Visual Schedule and Activities for a Caregiver at Home With a 4-6 Year Old

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Hello Caregivers!

If you’re anything like me, you crave a schedule and a routine for your kids. I am at home full time with a 4 year old and a 10 month old baby. I have put together a visual schedule filled with activities to get you through the day! This can work with multiple children in a home if they are in the 4-6 age range. If you are adding in a child that is younger or older, you will need to adjust activities to fit their needs/abilities.

If you have multiple children that are in this age range, it can be used with all of them. Encourage them to work and play together!

As a mom and educator with 10+ years experience, I understand how valuable a predictable schedule can be for young children. Routines help kids learn self-control, build emotional stability, reduce stress, and can make kids feel comfortable and secure.

This routine can be used everyday. Trust me, your kids will grow more excited as they realize they know what to expect and what’s coming next. I follow a similar structure in my classroom, and the routine and visuals help my students thrive and contributes towards their behavioral and academic success.

This visual schedule can be used by caregivers, parents, babysitters, grandparents, or anyone that is working with young children. This routine was created with 4 to 6 year old kids in mind. I have also included a guide filled with ideas, activity guidelines, and explanations for each part of the day I’ve included.

I hope you and your kids see the benefits of this schedule!

I have created 17 slides that will help guide you through your day. (7:30a.m. – 4:00p.m.)You can choose how to display the slides to your child to signal a change of activity. You can display the images in a way that works best for you and your child.

I created two sets of slides. Slides with no suggested times included and slides with times of the day included. These slides are for you and your child to use. I LOVE using schedules to keep me on track too. When I don’t have one, I have been known to miss snack time or forget to have some independent time. Children love visual cues! They do really well when they know what’s coming and when they are given choices.

I have built a day filled with fun, engaging activities, learning, and plenty of choice! Literacy questions and center time activities are included. You need to have a book! If you don’t have a book, don’t worry! There are plenty available on YouTube to watch and then ask questions about.

In order to build a learning environment that will keep your child challenged and engaged, you may need a few items. You might already have some of these items lying around. I’ve listed some suggestions below. Most items can be found at The Dollar Tree.

Suggested Items:

  • Art supplies (markers, paper, scissors, glue, crayons, paint, etc…)
  • Reusable bag for indoor/outdoor scavenger hunts
  • Food coloring (for water bins or science experiments)
  • Glitter (to add to water bins or for art projects)
  • Pencils
  • Notebook
  • Alphabet cards
  • Number cards (The Dollar Tree)
  • Erasers
  • Dry erase board/sheet
  • Dry erase markers
  • Timer
  • Bins for water play
  • Puzzles
  • Books
  • Play-Doh
  • Chalk
  • Academic Workbook (The Dollar Tree has great ones. There are also printable resources included in your download.)

It’s up to you how to display the schedule to your child. You can preview the whole day with them each morning. You can show them each slide as you are about changing activities as well.

You also have the option to print a poster that displays the full day, complete with arrows, so your child can see exactly how their day is flowing. You may also want to print the slide and add them to a binder you can flip through as each part of the day is completed.

The morning starts with getting ready, having breakfast and outdoor play! Plenty of options have been included for fun things to do. If you can’t make it outside, inside free play or movement videos on YouTube are just as great! Don’t think you have to have Instagram-worthy games/activities going on for your kids to have fun. Give your kid a bowl with glitter and soap in the water. Then hand them a straw and watch them entertain themselves for 20 minutes. Adding dye, glitter, or soap to anything makes it 10x more fun.

Also, where I am, in Florida, we are lucky if we stay outside for 10 minutes at a time. You can split that time into outdoor/indoor play. You can extend or shorten whatever works best for you and your kids.

After playing, I like to incorporate some learning time. I’ve given you and your child many options to choose from! The guide included in your download explains what to do for each activity listed below.

They’ll work on two for 15 minutes each. Don’t drag an activity out and give your child time to get bored! Keep them engaged and busy. Change activities as needed to keep their focus. Don’t forget to clean up as you go to save yourself the headache letter.

I love adding technology to everything I teach. I am not against screen time during learning time if it’s enhancing the experience. YouTube is my BFF for kicking off an activity to get child excited about what he’s about to learn.

