To keep young children engaged, it is necessary to provide them with a variety of activities and environments throughout the day at a daycare center. While different daycares may adhere to different philosophies and curriculums, most daycares break up the day by organizing similar activities into schedules. Here is a breakdown of the five most popular daycare activities:
In-class learning centers. Toddler attention spans aren’t very expansive. For that reason, the most effective way of engaging them in learning over an extended period of time is to allow them to explore a variety of surroundings and participate in a number of stimulating exercises. In-class learning centers are a popular solution, incorporating areas like a mock kitchen, a costume/dress-up stage, a building blocks corner, a reading room, and a math/science space into the preschool learning environment.
Recess. Kids need plenty of time to blow off steam, especially if they’ve been indoors all day. Recess generally consists of outdoor playtime, usually with the aid of playground items like swing sets, slides, monkey bars, sand boxes, swinging ropes, shaky bridges, tire swings, playhouses, tricycles, teeter-totters, and more.
Nap time. While it is true that some children might complain when it comes to nap time, the truth is that infants and toddlers need a nap time to stay balanced. Nap time is a standard part of every daycare schedule, and it generally takes place after lunch or recess, when children’s tummies are full and legs are worn out.
Eating. Depending on their hours of operation, daycare centers may offer up to two snacks and three meals a day (even if they offer parents the option of bringing food in). Every daycare has an area designated for eating, and even meal time can be a rewarding learning experience for children, even if they are only learning about cleanliness and manners.
Arts and crafts time. Preschoolers like to get messy, and if they don’t get enough of a chance for that at recess, arts and crafts time should provide them with plenty of ooey-gooey opportunities to get their hands dirty, so to speak. The most popular daycare arts and crafts activities are hands-on, to provide children with both tactile stimulation and a means of creative expression. Think finger paints, modeling clay, glitter, and plenty of glue.
Running a daycare is not child’s play. It is serious business that involves the care of your most precious treasure. Your little ones deserve to be in an environment that will nurture their talents and curiosity, surrounded by people who care about their well-being.