Preschool Toddlers Routine - Week 5

Activities @Home

Are you looking for some activity ideas to implement into your family’s daily routine? 

Each week we will update our routine pages with a weekly selection of activity ideas to try at home. Discover previous pre-school routines using the useful links section at the bottom of this page.

Toddler and pre-school children thrive with routine. This begins the moment they wake to the moment they settle for their night’s sleep. With the support of you their parent/carer all activities support your littles ones developmental journey.

Enjoy and have fun!

 

Eat breakfast

  • Can your child help you to prepare it?
  • Consider making sugar swaps. You can find lots of information at Change4Life.

Sugar Swap Ideas - Change4Life Website

 

Washing

Here we go round the ‘Mulberry Bush.’ Use the song to encourage a good cleaning routine which is fun and educational identifying nose, chin, etc. Will provide a good hand washing routine.

Sing...

Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush, the mulberry bush,
Here we go round the mulberry bush,
On a cold and frosty morning.

This is the way we wash our hands,
We wash our hands, we wash our hands,
This is the way we wash our hands,
On a cold and frosty morning.

Other verses…

This is the way we do our hair...

This is the way we brush our teeth...

 

Getting dressed 

  • Can they put on their clothes?
  • Support your child in getting dressed independently

 

What day is it today?

 

Monday's Routine

9.00am to 9.15am - Welcome Time

9.15am to 10.00am - Talking Boxes

Talking boxes are a great way to encourage early communication and language skills. Choose a basket, box or jar, for example an old shoe box would work well. Tell your little one this is their special talking box and they can help you to fill it with all their favourite things. Photographs, toys and special objects are a great place to start.

You can then spend time talking to your child about the things they have put in the box, what they are, why they chose them, and what is special about them. Do you or your child have any memories associated with the item that you can share. This activity is a great opportunity to ask your little one lots of questions, and to encourage them to talk about themselves and their feelings. 

You can also spend time decorating the box, with crayons, paint or with stickers, if you feel crafty.

10.15am to 10.45amSnack Time

10.45am to 11.30amFree Play    

11.30am to 12.00am - Baking

Let your little one get involved in baking your favourite recipe. Encouraging your child to take a more active role in choosing, preparing and cooking simple meals, can help them explore a wider variety of foods, it’s a fun way to introduce ingredients and let little ones explore new tastes, smells and textures. 

Following a simple recipe allows the opportunity to:

  • Talk about ingredients and where they came from
  • Try reading the numbers on the scale together for some maths practice, do you need some more of a specific ingredient?
  • Practice following simple instructions, for example ‘can you pass me the butter’
  • Development of fine motor skills, whether stirring a mixture, pouring some ingredients into a bowl, attempting to crack and egg, or decorating a cake, there are many opportunities for your child to use their hands.

You can even get your toddler involved in the cleaning up process, by encouraging them to wipe the table with a sponge, letting them brush the floor, or giving them a bowl of soapy water to practice washing up. Children love doing what grownups are doing. 

Baking with children may not always go to plan, and it is likely to be messy, however it is important to remember it’s the process, not the product that Is important, and your child will have lots of fun regardless of the end result.

Here are some simple recipe ideas to get you started, these can be easily adapted and decorated in all sorts of different ways.

Vanilla Cupcake - BBC Good Food

Simple Iced Biscuits - BBC Good Food

12.00pm to 12.30pmLunchtime

Choose a day...

 

 

 

Tuesday's Routine

9.00am to 9.15am - Welcome Time

9.15am to 10.00am - Animal Exercise

An at home PE session with a difference, get your children to think about how different animals might move, can they hop like a frog, walk like a bear, crawl like a snake, jump as high as a kangaroo or move sideways like a crab.

Challenging your children to move in different ways is good fun, but also gives them a chance to develop their balance, coordination and motor skills.

Try calling out the names of different animals, so your child changes how they are moving at regular intervals. You could also ask your child to change direction. 

This is a simple way to get the whole family moving, be sure to demonstrate any new movements and encourage your child to help.

10.15am to 10.45am - Snack Time

10.45am to 11.30am - Free Play    

11.30am to 12.00am - Threading

Encourage your toddlers fine motor development by getting them to do some threading. It can help develop the ability to grip correctly, and is also good for patience and concentration as it may take lots of attempts to achieve. Make sure you are demonstrating how to do it as it can be quite tricky at first, and use lots of praise and encouragement.

