Daily Schedule



The value of a schedule cannot be overstated.

Throughout the day children will pick up a book, walk or crawl to me, especially when I'm sitting on the floor, and hand me the book.  Then they turn around and sit on my lap so I can read it to them. Reading is exceptionally important and is not relagated to just one time in the daily schedule.  Also throughout the day I sing to the children or recite nursery ryhmes or count out loud or repeat sounds they make.  There is no set time for these sorts of activities - I do them throughout each day.

One of the many benefits each child receives from my unlimited reading and my ongoing "chats" with them, is their speedy development of, and great joy in, language.  Studies have shown children are much more likely to be successful in school if they are read to from infancy on up; they develop stronger vocabularies if they are not just hearing words but associating the spoken word with facial expressions, eye contact and appropriate intonation.

7:30AM - 8:30AM: children arrive and play with the toy(s) of their choice until breakfast is ready.

8:30AM - 9:15AM: breakfast is served; following this meal each child is brought to the bathroom to wash their faces and brush their teeth.  Those who need help with these daily care skills are provided with it. Those who can use the toilet do so; those who need a diaper change get one at this time.

9:15AM - 9:30AM, the children play indoors, while Ms. Lucy cleans up after breakfast.
9:30AM - 10:30AM, we almost always take a walk to a nearby pond, where we see ducks, geese and cranes.  During the year, after duck eggs hatch, we see little yellow ducklings following their moms. On these walks we talk about things we see, such as trees (where are the roots, what are the different parts of a tree, how does water get to the leaves, etc.), bees (they have work to do so it's best to say hello and move on so we don't get stung), bushes (should we eat the berries - nope, not unless Ms. Lucy is 110% positive they're safe!), flowers (do all of them have a smell?), traffic signs (what sounds does each leter make), cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles and busses.  Additionally we notice birds and dogs and an occasional cat.  Also on these walks we collect a variety of treasures: seed pods, pine cones and unusual leaves which we use in projects.

10:30AM - 11:15AM: we return home and play outside in my park-like backyard and/or do a project.  Sometimes our project will be done in the garden or another part of my yard; at other times an activity will be done inside.
11:15AM - 11:30AM: we get ready for lunch.  Hands are washed and children can play with puzzles in the kitchen while lunch is being prepared.  Children are always interested in learning how food gets from the refrigerator to their plates!

11:30AM - noon: lunch is served; following this meal we repeat the very same procedures that take place after breakfast.


Noon - 12:20PM: story time; this is a special time when children are read to in a quiet manner, to get them ready for their nap.

12:20PM - 2:30 - 3PM: children nap. Older children who have outgrown naps, have a rest period - a time for being quiet.

3:00PM - 3:30PM: children wake up, use the toilet or have a diaper change and have a snack. After snack time, hands and faces are washed and teeth are brushed.

3:30PM - 4:30PM: depending on the weather, children play in the backyard. This gives them the opportunity to climb on the playground structure, use any of 3 different sized slides, throw, catch and/or kick a wide assortment of balls, blow bubbles, create art masterpieces with sidewalk chalk, ride any of several different sized tricycles, etc.

4:30PM - 5:15PM: depending on the weather, we may remain outside awhile longer; if we come in, children play with their choice of toys or they can watch a video (all are educational) until they are picked up.

Please note: I offer a mix of toys designed to promote large muscle development and fine motor skills. All books, toys and activities promote equality; therefore, there are no "boy" toys or "girl" toys - all play things at Little Pals are for KIDS! Throughout the day I talk about colors, letters, numbers and shapes. We listen to music and try to tell how the music makes us feel and whether it's slow or fast or if it makes us want to dance. Children are never forced to play with a certain toy or to do a specific activity.

Rudimentary sign language is taught - virtually all children learn basic signs quite easily and they thoroughly enjoy the process of acquiring another way to "say" something!
Please take a look at a wonderful web site about baby sign language: http://www.babies-and-sign-language.com/baby-signs-how-to-use.html  It's great for those who are wondering why babies and/or toddlers should be taught this language, as well as for those who are already using it and seeing huge benefits.
All children thrive when they know what to expect, from one day to the next.  It gives them a sense of security.  While our schedule is fairly consistent, every once in awhile it will change.  When possible I tell the children ahead of time what will be different and I reassure them that our regular schedule will return.