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Don’t Pass Up These Ways to Add Literacy into Your Preschool Schedule

Updated: Mar 14

New Year, New Routines! 

Preschool Schedule planner

If you are around young children, you understand the struggles that come along with change.  I, for one, had a toddler son that despised transition.  Nothing displayed this more than the time that we moved across country when my son was 20 months.  My husband had begun his new job, and I was at home managing the moving company.  My son SCREAMED…and I mean SCREAMED, the entire time the truck was unloaded.  To say I was exhausted from holding a screaming child for three hours and directing the placement of boxed-up items around the house was an understatement. 


A new school, a new home, a parent gets a new job…there are times where change and lack of routine is simply out of our control.  However, for the times in which we can control, routines and schedules are necessary for our children to thrive. 

Benefits of a Routine on the Brain

Establishing clear routines for our children provides emotional, social, and cognitive benefits!  One amazing benefits of establishing clear routines is the power of repetition on the brain.  Routines help the development of neural pathways.  Science has proven that when children are engaged in repeated, meaningful experiences, amazing connections take place.  Over time, these routines help reinforce these neural pathways, aiding in learning and memory retention.  These established routines not only foster stability, but also lay the groundwork for lifelong learning and adaptation. 

Here are a few other perks to clear, established routines:

  • Stability and Security:  Predictable routines create a sense of stability and security for preschoolers.  This stability helps in reducing anxiety and stress, allowing the brain to develop in a calm and nurturing environment.

  • Executive Function Development:  Positive routines encourage the development of executive function skills, such as self-control, attention regulation, and planning.  These skills are crucial for cognitive development and future academic success.

  • Emotional Regulation:   Routines provide a framework for children to understand and manage their emotions.  When children know what to expect, it helps them regulate their emotions more effectively as they are prepared for change.

  • Sense of Independence and Responsibility:  Routines that encourage children to participate in daily tasks foster a sense of independence and responsibility.  Ownership over routine activities positively impacts their confidence and self-esteem.

  • Reduced Stress Response:  Consistent routines create a sense of predictability, reducing stress levels in children.  Lower stress levels have a positive impact on brain development and overall well-being.

  • Improved Focus and Attention:  Regular routines help in training a child's brain to focus and pay attention. This skill is essential for learning and academic success as they progress in their education.


Tips for Building Routines with Preschoolers

  • CONSISTENCY:  Establishing regular mealtimes, clean-up rituals, and play schedules helps create a sense of stability in their lives.

  • MODELING: Children often learn by observing adults. Modeling routines yourself can reinforce the importance of these habits.  After modeling, invite children to practice with you.  Verbally state the steps that you are taking while completing the task.

  • PREPARING:  When a new routine is taking place, give children several verbal reminders leading up to the new routine.  For example, say, "In 5 minutes, the timer will go off.  When this happens, we will line put the blocks on the shelf, just like we practiced, and get our snack."

  • PATIENCE:  It takes time for children to adjust to new routines. Patience and repetition are key elements in establishing and maintaining these patterns.

  • VISUAL AIDS:  Visual schedules or charts with pictures can be incredibly helpful for preschoolers. They serve as a visual guide to help them understand and follow routines independently.  HERE is an associate link for a great one from Amazon!


Integrating Literacy Skills your Preschool Schedule for Lifelong Success

I firmly believe that every child deserves a strong foundation in literacy.  We can begin forming strong habits from birth.  As parents, caregivers, or educators, we hold the power to shape this foundation by seamlessly integrating literacy skills into daily routines.  With a little planning, we can strengthen key foundational skills, build a love of learning, reinforce skills taught at school, and set our children on a path of success.  

However, routines don’t happen without some intentional planning and effort.  Reflect on your current routines.  At home, what times are you already focused on conversations, reading, singing, and learning?  Are there times in the day in which you can add in an extra literacy boost to my preschool schedule?  In the classroom, make a list of HOW you incorporate literacy throughout your day.  Are there pockets of time that can be more intentional? 


Take a few minutes to write down your current literacy routines and reflect. Download this free reflection sheet for reflection, planning, and ideas!


Free Literacy Planner

Literacy Routines Reflection Sheet
Download PDF • 209KB

Easy Literacy Routines to Integrate into your Preschooler's Schedule

at Home!