You can use a variety of resources for this, pipe cleaners, string, ribbon, straws or uncooked spaghetti could act as your thread and you could weave it through beads, a sieve, pasta tubes, cereal like cheerios, you can even punch holes in paper. Start with objects with a large hole to thread through, and with more practise you can try smaller holes.

12.00pm to 12.30pm - Lunchtime

Choose a day...

 

 

 

Wednesday's Routine

9.00am to 9.15am - Welcome Time

9.15am to 10.00am - Foil Painting

Painting on foil, instead of paper is a nice alternative for sensory play. All you need is kitchen foil, some paint, some brushes or hands. Roll out the foil onto a table, you can secure it in place with tape at the corners. You can put the paint in pots with brushes, or squirt it straight onto the foil. Your little one can then have fun spreading it around with a brush or their hands. 

Painting on foil adds an extra element compared to painting on paper, it is shiny so the paint glides across the surface. The shiny surface also adds an extra visual element and the foil makes a noise as you paint on it too.

Encourage children to paint large shapes, straight lines, create handprints and mix colours together.

This simple activity engages all the senses, and can be enjoyed together with adults or siblings, as a large piece of foil can be rolled out for collaborative painting.

10.15am to 10.45am - Snack Time

10.45am to 11.30am - Free Play    

11.30am to 12.00am - Writing Tray

Using a shallow tray or container, flour and water create a simple sensory area where your child can play and draw. Mix the flour and the water, adding food colouring, glitter or a small amount of paint to add colour, if you like. Place the mixture in a thin layer on the base of the tray, and encourage your toddler to use their fingers to draw. You can demonstrate drawing simple shapes, letters or numbers and see if your child can do the same.

Dinosaur Swamp Sensory Writing Tray - The Imagination Tree

12.00pm to 12.30pm - Lunchtime

Choose a day...

 

 

Thursday's Routine

9.00am to 9.15am - Welcome Time

9.15am to 10.00am - Rhyming words

Most children enjoy hearing and joining in with rhyming games and activities. Learning to recognise and produce rhyming pairs will support your child in learning to recognise words with similar sounds and in learning to read.

A simple way to introduce rhymes is too read rhyming books, or listen to rhyming songs or nursery rhymes, and encourage children to listen for words which sound the same. Try to emphasise rhyming pairs so you can hear them clearly.

You can also play the name game, where can create silly rhyming names for your little one, and get them to do the same for you, see how many you can come up with, children will enjoy hearing the different names. You may even come up with some nonsense words too.

10.15am to 10.45am - Snack Time

10.45am to 11.30am - Free Play    

11.30am to 12.00am - Cutting Skills

Cutting skills are a simple and low mess way of developing fine motor skills, if you have school scissors, or child craft scissors (sometimes these can have interesting shapes, such as a zigzag) then your child can practice their cutting with supervision. 

You can provide a variety of different resources for your child to cut up, including paper, ribbon, collage materials, tissue paper, card board, foil, felt, or natural resources such as leaves, or peel. Anything you have to spare could be suitable, a range of different textures and colours gives lots to explore. You could also use hole punchers to create different shapes.

Using plain paper you could also draw straight or zig-zag lines to cut along to practise precision, or shapes, for you toddler to cut out, and colour in.

You may need to demonstrate this a few times first. This song may help to learn: 

‘Open shut, open shut, that’s the way we cut, cut, cut. Fingers on the bottom, thumb on top, do not let the paper drop. Open shut, open shut. That’s the way we cut, cut, cut’.

You could create a cutting box, contain these materials.

Fine Motor Skills Cutting Tray - The Imagination Tree 

12.00pm to 12.30pm - Lunchtime

Choose a day...

 

 

 

Friday's Routine

9.00am to 9.15am - Welcome Time

9.15am to 10.00am - Shape Scavanger Hunt

Taking some sheets of paper draw a different shape on each, you could start simply with a circle and a square. Tell your child you are going to search for things in the house that are that specific shape. Start with simple objects to get started. First you could use something square, like a lego piece, show it to your child and ask them which drawing it is the same shape as. You can then look for other objects around the house that match the shapes you have drawn. You can add more shapes at any time. 

This also gives the opportunity to talk about the names of shapes and how many sides they have. You can even helpyour toddler to count the number of each shape that they have found.

