How many times in your life have you been asked the question, “what’s the plan for today”? About a million, right? As parents we get asked “what’s for breakfast?”, “what are we going to play today?”, “where should we go today?”, “what’s for dinner?”, and on and on and on! Well guess what, as teachers, we get those SAME questions asked all day long, and we definitely need to have an answer to that question or chaos will ensue! As teachers, we have to come up with a lesson plan for each and every day we are with your kiddos.
Did you know that not only do we have to be creative to come up with fun, engaging activities for all of our children at the childcare center, but we also have to follow extremely detailed specifications on how to do that? That’s right, every single thing we do with and for your kiddos throughout the day fits into one or more categories that are there for a specific reason to help your child develop and grow in the healthiest way possible! Let me give you some examples.
In planning activities for the kids, we always have to keep in mind that each child has diverse and ever-changing developmental needs. Not every child is the same, but we want them to all come away from their experiences with the same level of excitement as their classmates. Each child has different abilities and interests, but there is one constant, and that’s the importance of play in developing physically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially. So not only do we have to develop a written activity plan that complies with the state regulations, the caregivers must follow the plan, and the activities must include all the children regardless of special care needs. What a challenge, right?
When you see the kids headed outdoors for playtime, you may be tempted to think, “Wow, I bet those teachers needed a break and that’s why they are outside so much”. That’s actually not the case at all. Did you know that the state requires the kids to have a “minimum of 2 daily opportunities for outdoor play, weather permitting.”? Obviously someone has done a massive amount of research into this, and here’s what they found.
“Outdoor play provides for greater freedom and flexibility, fuller expression through loud talk, and a greater range of active movement. Outdoor play also extends opportunities for large muscle development, social-emotional development, and small muscle development by offering variety, challenge, and complexity in ways that are not attainable in a confined indoor space.”
Whew, that’s a mouthful, but I’m sure you get the gist of it. When outdoors, kids get to run around and be loud. They aren’t shushed or told to use their “inside voice”. They definitely feel freer to express themselves in a way that would be limited if they were indoors! While they are running and playing, they are using their muscles, stretching their strides, all while paying attention to others around them.
The same goes for the inside schedule. The kids need stations set up where they can reach all of the supplies and they can participate in self-led activities. In addition to that, they need teacher-led activities. This ensures that all of the kids are doing both active and quiet activities and that they are getting as much movement in as possible throughout the day. Have you ever wondered why your kiddo comes home from school so exhausted? It’s because in order for them to grow and learn properly, childcare centers have great lessons planned that follow all of the state’s guidelines. We want your children to grow and be the best versions of themselves, and a great lesson plan is how we help to ensure that will happen!
So, the next time you hear the words, “What’s the plan for today?”, you can know that when it comes to your kiddo having a fantastic day, we’ve got you covered! Not only do we personally care about each and every one of our kiddos experiences, we also follow all of the state regulations in order to absolutely ensure everyone is getting all of the tools they need to have a fun, engaging day!