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Playgarden-Approved Daily Schedule for Preschoolers

Playgarden-Approved Daily Schedule for Preschoolers - Playgarden NYC

With summer around the corner, our schedules tend to lighten up with no school at your closest pre-k near me, and possibly shorter work hours for yourself. You may feel inclined to search again “pre-k near me” and sign your preschooler up for numerous summer activities, but be mindful to avoid overscheduling. 

While extracurriculars are important for our little one’s overall development, too many activities and overscheduling can lead to stress for both you and your little one. “But what if my little one has nothing to do?” That is a fantastic problem to have! Our little ones learn a lot by experiencing boredom – they learn about what they enjoy doing, and they get to exercise their imaginations and get creative. In the age of overstimulation, a little boredom could do us all some good! According to an article from Imagination Playground, when little ones are constantly stimulated by activities, screens, and the like, spending time alone or experiencing boredom can be a challenge. 

I grew up with two younger sisters and little to no overscheduling. The middle of summer was the time our boredom really set in – the T.V. would be off, and we’d have to find other ways to entertain ourselves. So we wrote and performed skits, we played mermaids in our pool, we made up games with our neighbors, we made lemonade stands… The options were endless! We would not have made those memories or discovered new ways to have fun if our parents had stacked up our schedules.

So what does a balanced schedule look like for your little one? 

Time to Play

Being a Montessori based school, Playgarden Prep encourages learning through play. Our little ones are only little for a short time, and a lot of that time will be spent playing. Important skills are built and developed through play, for example:

Playing is essential for your little one’s daily schedule. In fact, spreading playtime throughout the day allows for playtime together, and solo playtime as well. Preschoolers are following their instincts and interests, exploring what they like and dislike, and becoming more comfortable spending time by themselves, which builds confidence and independence, all without overscheduling activities!

Extracurriculars

Your little one’s interests are developing in preschool, so the inclination may be to lean into overscheduling by signing them up for everything to see what sticks. If your little one is still under 5, pick one or two activities or classes for them. I would suggest searching “pre-k near me” to find one class that gets them moving and one that gets them thinking. This could look like a gymnastics class on one day and an art class on another, or a sports class on one day and a language class on another. At Playgarden Prep, which may very well be the “pre-k near me” for you, we offer enrichment classes that get your little one moving, such as Movement and Hip Hop, as well as classes that get them thinking, like Early Learning and Spanish Immersion

Nothing Time

In the pursuit of productivity, it’s so important to remember that time to rest is also productive. Just like we have to sleep every night, daytime rest is essential to our overall wellness. When we teach our little ones that time spent doing “nothing” or having “nothing” planned is time well-spent, they learn to prioritize that time however they want; while they are still little, (before you’ve looked into sending them to a pre-k near me), that probably means time with family. As they get older, “nothing time” can turn into time alone. For grown-ups who make sure we aren’t overscheduling ourselves, “nothing time” might be time on our phones, reading, watching a tv show, going to a coffee shop, any way we enjoy spending our free time. For little ones, this can look like more play, reading, DIY projects, and spending time with you! The free time in our busy lives is what grounds us in the present and reminds us to pause and enjoy the world and the people in front of us.

As long as your preschooler has plenty of time to play, explore, and socialize, their schedule gets the Playgarden Prep Stamp of Approval! One of the key components of childhood development is letting your little one be a child – let them learn and play, and enjoy this time with them, then when you’re both ready, start to search out “pre-k near me”. 

I’ll end with a quote from Dr. Amanda Zelechoski, a psychologist studying the effects of covid on family life from an article for parents.com:

“At some point, we shifted from ‘parent’ being a noun to a verb – that I am doing all these things for my kid. When research shows, the most important thing is that a kid simply feels safe and loved.”

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Miss Julia - Playgarden NYC
Hi, I'm Miss Julia!

Miss Julia has been an early childhood educator for 5 years, with over 10 years of experience working in childcare. She has been teaching at Playgarden Prep since 2017, and is happy to share ideas on some of her favorite early education topics with you! Miss Julia has a BA from UC Irvine, and uses her experience in performing arts to inspire little ones every day in her enrichment classes at Playgarden. In her free time, Miss Julia loves enjoying nature, cooking, and creating with friends.