Introducing Schedule to 2 & 3 Years Old Children by Sequencing Daily Routine Activities

          Introducing a concept for children under 5 years old is always best by stimulating their senses. The stimulation will enrich their experiences. The experiences will be kept in the memory which will be retrieved from the memory storage when those are needed to recall a concept/ an information. For instance, a child  learns about cat by seeing the picture from book. From there he  may know (after we told him, of course) that a cat has furry body, four legs, paws and tail. Then, he sees the real cat. When he sees it, he may not realize spontaneously that it’s a cat because the real cat is moving, bringing out ‘meouw’ sound or it may have different fur color with the one in the book. It’s why, he needs time to say that it’s a cat or he may even think that it’s not a cat due to the differences. Yet, if a child learns about cat not only from the book but by interacting with the cat like; touching, hearing the cat’s sound, playing or even feeding, he will also be able to get information about the cat from all his senses. So next time he sees another cat which looks a bit different (let’s say it has different color), he will be able to say spontaneously that it’s a cat. It is so because he still can find the cat’s characteristic such as the sound, the cat’s fur texture, etc.  Therefore, the more information a child gets from all his senses, the more he gets the big picture of a concept. And this big picture is the one which will be useful for him to understand a concept.

          This process is applied to every concept. So, when we want to introduce schedule to 2 & 3 years old children, it’s better if we give many stimulation other than telling the time of the schedule & looking at the schedule board. One way to stimulate and introduce the schedule is by sequencing the daily routine activities. To do that, we have to make daily routine table which can be played by them.  Below is the explanation how to make it.

Things we need :

Felt (Use any color you like. The blue felt on the right is only example). The size is adjustable based on your need. I recommend minimum
size of 12” x 24”.


Ribbon (It’s optional.You can change it with felt or paper which color is different with the felt)

Ribbon (1)

Letter Foam

Chenille Kraft Company Wonderfoam Letters and Numbers, Approx 1500 Pieces, Assorted

Laminated and printed time card (We can make or download it from the internet). The size is adjustable based on your need. I recommend
minimum size width 2.5” and height 1.5”

Time Card

Laminated and printed daily activities card (We can download from the internet). The size is adjustable based on your need. I recommend
minimum size width 2.5” and height 1.5”

Daily Activity Card

Velcro. Cut as the size of the time and daily activities card.

Velcro (1)

Glue gun

Glue Gun (1)

Bulletin Board

Cork Bulletin Board

Here is the picture of  the daily routine felt table:

Daily Routine Board for 2 and 3 Years Old Children

How to make the board:

  • Prepare the felt
  • Paste the letters foam onto the top of the felt
  • Paste the ribbon as divider among daily routine title, time and the activities
  • Paste the soft side of the Velcro on the felt
  • Paste the rough side of the Velcro at the back of the time card & daily activities card

How the activity is done :

  • Ask children to paste the time and the daily activities cards onto the felt.
  • For 2 years old children, we can give the time and daily activities cards one by one based on the daily routine sequence. At the same time, mention the time and the activities described on the card. Therefore, they can repeat the words.
  • For 3 years old children, we can show the picture of daily routine sequence (we have to print the example). So, they can paste the cards in sequence by looking at the example.
  • After they paste all the cards, we can hang the felt onto the bulletin board. So, they can see the daily routine schedule they’ve arranged.

That’s the activity to introduce schedule to 2 and 3 years old children, It’s simple activity. Yet, there are advantages they can get. Here is the list:

2 Years Old Children

3 Years Old Children

– Early stimulation to understand schedule concept

– Further stimulation to understand schedule concept. This time by giving activity which gives insight that schedule is basically the sequence of daily activities

– Enhance the vocabularies about number, time and daily activities

– Enhance the vocabularies about number, time and daily activities

– Practice fine motor skill by pasting and pulling the Velcro

– Practice cognitive skill by asking them to follow the sequence as example.