Preschool with schedule including literacy.

  • Weekly Visits to the Library: Visit the library every week!  Check the schedule in advance to take advantage of their awesome programming. 

  • Daily Reading Time:  Set aside a specific time each day to read books with your child.  Choose a time that works best for your family...bedtime, in the bathtub, during snack. 

  • Coffee Chat:  Chat with your child over your morning cup of coffee.  Ask a fun question of the day or tell a story about when you were a child!  Sign up for weekly literacy activities HERE!

  • Weekly Nursery Rhymes:  Choose one familiar nursery rhyme and sing it all week long!  Use the power of repetition to build vocabulary, phonological awareness, and memory. HERE is a book I love!

  • Alphabet Focus:  Hang an alphabet line in your home (the back of a door or bottom of the refrigerator are great spots).  TOUCH and sing the ABCs every day.  Then, choose 1-2 letters to focus on that week.  Put a star under the letters on the line to remind you of the letters you are focusing on.  Discuss the name, sound, and letter form!

Easy Literacy Routines to Integrate your Preschool Schedule at School!


Baby playing and learning



  • ABCs: Hang an alphabet line at the children's eye level.  Touch and sing the ABCs daily.

  • Name Recognition:  Write the children's names on notecards.  Use the notecard when calling children to the table for snack, cubbies, to complete an art activity, etc.

  • Nursery Rhymes: Choose a nursery rhyme or poem of the week.  Sing, stomp, clap, and tap musical instruments to the rhythm as you recite the nursery rhyme throughout the week.

  • Story Time:  Take story time further.  Make an effort to add in one extra activity after the read along as a learning extension.  Think about picture matching, answering a question related to the theme, or a guessing game.


  • Daily Phonological Awareness:  Incorporate phonological awareness daily at the beginning of your literacy block.  Make it quick (5 minutes or less) and fun.

  • Transitions: Use transition times to build in extra literacy practice.  Whisper a song or poem as you are lining up, hunt for letters while walking in the hall, target a specific phonological awareness skill as you call children to get in line.  Example: Please line up Ka-tie....Katie! 

  • Snack/Lunch Time:  Use this time to chat about a question of the day, guess a mystery box item, read, or play a recorded story. 

  • Circle Time:  Add literacy to your morning circle time.  Here are some ways:

    • Morning Message:  Begin circle time by displaying a morning message written on a board or chart.  Include simple sentences, use familiar words, and highlight a particular letter or word for the day.  Encourage children to help read the message together.

    • Storybook Sharing:  Invite children to bring in their favorite storybooks from home to share with the class during circle time.  Encourage them to discuss why they like the book, point out letters, or talk about the characters and events in the story.

    • Rhyme Time:  Start circle time by introducing a fun nursery rhyme or chant related to the day's theme or letter focus.  Encourage children to join in, clap to the rhythm, or act out the rhymes.

    • Question of the Day:  Pose a literacy-related question during circle time, such as, "What is your favorite word that starts with the letter 'S'?"  Encourage children to share their responses, promoting vocabulary and letter awareness.  Sign up for my free literacy activity weekly email HERE!

    • Letter Sound Play:  Play interactive games related to letter sounds or word recognition.  For instance, engage in a "I Spy" game where children find objects in the room that start with a specific letter sound.

    • Letter Show and Tell:  Have children bring an object from home that starts with the letter of the week to share with the class, describing why they chose that object and its connection to the letter.


Let's do our part and continue to prepare our children to rock it out in literacy!



Looking for an easy way to build your literacy routine?

Preschool activity book


100 Days of Preschool Literacy Activities Tear-Off Pad!

Build your child's beginning literacy skills with easy, engaging activities that can be completed in just a few intentional minutes of your day! Successful completion of these activities will build kindergarten and reading readiness skills for a strong future!  Simply complete an activity, pull off a page, and celebrate!


Looking for Literacy-Based Products and Books?

Preschool rhyming games

Check out my Amazon Idea Lists!


Need Support or Professional Learning? Reach Out!

Preschool literacy education

Moving Little Minds is dedicated to helping schools and parents improve literacy instruction for young children using engaging, research-based practices, trainings, preschool classes, and materials.

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