Teach the Days of the Week with this Easy 5 minute Routine

teach days of week 2

Having a daily ritual known as ‘Calendar Time’ is a popular morning activity in many preschool classrooms. Bringing this routine into your home daycare is a fast and easy way to teach the Days of the Week (and more) to your preschool children.

Calendar time has TWO main benefits for children.

1. New Concepts

Calendar Time is an enjoyable way to introduce new concepts to young children. The benefit to the caregiver is that it is quick and almost effortless to implement.

Children delight in singing the same songs every day until they become familiar. Once they become familiar songs, children love singing them BECAUSE they are familiar.

Ha ha, this is why Calendar Time is effortless for an adult, you will have the routine memorized in no time.  Once all the children know the routine by heart, then you can add new concepts to the routine.

2. Visual Map of the Day

We all like to know what is on the schedule for the day ahead.  It helps us mentally prepare for the day’s events.

Children thrive on a predictable daily routine.  They are able to handle changes in the routine beautifully when they have been properly prepared.

Calendar time gives children a visual map of the day, week and month.  They can see the field trip to the apple orchard coming up at the end of the month.

Want to know how to avoid a meltdown the morning of the apple orchard field trip? Talk about it at Calendar Time for a month. After three weeks, all the children will be ready and eager to go on the big morning.

Calendar Time Routine

The first thing you need is a calendar. You can buy a laminated one from your nearest teacher supply store or buy a large traditional paper calendar. I’m enjoying our traditional one this year because it has magnets to attach to the fridge.

PicMonkey Collage calendar

The bigger the calendar the better because you will be drawing pictures or adding stickers/pictures in each of the squares.

Find a central location where the calendar can be mounted and always available to the children. Choose a five to ten minute block of time that will be designated ‘Calendar Time’.

I like to do Calendar Time just before morning snack time. I can have the younger ones who aren’t old enough to fully participate, munch on their snack and watch while the older ones participate. The younger ones learn so much just by watching and listening.

Special Wand or Pointer

Part of the attraction of calendar time for some children is getting to use the pointer. A pointer is not necessary but adds a fun element to the activity.

You can use a wand or a wooden spoon or make your own from a piece of doweling and some foam. A pointer is used to show the days of the week and the numbers on the calendar.

At first, the caregiver will use the pointer as she sings the calendar songs and counts the days. Eventually, a child will be chosen to be the ‘helper’ and point out the day of the week and the date as everyone sings.

Children love it when the ritual of calendar is performed, in the same way, with the same sequence. Singing the days of the week and the months of the year is a simple way to create a pattern to your calendar time.

You can make up your own, search YouTube or use these calendar songs below.

Calendar Song Examples

 

Days of the Week  
(to the tune of “Oh My Darling Clementine”)

There are seven days, there are seven days,
There are seven days in the week.
There are seven days, there are seven days,
There are seven days in the week.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday.

Months of the Year
  (to the tune of “Ten Little” or “Michael Finnegan”)

January, February, March, and April,
May, June, July, and August,
September, 
October, November, and December,
These are the months of the year.

Today Is… (To the tune of “Frère Jacques “)

Today is _______.
Today is _______.
All day long, all day long.
Yesterday was ______.
Tomorrow will be _______.
Oh what fun! 
Oh what fun!

 

Learning Concepts You Can Teach At Calendar Time

Calendar time is the perfect opportunity to teach…

  • days of the week
  • months of the year
  • seasons
  • identifying numbers 1-31
  • counting
  • numerical order (first, second, third)
  • patterns
  • weather
  • comparing (more sunny days or rainy days this month?)
  • special events

Remember Calendar time can be extended or compressed depending on the ages of your daycare children. Younger children benefit from visually seeing the entire week.

You can draw pictures on the calendar to show the regular events that make up a week. For example, Monday is music day, Tuesday is craft day, Wednesday is park day, etc..

The passage of time is a difficult concept for most children to grasp at a young age. Participating in calendar time helps them absorb the difference between a day and a month. It also helps older children count down to special events and makes waiting easier.

I predict Calendar Time will quickly become a favourite daily ritual for your daycare children. Want to add a gross motor activity to your calendar time? Check out this Hopscotch -Months of the Year Activity. 

Jana

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Comments

  1. I love your website and ideas!!! I have looked all over for quite awhile and you have given me the best ideas by far. I will continue to use you as an inspiration. Thank you!!

  2. I love these ideas! Will start doing these with my little one.

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