Older Toddlers: Daily Rhythm


Children arrive and settle in the room with their parents. Children may engage in free play or participate in the morning chores of cooking snack, setting the table and folding laundry


Children eat in small groups in rotation at the table to maintain connection to their educator and manage group time eating.

Diapering & Toileting

Children are diapered after snack and then head outside as they are ready.  This continues until all of the children have had snack and are settled outside. During this year, children may start to use the toilet. Children who are training may use the bathroom/toilet more often throughout the day.

Outdoor Play & Exploration on the Play Yard

The major portion of the morning is spent outside playing in our natural play space.  Children play in the sand, with mud and water, climbing on stumps or building with loose parts. Educators give children uninterupted space and time for their play. If a child needs more attention from a caregiver while outside, they will engage together in meaningful outdoor work such as raking, sweeping or gardening.


Children are fed according to their individual needs so small groups of children head inside for their lunch in rotation. After lunch they have time to explore the room, read stories, and settle for rest.

Diapering and Rest

As children prepare for their rest they have a diaper change.  Their rest is marked by a story, song, and their educator sitting with them rubbing their back or settling them to sleep.

Wake Up Routine

As children wake, they have time to sit with an educator and slowly move into their afternoon activities.  Typically they transition to a diaper change and then to snack.


Children eat in small groups or individually as they wake so that they are fed on their individual schedule.

Outdoor Play

When children are done with snack they get ready to go outside. This outdoor time is spent on our play yard exploring the various outdoor activities.  Children transition to the outside after snack and come back inside by 4:15.

Afternoon Room Play

The children have time to play inside as they make their way to the end of the day.  Chores, stories, activities and a storytelling moment offer children a routine in the room.


Children’s bags are packed up for the end of the day and placed outside of the room to aid in smooth and easy transitions to home.  Children participate in the packing up of their things as they anticipate their parents’ arrival.