If you are thinking about sending your toddler to a child care center for the first time while you are at work, it is natural to be curious about their day and what they will be doing. Here are some of the activities that will fill your toddler’s day while at child care.
Meal time will take up a significant part of your child’s day. Most day cares allow your child to eat their own breakfast if they bring it with them during drop off. Then, they have a morning snack time, lunch and afternoon snack time as well.
Depending on how your child care center is structured, you may be able to bring in your own food for your child or your child may be able to eat food that the daycare has prepared for them.
During meal time, your child may sing a manners song before eating. The teachers will help them eat. Your child will then be given the opportunity to throw away their own trash when they are done with their meal.
Most day care centers have a designated nap time. Generally, nap time follows lunch and a bathroom break. In order to get the kids ready for nap time, a story may be read or some nap time songs may be sung. Then, your child’s teachers will help your child calm down, cover them up with a blanket, and sit next to them and pat their back if they need additional assistance going to sleep.
Large Group Time
Throughout the day, your child’s teachers will lead them in large group activities. Large group activities tend to only last around ten minutes, due to the attention span most toddlers have outside of one on one settings.
Large group activities generally focus on movement and engagement. Your child may sing songs, participate in finger play activities, or play large group games with their teacher and fellow students.
They may also have short circle times, where they learn about the calendar, colors, shapes, numbers and letters.
Small Group Activities
Your child’s teacher will plan small group activities where three or four toddlers are pulled aside for structured small group activities. These activities generally involve hands-on arts and science projects.
Center time may happen at the same time as small groups. Centers are when your child is allowed to play with certain toys in a specific area for an extended period of time. Common center time activities in toddler classrooms include:
- Sensory Table
Specific toys are generally set out in different areas of the classroom, where your child is free to explore and play.
Weather permitting, most child care centers try to take your child out at least twice a day for outside time. Depending on the weather, outside time may be as short as ten minutes, or up to an hour.
Most child care centers have toddler-appropriate playground equipment for your child to play with during outside time. Sometimes, additional toys may be brought outside, such as chalk or trucks. Additionally, large group games, such as red light, green light, may be played during outside time.
If you send your toddler to a child care center, their day will be filled with a variety of different activities designed to meet their needs and interests. If you have additional questions about how their day will look, be sure to ask the child care center you are interested in sending your child to how they specifically shape their day. This information will help you determine what to do from day to day with your child, so that you can reinforce their education.