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Setting up a Schedule
A daily school schedule will support children's focus and sense of orientation. Schedules for young children should be written simply (one or two clearly printed words for each schedule item accompanied by a simple visual (no need to be an artist for this, stick figures work well!) You can use a whiteboard, chalkboard, or simply a piece of paper.
Depending on age, children can cross off each activity when it's completed providing a sense of accomplishment and organization. Planning the day out supports executive functioning & self regulation skills. These skills are especially important to nurture at times when there are many unknowns.
Setting up a schedule also allows adults to schedule in times for their own work & routines. This will look different for each situation and can be individualized by adult(s) making the schedule. It might be helpful to indicate times in the schedule when you'll be doing your own work so that children knows what to expect.
Give a 5 minute warning before transitioning between activities. Choose a transition method (i.e- a bell rain stick, or turn lights on off) for when it's time to move to next item on the schedule- ideally a calming sound or visual.
Washing hands frequently is likely already a part of a child's typical childcare/ school day, embedding hand washing into the routine organically and logically (as you can see below in example schedule) supports children's remembering to practice self care routines as part of their daily schedule. If possible and you feel that it's safe, provide a stepping stool for children so they can reach the sink and soap themselves. Encourage children to sing a song they like (i.e.- "ABC's" or "Twinkle Twinkle" while washing their hands, ensuring a thorough wash.
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