Preschool Shape Scavenger Hunt - Frugle Fun for Boys and Girls 

10.15am to 10.45am - Snack Time

10.45am to 11.30am - Free Play    

11.30am to 12.00am - Emotions

This activity requires making funny faces. You can begin by asking your child how they feel today, and asking them to show you by making a face. Continue by taking turns with your child to make faces and guess what emotion they are trying to show you. You could start by making a sad face and asking them to guess how you feel, then ask your child to make a face, maybe angry or silly, and then guess what they are trying to show you.

Sharing and understanding their emotions and the emotions of others is a key skill that children should learn, practising this with you will allow them to do so in a fun, pressure free way.

This can be easily extended by talking about how children think characters in books, TV programmes or films may feel at certain times in the story, and discussing why they feel the way they do.

12.00pm to 12.30pm - Lunchtime

Choose a day...

 

 

Welcome Time

Share the day’s routine of activities…

You could use a visual timetable so children know what to expect. Visual timetables and Now and Next are effective for some children to understand the routine for the day. It can help children who are having difficulties following instructions become more motivated.

You can use a timer to explain when an activity is coming to end it will help with transition from one activity to another. Use an alarm on your phone, egg timer or cooker timer etc

Creating A Visual Table (pdf)

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Free Play

Let your child choose what activity they would like to do…
This supports your little one in developing their imagination, having ideas and being in control of their learning. 
You as the parent/carer are there to enhance this learning through meaningful conversation; lots of open ended questions… 
Remember to get down their level so they can see you and hear you. 
Don’t forget to have a look at the useful links section on the website for ideas to support extending your little one’s play. 

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Snack Time Ideas

Let your little one help you prepare their snack.

  • Pitta bread with salad    
  • Hummus with carrot and cucumber sticks 
  • Selection of fruit
  • Cheese Crackers     
  • Plain yogurt with fruit added   
  • Plain mini rice cakes         
  • Hard boiled eggs    
  • Fruit smoothie  
  • Cherry tomatoes with mozzarella
  • Plain Greek yogurt with mixed berries
  • Sliced pears with ricotta cheese
  • Toast with low fat spread/cottage cheese

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Lunchtime Ideas

Lunch times provide a great opportunity to promote your children’s speech and language development, physical skills and their independence as well as their health.

Offer choices
Example: “Do you want a sandwich or soup?” This helps your child to learn the words that they need to know and ask for what they want. 
Show what they like - Use words or gestures to say what they want and ask for them.

Comment on your child’s actions or offer a running commentary on your own actions whilst making lunch. This will let your child know that you are interested.

Give them the words that they need to know and build their vocabulary. Sometimes questions can put your child under pressure.


Allow your child to help make Lunch

Provide plastic or child friendly utensils to allow them to develop their physical skills and independence whilst spreading the butter on the bread, the cheese spread on the crackers or chopping the banana.

This will develop their fine motor skills and boost their confidence and self-esteem as they become your little helper.

Introduce some fun into Lunch time by offering some different meals, here are some ideas…

 

Silly Sandwiches

Create your own funny faces on top of your child’s favourite sandwich using vegetables and salad this will help in achieving those 5 a day!
If you have playdough cutters at home these can double up as sandwich cutters to make sandwiches more interesting and an opportunity to introduce some new fillings that maybe your child wouldn't have tried on a normal shaped sandwich.
Another option is to wrap your slice of bread with your filling on to form  pinwheel sandwiches rather than your traditional sandwich again making these more appealing to children.

Sandwich filler ideas:

Cheese spread, cold meats such as ham slices, chicken slices, turkey slices, tuna mayonnaise, Cheese slices, Egg mayonnaise.

 

Build your own wraps

This offers children choice and independence whilst offering a variety of vegetables such as sliced peppers, sliced cucumber etc. along with other fillings such as cheese and cold meat children can create a lunch of their own choosing on a soft tortilla wrap.

 

Cheese and Crackers

A lunch enjoyed by many children. Give this a twist and create a butterfly using a cheese string, a bag of mini crackers such as cheddars and a bag of chopped grapes creating wings for your butterflies.

 

Easy Vegetable Soup

1 (500g) tub chicken stock
350ml  (12foz) tomato juice
225ml (8 fl oz) water
1 large potato, diced
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes,
100g (4 oz) fresh green beans, chopped,150
(5 oz) frozen sweetcorn.

In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.

 

After an alternative to crisps? Micro sweet potato crisps!

Finely slice sweet potatoes and arrange the slices in a single layer on a large microwaveable plate. Spray with cooking oil and microwave on full power for 4 minutes. Check for crispiness and continue to cook in the microwave at 30 second intervals until crispy.

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Useful links:

Useful Activities