule

These preschool activity ideas for teachers will help ensure your students are learning — and having a blast — every day they’re in the classroom.

They also make for great opportunities to snap photos and videos to share with parents as updates for what their child is doing and how they’re progressing over the course of the year.

With a fully integrated and complete parent engagement solution that also includes classroom management, the Procare child care mobile app allows parents to be immersed in their children’s day-to-day activities — that includes tracking developmental milestones, sharing photos and videos as well as enabling two-way communication.

That’s because teachers can send photos and videos to parents with one tap! Parents can see their child’s activities that are shared from school and easily message staff. They also can learn about what their children are learning!

They also can send reports on daily activities for infants and toddlers, as well as record activities such as diaper changes, bottle feedings and naps.

The Procare child care mobile app gives you the ability to: ​

  • Get information quickly via an app​
  • Take the hassle out of check-in/out​
  • Have a direct mass communication channel​
  • Keep parents engaged​
  • Go digital​
  • Empower your staff​
  • Collect tuition and payments effortlessly

Check out this on-demand webinar to learn more about the app and see for yourself what it can do.  

Want to learn more? Join us for a one-on-one demo!

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Leah Woodbury

Leah Woodbury is the head of content at Procare Solutions. Her job includes writing about topics that matter to child care professionals and finding ways to help them do their important work. She’s a mom of two who loves getting updates about what her preschooler is doing during the day via the Procare child care mobile app!

Leah Woodbury