          Make the daily routine felt table as toy which children can play it over and over. If the activity is done routinely, it will make the children grasping the schedule concept as they learn mostly through repetition.

          It takes time to prepare the daily routine table. Yet, it’ll be worthy for our children as they will get many stimulation about daily routine schedule such as being told about the time, looking at the daily routine schedule board, sequencing the daily routine activities, doing the activities and later using schedule application in the gadget. Those stimulation will give big picture about schedule which make them understand the daily routine schedule concept easily.

Related Posting:

Daily Routine Schedule (Part 1) : It’s Benefit in Dealing with Young Children

Daily Routine Schedule (Part 2) : The Example

Daily Routine Schedule (Part 3) : It’s Application in Life

The Opportunity to Arrange Schedule: A Basic to Achieve Schedule Making Ability

Turning Curiosity into Creativity

          Children love asking questions. It’s natural because they want to know and understand everything in their surrounding. The questions sometimes make us overwhelmed, because we have to be ready with the answer. If we don’t know the answer or how to respond the questions, we sometimes make things up (especially when we are already late or there are things we have to do at the moment) which is actually it’s not a wise thing to do. It is so because the answer we give for the first time is usually last. So, if we give the wrong answer, it will have to be corrected in the future which is more difficult to do than giving the right one in the first place.

          If we don’t know the answer of our children’s question, just say we don’t know. Don’t be ashamed with it. Yet, we have to say that we’re going to figure it out by doing some actions. Involve our children in the actions. Therefore, they’ll know the process of getting answer of their questions. Here are the actions we and our children can do:

  • Find information from reliable sources such as books, dictionary, encyclopedia, reliable website, movies or videos, etc. Show and teach our children how to find out or look for the information from the sources. For example, if we look from dictionary, teach them how to use the dictionary. Choose the dictionary suitable with their age and match with their ability. If our children have only known the alphabet, let them to open based on the alphabet only. Then, we read the meaning of the word for them and explain it using their language level. This activity will make them learning how to use dictionary. As their ability developed, they will be able to use the dictionary by themselves later on. We can take them to the library, too. So, they will know that library is a place they can visit to get the sources they need.
  • Go outing to places like zoo, museum or doing outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, cycling, etc. Doing activities will give more stimulation as children not only get information from readings or videos only, but from their own experience as well. The activities also will enable them to do observation, take photos, practice skill, do experiments, etc. To make them excited and stimulated, do pretend play. Ask them to imagine that they are in a mission to figure out something. Provide the necessary tools to make them more excited, such as :

Adventure Kit

Disney Princess Adventure Kit Batman Adventure Kit







Thomas and Friends Walkie Talkie  Dora and Boots Walkie Talkie

Walkie Talkie (Adventure Communication Tools)

  • Create activities journal or wall magazine after we find information and go outing. Ask our children to make drawing, writing (If they can do it already. Four years old children can write the title of the activities. This can be a good practice for writing), pasting the photo they took or any creation our children want to make (Let them to share their ideas). It’s better if we make the creation as well. This will stimulate children more to follow what we do than if we just ask them to do so.
  • Put the creation on a board, just like at school. So, everybody at home can see it. Encourage our children to talk and explain about the creation they have done. Ask them to share with other family, like grandparents or friends. This will give them the sense of confident after creating something.

Cork Bulletin Board

Bulletin Board

  • Appreciate what they have done. This will make them feeling happy and proud. The feelings will make them creating even more.

          So, next time our children ask a lot of questions, let ask them to do actions as above (The activity doesn’t always have to be done at the moment our children ask the questions, if we can’t do it at that time. Yet, set the time to do the activities and inform it to our children). By doing that, their questions will be answered, basic ability to do research (which will be very useful in elementary school) will be achieved, and their creativity will be stimulated. That’s how to turn the curiosity into creativity. 🙂



5 Books Types for 3 Years Old Children

          Do you know that at the age of 3, the brain have completely built? It means that there are already enough neurons which will be used for the rest of someone’s life, even more. The last part of the brain built is the part which controls rational and logical thinking. This has given different mark for 3 years old children development. At this age, children has shown cognitive skill ability related with concept understanding. For example, when a 2 years old child is told about color routinely, what she can do is repeating the color words. If we provide two balls with different colors and we ask which one is red, she won’t be able to point the right color.While a 3 years old child, if she is given the same questions, she may point correctly. It is so because color recognition is cognitive skill which requires concept understanding and it is processed at the highest part of the brain.

