Teach Your Preschooler Daily Order
As you establish routines with your children, how do you get them to understand the order of the day? Well Planned Gal’s curriculum coordinator is here to help you with some early learning tips for teaching your child daily order.
- Establish a comfortable daily routine. Breakfast is in the morning, lunch is in the afternoon, and supper is in the evening. Now fill in the gaps with your little one’s “school,” naps, playtime, clean-up time, and bath time.
- Talk about before and after. “We will play puzzles after breakfast,” or “We need to clean up before Daddy comes home.” The words before and after help your little one understand sequencing, an important concept in mathematics.
- Make a chart. Divide a piece of typing paper into sections and add pictures that represent meals, chores, baths, and bedtimes in order. Point to the pictures while talking about daily events.
- Show the clock. Simplify telling time by saying that when the big hand points to the ceiling, wall, floor or window, it will be time for ________________. For a digital, write the numbers on a piece of paper so that when it matches they know the time.
- Set timers. They keep your little one from being overwhelmed. He or she will feel able to accomplish five minutes of cleaning. A word of caution here – most children will at some point try to run out the timer by doing nothing. Have a suitable consequence like starting from the beginning.
- Do the same things in the same order. Follow bath time with brushing teeth then cuddling for a story. Little ones feel more secure when they know what to expect and will begin to take more responsibility when they know what will be expected of them.
- Use visual and auditory cues. Play classical music during quiet time or light a candle in the evening before supper.
- Empower your little one with choices whenever possible. You set the limits (we will have peanut butter and jelly for lunch) and then let the child choose (grape or strawberry). Ask yourself if your child’s whims will matter in the grand scheme of things. If not, let him or her choose.
- Do not present options when none are available. Do not ask if your little one would like to stop playing and take a nap. State that it is time for a nap and lead your sleepyhead to bed.
- Give warning about changes. If they are engrossed in play, tell them that they will have to come in for their chores soon. This allows the child to make the mental transition and be more willing to cease play with a smile.
- Count days in night-nights. Days are abstract, but going to bed is concrete. With my children, I say, “There are five more night-nights before your birthday.”
- Talk about things that happen on certain days. Say things like, “Tomorrow is Saturday, so Daddy gets to stay home with us.”
- Occupy their time while waiting. Find something that will last as long as needed like washing the dishes while the cookies bake.
- Limit the list of upcoming events to about three. Children do not remember lengthy lists and can become overwhelmed by them. Direct their attention to things that immediately impact them.
Thank you for the advice about creating pictorial lists. I run a real estate business. I have a 2 year old daughter and look forward to the day she can help me file the office paperwork.