Managing your time effectively when you have a preschooler running around can be difficult.
If your kids are in daycare, once you get home, it likely seems that there isn't enough time for dinner, a bath, playtime, getting ready for bed and anything else that you need to do.
For kids that are home all day, finding activities to keep them occupied all day can be just as difficult.
Planning your day and sticking to a schedule can help make sure that you get important things done, including naps, snacks, meals, and playtime.
A day full of routines can also help you improve your child's behavior, as many younger kids don't do well with a lot of unstructered time.
Among the things that you should include in a typical preschooler's day include:
- a nap, although some kids start giving up their nap by age 4 or 5
- three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- two nutritious snacks in the late morning and early afternoon
- up to 1-2 hours of watching age-appropriate TV, movies or playing computer/video games. Use some judgement here though. If your child is in daycare from 8am to 5pm and is in bed by 8pm, then fillling those few hours with TV watching isn't a good idea.
- a bath, etc.
The rest of your preschoolers day will likely be filled with activities to promote learning and your child's emotional and behavioral development. See our Preschool Schedule program for help planning your day with your preschool age child.
Understanding your preschoolers developmental skills can help you plan age appropriate activities.
Remember that preschoolers:
- often like risks, tests of physical strength and skill, and love acrobatics and outdoor equipment.
- have increasing good finger control and can pick up small objects, cut on a line with scissors, hold pencil in adult grasp, string small beads, etc.
- are expert builders, and love small construction materials and also vigorous activity with big blocks, large construction materials.
- are interested in simple number activities, alphabet play, copying letters, matching/sorting.
- are interested in producing designs, including puzzles, and in constructing play worlds.
- have an interest in nature, science, animals, time, how things work.
- are beginning to share and take turns, and are learning concept of fair play, so that by age 5, play is cooperative, practical, conforming
- are interested in group pretend play.
- are usually not ready for competitive play because they hate to lose.
- enjoy simple board games based on chance, not strategy.
- enjoy looking at books and listening to stories from books.