Due to the brain development, then it’s the right time for children to learn  many concepts as their brain has ready for those. One source which will be useful to help children’s learning is books. Here is the list of book types which suitable for 3 years old children :

1. Books about alphabet, number, colors and shapes

Those books probably have been given since 2 years old, but at this age children’s understanding about the concept will be different. If we read the book routinely, they will not only grasp the words, but the concept as well. It’s good to give variety of books types, such as:

  • Story books about alphabet, number, colors and shapes

Alphabet story  wpid-2015-05-20-22-53-24-420281945.jpeg

Dog's colorrful day       wpid-2015-05-26-10-24-53-252464592.jpeg

Alphabet and numbers are basically symbols. Those are the representation of sound and the amount of things. While colors and shapes are the attribute of things. Symbols, amount and attribute are abstract. It is still difficult to understand by 3 years old children. Therefore, story will be a good basic and a bridge for them to understand the concepts.

  • Interactive books about alphabet, numbers, colors or shapes.

sensational-alphabet-book-7.gif  lift the flap abc book

Alphabet Interactive Books

wpid-2015-05-20-23-10-12-910120533.jpeg wpid-2015-05-20-23-07-36-1063165757.jpeg

Number Interactive Books

wpid-2015-05-26-10-46-49-1998309003.jpeg wpid-2015-05-26-10-47-40-1397455453.jpeg  wpid-2015-05-26-10-28-37-2107226255.jpeg wpid-9781409582519-lift-the-flap-shapes.jpeg

Color and Shapes Interactive Books

Besides enjoyment, these kind of books will stimulate children’s senses as they have to touch, lift, and do experiment. And more than one sense stimulation will make children grasping concept easier than if they learn from one stimulation only.

2. Books about preposition and adjective

We use preposition and adjective on daily conversation. Children may have used the words as well. Yet, they may not quite understand the meaning. One way to start explaining about the meaning of both prepositions and adjective is through story book. From it, they can see pictures which describing about the preposition and adjective.


                                   Where's Spot Spot in the box

                                       Up and Down Big and small

We don’t have to explain that the words are preposition or adjective ,which are part of speech, because those are still too difficult for children. We just have to explain the meaning of the words. Those need to be explained because those are used daily. If they don’t know the meaning, they may misplace things or making mistakes in describing things. This will also a good start to see the words printed on the book. So, when they later (in kindergarten) read early reading book, they have been familiar with the words.

3. Books about self

 At the age of 3, they begin to have self concept. So, it’s good to give them book about parts of body, daily routine and good habits. Those will help them to understand about themselves and learn how to do daily routine and good habits. So, they can practice them in their daily life

.Eyes, nose, fingers, toes My Five senses

 going-to-the-doctor Let's get dressed

4. Books about feelings

Feelings are adjective and part of self, but I put the books as a type of it’s own. It’s because feelings are very important to be recognized. We have feelings since we were born, but recognizing the feeling is something we have to learn and the age of three is the right time to do it.

 I Have feelings Lots of Feeling

5. Story and informative books

The last type is any books which suitable for 3 years old children. It’s always good to read our children many types of books because there are advantages they can get, such as :

  • Story books will enhance their vocabularies and make them learning about values we want to teach them (other than enjoyment, of course), while informative books will enhance their knowledge.
  • Children will be familiar with the language written in the books which a bit different with language they use in daily conversation. So, when later they read early reading book by themselves(in kindergarten) they have been familiar with the written language.