Activities for emerging readers and writers are included in your download as well! This should be a time when you are working WITH your child(ren.) You can also use this time to utilize alphabet flashcards, or any workbooks you have. I love using YouTube to guide handwriting practice and letter formation. There are also some great alphabet or rhyming songs you can find there, too! I have included 9 of my own resources (seen below) I created that I have used in the classroom with my 5-6 year old students and 4 year old son. If you believe your 4 year old is ready to begin early literacy skills, they will do great with your guidance and support! You will get over 400 pages of literacy, math, and science work! Print the activities as needed for practice during literacy time.

As much as possible, make learning fun! Make it a game. Incorporate movement, music, and visuals as much as you can.

I always try to find a quick game on a website or a free app that connects to the activity we are engaging in. Starfall.com and ABCya.com (the websites not the apps) are some that I enjoy!

Example: Tell your child you are going to learn letter names. Then play a YouTube video about letter names (The account: Have Fun Teaching has great ones) and finally go through letter names using your flash cards or an alphabet chart. Have them practice writing the letter. Then play Alphabet Bingo on ABCya.com.

During center time, my son does two activities. We call them his learning centers. He works at our kitchen table or at a smaller table we have for him. It’s up to him. Center time is a time for him to keep learning on his own. He knows to keep working until his timer goes off. He’s a great student/kid! I am not opposed to my child picking learning games or learning videos every day as his choice, and more often than not, he does. To me, learning is what matters. My son uses the Khan Kids and Duolingo app daily to practice literacy, math, and Spanish skills. But he also plays with big foam letters we have from Target and practices spelling words and names.

One of the activities listed for outside play is going on a scavenger hunt. I have included 10 scavenger hunt sheets. Some can be used inside and some can be used outside. You can laminate the sheets and use dry erase marker to make sheets reusable! Consider bringing a bag on the scavenger hunt to collect items you find! Again, if you can’t get outside, don’t sweat it. Just play where you can. Sometimes our outside time is walking our dog to the end of the sidewalk and coming right back to play with blocks inside.

You can print these sheets and laminate them. Use a draw erase marker to make them re-useable.

I love using dry-erase boards and makers for a lot of the work my son does. Handwriting practice, name writing, drawing picture, everything!

I created 80+ notebook labels that my son has been obsessed with. We do one drawing prompt each day. I encourage my son to label the pictures he is drawing. He loves spelling and enjoys it! If you just want the drawing prompts for free, click here. Your child can draw and color. You can encourage your child to label pictures even if it’s just with the beginning letter they hear. You could also encourage your child to write a sentence or story to go along with the picture that they drew. I used a rubric with my son. He could earn up to three hearts on his work each day.

6 rubrics have been included with your download (but not with just the free set of prompts).

     

I have incorporated independent time. This time is important for me, because I just need a break every day. When my 10 month old is napping. I send my 4 year old to play independently. Sometimes he’s in the same room with me, but most often he goes to another room. so that I am able to continue to work or have me time.

Open-ended and independent play is so important! It can help your child build self-regulations skills. Your child may complain about this time at first, (I know mine did) but it pushed him to use his imagination and get really creative figuring out how to entertain himself. Also, he is well aware that any mess he makes has to be cleaned up by him, so he has gotten really good about not making too huge of a mess and cleaning up after himself. He enjoys listening to music during this time too. Sometimes he’s in his room, other times he’s playing next in the same room as me, but I am working and/or caring for his baby brother. Sometimes, I let him enjoy some screen time during independent time. Also, feel free to do an activity that isn’t on the list!

My son really enjoys playing Super Mario brothers. Much of his screen time involves him playing Mario or watching Mario gamers on YouTube.

If you’ve had a day and need to extend screen time, go for it. You know your needs best. No judgement here. I definitely need to extended screen time from time to time to get dinner ready, work, or even just have a minute of quiet.

Your download includes:

  • 2 Visual schedule PDFs (with or without times)
  • 2 Visual schedule posters (with or without times)
  • 6 Rubrics for evaluating work
  • Guide for how to use this resource, ideas for teaching, and tips for teaching.
  • 80+ notebook drawing prompts
  • 400+ pages of teacher created resources (literacy, math, and science)
  • 10 scavenger hunt sheets

If all of this sounds like something you could use while you’re at home with your little one(s) or to give to your child’s caregiver, click any of the images in this post to purchase this game changing resource!

I know you’re going to love it!

Naomi

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