A Day In The Life of a Preschooler at Cape Ann Preschool

Cape Ann Preschool is a play-based preschool program, and we use play every day to encourage and ensure school readiness, improve social skills, and provide developmentally appropriate activities for learning.

If you’re a parent of a preschooler, you know that there’s no such thing as an ‘average’ day, but you can learn a lot from our daily routine.   Exploratory learning encourages the art of self-education and self-regulation, so each day we aspire to balance between predictable actions and student ‘choice’.

Our classrooms are open to parents to visit and to participate!  We encourage you to join in for your child’s daily classroom routine, schedule a special project, craft, performance, or activity.  You’ll see for yourself how the children benefit from both regularly scheduled activities, and the dynamic on-the-fly fluidity that’s required when you’re teaching and learning with preschoolers.

Here’s what a day at our school looks like:

8:30am – Children Arrive.  Children put things in their cubby, toilet, wash hands, and greet their friends and teachers.   This is a good time for students to explore the classroom and start to make plans for their ‘free choice’ activity later in the morning.
circle_time_back8:45am – Circle Time.  Children gather in the morning circle, find their name tags, and sit down.   We often sing “Here We Are Together” to welcome kids to school then ring the morning bell so the teacher can talk about the day’s activities and read a story.  A favorite part of morning circle is the selection of “The Person of The Day” from a series of clues.  The Person of The Day may be asked to sing the Days of the Week song, or remind children what day and month it is using “Calendar Time”.

painting9:15am – Free Choice / Free Play / Activity Time.  All interest areas in the classroom are open, and children are free to choose their activity, and whether to play independently, in a small group, or in a large group.

The classroom always has activities available in the following areas for Free Play Time.

  • Sensory Center
    • Water table, rice table
  • Art Center
    • Easel painting, crafting, art activity of the day
  • Reading Center
    • A rotating collection of books, a cozy corner with pillows and blankets where children can read alone or together
  • Read more about our free time activities…


10:30am  Clean Up Time.  Children are called to attention, and sing the “Clean Up” song.  “Now it’s time to Clean Up, Clean Up now.  Let’s get together to figure out how!”  After all the areas of the room are clean, children “give themselves a pat on the back” or “give themselves a hug” for a job well down, then toilet, and wash their hands for snack.

group_activity10:45am Snack Time.  Cape Ann Preschool parents are assigned ‘snack weeks’ and bring in a snack for the classroom during school weeks throughout the year.  The snack can be a special favorite of your child, or something as simple as fruit, crackers, muffins, or pretzels.

outside_snow11:00am – Outdoor Play.  Cape Ann Preschool has a fenced, secure outdoor play area.  Children spend time outside every day, except in case of extreme weather.  A large indoor play room allows for parachute play, and physically active indoor play in that case.

11:55am – Toileting, and Wash-Up for Lunch Time.


12:00pm – Lunch time.  Nutritious lunches are brought from home, and children sit down, do their ‘Magic Count’ to three, open their lunchbox, put their lunch on their table, and store their lunchbox under their chair until lunch is over.  Kids sit in small groups of 2-4 for lunch, and seating varies each day.



12:20pm – Music Time.  A favorite time of the day at Cape Ann Preschool when songs are learned, and sung, acted out, and sung again.  Clapping, rhythmic movements, and choreography are great for coordination, and mixing in musical instruments, yoga, and dance expose children to the different ways to be musical with each week’s song.


12:30pm – Dismissal.  Class gathers to sing the “Goodbye Song”, and children are dismissed to go home.