                       Little red hen Sea Animal Book

 Animal Book

Those are 5 book types for three years old children. The books mentioned above have probably given since the age of two. It’s all right if the same books read again because three years old children will give different response. They will ask many questions related with the books’ content or anything which they think related with the story. When they do that, it’s actually the good time to explain the right concept for them. Yet, it’s not easy to make them grasping the concept. Here is the tips to explain a concept when we read book for them:

  • Some words in the book may have not been understood by children. Therefore we have to transcribe the word into word they have known the meaning (It’s like explaining something using their language level). This is when they actually learn new vocabularies. It’s when they get new words and know the meaning.
  • Relate the words or the story with their experience. For example, we read book about going to school. In the story, let’s say the character is a bit worried because she will go to school for the first time. After reading the story, we can ask questions whether our children have felt the same as the character when they go to school for the first time. By asking the questions, they will recall the experience and relate event in the story and in their own life. When they are able to relate both events, it can meant that they understood what the message in the story. If they can’t, they will usually ask questions. We can answer and ask them to imagine if they are in the situations, what would they feel and what should they do. Of course, they might be confused. Yet, this is the right time to give advice about what should they do. And this can be a preparation for them when they are in the same situation as in the story.
  • After reading the book, it’s good to ask everything related about the book. We can ask about who are the characters, what do they do, what are the events in the story, what do they think about  the characters, how they feel about the the character, the story or the book itself, etc. Those questions will help them grasping the concept or content of the book and practicing to express their thoughts or ideas. Those will be a good basic for later learning.

Happy reading 🙂

Related Posting :

5 Book Types for 2 Years Old Children

6 Book Types for 4 Years Old Children

The Advantages of Doodling

Four years old children like doodling a lot more than in previous age. If we give them paper or other media, they will be likely to doodle. Some children even like doodling on the wall. From my teaching experience, I assume that doodling is like a trademark of four years old children. It doesn’t mean that children in other age don’t like to doodle. Yet, at the age of 4, doodling as if starts to rise and reaches its peak. Why it is so? There are factors which cause it:

First, they have stored many information which they get from their senses and have had some knowledge. In doodling case, the related information is images, while the related knowledge is about the activities people do and one of them is doodling. As it’s children’s nature wanted to explore everything they know/ learn, they would likely want to try doodling. Yet, this alone is not enough.

Second, the willingness to doodle is also supported by their gross and fine motor development at the age of 4. When a child doodle, he transforms the image in the brain into pictures. There is process a child goes through before a picture is drawn. The image that kept in the memory is transmitted  to the part of the brain which controls gross and fine motor muscles. The transmission makes the muscles moved and drawn the image. This action requires muscles control and strength, especially when the image is small and detail. Yet, the gross and fine motor muscles of 4 years old children have enabled them to do it. So, when they doodle, they won’t get tired easily as in previous ages and the pictures they’ve drawn may be close enough with their imagination (in their point of view). This will give them sense of satisfaction which will make them wanting to do it again as they’ve found new ability to explore.

When children doodle, there are advantages they get. They can:

  • Learn to transform what they see into pictures. This will enhance their shape recognizing and observing ability which will be useful later on in math and science lessons.
  • Strengthen their muscles. The more they doodle, the more they use their gross and fine motor muscles. Those will be stronger, if they are used often. This will be a good basic for them before learning how to write, as writing is a more difficult task which requires more concentration and muscles’ strength. So, doodling can be a bridge into learning how to write.
  • Enhance memory. When they doodle, they do not always draw what they see at the moment. They mostly draw the image that has kept in the memory. So, when they want to doodle something, they have to bring out the image they want to draw from their memory. This will activate the neurons in the brain. As those same as muscles, the more they are used, the more they will be strengthen. The strength neurons will be considered important by the brain and the information that is kept in those will be put at the front of memory storage. The memory that is kept at the front will be brought out fast when it’s needed. This is what the memory enhancement meant.
  • Stimulate creativity and imagination.  As the brain developed, children’s cognitive skills will improve, too. This will bring out ideas which needs to be expressed. And doodling can be a mean for self expression.
  • Practice to sequence things or events in the form of picture. Every pictures has its own story. When a child doodles, there must be sequences that he arranges in his brain. This ability to make sequences will be very useful later on when they learn to make writing.

