Routine and free play

Just like at home, it is very important that children and staff stick to a routine every day here at nursery. Although staff in each room are in charge of their own weekly planning, each room has to follow the nursery routine and follow policies and procedures regarding nappy changes and sleep time.

We believe children learn best when they are able to choose how they learn and choose their surroundings. For example, a child who is restricted from the outdoors but generally loves to be in the garden may have a harder time adjusting to the activities inside. This is why we offer children plenty of free play time so they can feed their own interests and explore new areas if they wish. We have always said that the best times at Little Rascals are always the unplanned and spontaneous ones, this is why we like to keep adult let activities to a minimum and allow children to decide what they would like to do – within reason.

We thought we would share with you what a typical day in one of our rooms at Little Rascals is like. You can see that free play takes up a lot of our daily routine but during this time children may also get the opportunity to use the cooking room, go on outings, dance and forest school.

  • 7:30am: We open and activities are set up for the morning (early morning children often get involved and help staff put activities together)
  • 7:30am: Free play and rolling breakfast (children can choose when and if they wish to have breakfast although we highly encourage that they do!)
  • 8:15am: Funded children arrive for their morning session
  • 8:45am: Small group time (sing our morning song together, talk through nursery rules and let children know what is planned for the morning)
  • 9:00am: Free play, with access to the garden (the garden is accessible in all weathers, the bad weather doesn’t keep us in!)
  • 10:55am: Tidy up time then toilet time in preparation for dinner
  • 11:15am: Lunch time. We have two sittings at lunch time, children who are not eating play in the classroom or garden (activities are reset by staff for the afternoon)
  • 12:45pm: Children who nap after dinner are sent to the sleeping room. It’s free play time again and children are able to flow freely between the main preschool room, the classroom and garden
  • 1:30pm Funded children leave and arrive for their afternoon session
  • 2:45pm: Small group time (staff relay nursery rules to children, discuss morning activities together and inform children what is planned for the afternoon)
  • 3:00pm: Tea time. Staff set up calming activities for the children, lighting is also adjusted to encourage a calm atmosphere
  • 4:30pm: Relaxed free play with access to the classroom and garden
  • 5:00pm: Rolling snack (children to choose when and if they choose to have a snack)
  • 6:30pm: Last of the afternoon children go home. Nursery closes
If you would like to know more about our daily routines or would like to enquire about a childcare place with us, why not book yourself in for a show round by clicking here

Please bear in mind that our playschool in Bilston is open from 9:00am – 4:00pm so their routine may be slightly different