Due to the advantages, therefore it’s good to support doodling they like. The kind of support is by:

  • Providing many stock of paper. When children like doodling, the paper will run out easily. So, it will be good to have stock, in case they need them. Though, we can not only use new paper but used paper ,which the other side is still blank, as well.
  • Providing doodling board where marker can be dry quickly and be erased (Giving different media will enrich children’s experience in doodling. Rich experiences will activate many neurons at the brain and this is one good way to enhance memory, too).

Aquadoodle Paw Patrol Chase on the Case Mat

The doodling board

  • Allowing children to draw on the wall (if possible). Children like to do this, which is not always something we like. Yet, instead of forbid them to do it, it’s better if we give space on the wall where they can doodle. On the other hand, give them understanding that they can only doodle on the space provided. This will make them learning not to doodle anywhere they like. Use wall paint which enables crayons or paint to be wiped out.The use of washable crayons, marker or paint will make the wall cleaning easier. So the wall can be used over and over.

                  Crayola Large Washable Crayons-16/PkgCrayola Washable Kid's Paint-6/Pkg

   Washable Crayons and Paint

  • Providing sketch board when children travel. Therefore, they can doodle anywhere they like.

Ohio Art Etch A Sketch Doodle Sketch Fisher-Price Barbie Doodle Pro (2)

Sketch Board

  • Last but not least and the most important is appreciating what your children draw by being interested of what they draw and listening the story they tell about every pictures they’ve drawn. Our attention and appreciation will make them happy and have sense of confident which make them wanting to doodle again and again. And the repeated action will make our children get the most advantages of doodling.

So, let your children doodle 🙂


Daily Routine Schedule (Part 3) : It’s Application in Life

In The Little Prince movie, there is a scene where the mother shows her daughter her daily schedule. It contains all her activities in details until many years to come and it must be followed by the girl. It is made to make her staying on track, in the hope she will reach her dream in the future. When I saw it, there was a question that crossed my mind. Is it possible to have that kind of schedule in our life? And… The answer for my own question is no!

The Little Prince Schedule Board

In part 1, I’ve written about the benefits of the daily schedule in dealing with young children, while in part 2 I’ve shown the example. So, you may think what I wrote in previous posts contradict with the answer of my question above. Well, I don’t mean to be contradictory. I still believe that daily schedule which is planned in details will give benefits, especially in dealing with young children. However, how it is applied in life is not as simple as following the schedule strictly. Here are the reasons :
1. It’s impossible to follow schedule in timely manner as set in the schedule because we have feelings which influence our activities pace.
Emotions influence our activities in many aspects. One of it is the pace of our activities. We may do same activity, but the pace in doing it may be different. For instance, when we wake up in the morning, sometimes we feel happy, sometimes we don’t (whatever the reasons which caused both feelings). When we’re happy, we may want to do our activity eagerly. Meanwhile in unhappy time, we may want to do our activity lazily, even sometimes not wanted to do anything. The differences may make us doing our activities early, on time or later than as set in the schedule we’ve made. So, as a human being with emotions, there’s no way we will follow schedule strictly.
2. It’s impossible to follow schedule precisely as we’ve planned or set because things don’t always happen as we’ve predicted.
Events and changes happen in our life. Some are predicted before such as holiday time, work change, school change, etc. Some are unpredictable such as sickness, accident, getting unexpected fortune, etc. We may be able to make schedule for predicted events early on, but when unpredictable events happen we may have to make adjustment with the schedule we have set. Though, we may be able to set up plan about what we will do when unpredictable events happen. For example, we set plan about what we should do when our child is sick. The plan may be simple like we prepare first aid kit at home, keep the doctor’s number, plan steps we should do in the case we have to go to the hospital at that moment, etc. So, it’s basically like procedure we set in the case of emergency and it will be done suddenly at the moment of emergency. And this will change the daily schedule we’ve made.

After knowing the reason, here comes next question. If schedule is not followed strictly and may change from time to time, how is it applied to make it still benefited? And here are the ways:

  1. Be flexible with the schedule, in terms of making schedule adjustment which will be suitable with the changes. It seems tiring to make schedule adjustment from time to time, but never feel bored to make different schedules. To make it less tiring, just remember all the benefits we can get from the schedule we make. Keep in mind the fact that the schedule may have to be changed later due to the situations we have to encounter. By doing it and accepting it, the tiring may be lessen, if it’s not gone at all (It’s actually human to feel tired. So, don’t worry about it. We only have to learn how to deal with it and do the best we can).
  2. When we are in the emotional state, take time to deal with the emotions. Put aside the schedule for a while. Don’t worry about things we should do, though the ‘rest’ time ruins our schedule. It’s because emotional condition needs to be taken care of. It’s not healthy for our psychological state if we ignore it. After we’re okay, than we can go back to our activity. This is actually when schedule comes in handy. When we are in the emotional state or after we’ve just got feeling better, our ability to think rationally will reduce a bit. In this state, we may act impulsively. If the impulsive action causes something positive, it may be all right. But if it’s the contrary, it may be something we’ll regret in the future. During this time, the schedule and the prepared plan will make us staying on track.

After knowing the ways and let’s say that we have been able to deal with ourselves about the schedule adjustment and the feelings related with it, than it’s time to inform our children. Here are ways how to do it:

1. Always inform our children when there are changes. Tell what are the changes and how those are going to effect their life which is represented in the schedule. Give them understanding. So, they won’t feel worried or anxious. One way to make them grasping the changes is by involving our children in the schedule making, both daily schedule and schedule adjustment. Children as early as early 4 years old can be involved (yet, with some limitations). Give them chance only for things they can manage. For example, after school, give them freedom to choose whether firstly they’re going to play or to take a nap. As in unpredictable situation, for instance a child’s mom is sick and she has to stay in the hospital for a while. After school, the child can be asked whether firstly he/she wants to go home or visit mom at the hospital or vice versa(which it must be different with their daily routine, because now he/ she has to go to hospital). Give them understanding that they have to follow the schedule they’ve set. In this way, they not only learn to set schedule (which is one practice of self independence) but learn about the value of responsibility and learn how to deal with the changes as well.

2. As during emotional state. Same as adults, take time to deal with emotions. Even, this is very important thing to do in young children’s life because they still learn about emotions and how to deal with them. Later, after they have been calm, keep them back in the track(follow daily schedule). It is another important lesson for them to learn. The experience will make them learning that they can take time to deal with their emotions, but it doesn’t mean that they can always be in that situation. They have to go back to do their daily activities as they are important, too(It’s like they learn that life must go on). And that is the very basic lesson for the future.

In conclusion, we need schedule to make our life ordered. It is, especially, needed by young children to make them not feeling worried as they haven’t able to deal with uncertainty. Hence, it doesn’t mean that the schedule must be followed strictly as in life many changes will happen which make impossible for us to use the same schedule. Yet, it doesn’t also mean that we can ignore schedule because the benefits are many. Therefore, we have to set many schedules which can cover the changes and set our mind to be able to work with many schedule adjustments. When we are able to do this, children will follow our lead as we always become someone they look up to. That is how the application of schedule in our and children’s life which can make schedule giving fullest benefit in life.

Related Postings :

Daily Routine Schedule (Part 1): It’s Benefits in Dealing with Young Children

Daily Routine Schedule (Part 2): The Example

Introducing Schedule to 2 & 3 Years Old Children by Sequencing Daily Routine Activities

The Opportunity to Arrange Schedule: A Basic to Achieve Schedule Making Ability