tips to help toddlers adapt to daycare

My two year old daughter did not adapt to going to daycare very well. It took several weeks of tearful goodbyes and even a few days in which I had to leave work early to pick her up because she was having meltdowns. It took a lot of patience to reach the point where I could leave her all day and not have to worry about having to miss a meeting because she was having another meltdown. If you are experiencing the same problem, visit my site. There, you will find the many tips that I was given by her care givers that helped us get through this troublesome time.

Look For Unstructured Play In Daycare Center Schedules


Parents commonly rely on preschools and daycare centers to help get their youngsters ready for elementary school. These facilities provide age-appropriate education so the kids master some basic academic skills before entering kindergarten. In addition to a structured learning environment, the best daycare centers also provide a substantial amount of time for unstructured play. As you're deciding which center to enroll your child in, look for that feature in addition to others you know are important. 

Types of Unstructured Play

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommends that preschoolers engage in at least two hours of physical activity a day. That should include at least one hour of structured and one hour of unstructured activity.

Daycare centers shouldn't micromanage that time for unstructured physical activity. Children naturally think of things to do on their own, such as climb on playground equipment, play tag or kick a big ball back and forth.

Additional time for unstructured play can include more sedentary activities, but the free nature of the time allows children to explore and be creative. They might choose to build things with blocks or set up an imaginary wildlife area or a farm with toy animals. They might interact with other children using puppets or dolls. They also hone their social skills with activities such as pretending to manage or shop at a grocery store.

The Importance of Free Play

Academic instruction at daycare centers is important for readying kids for elementary school. Nevertheless, children thrive in environments where they have free time to participate in activities of their own choosing. A 2012 Los Angeles Times article notes that research shows the importance of free play for the development of social skills, creativity and problem-solving abilities, as well as for physical health benefits. 

Daycare Features Indicating Unstructured Play Opportunities

As you evaluate different centers, make note of which ones have:

  • outdoor playgrounds with a broad range of equipment
  • set times in the daily schedule for free play either outdoors or in a gym 
  • areas in the classroom with various types of toys that you actually see children playing with in an unstructured manner

You'll probably need to spend several hours at each facility to learn how much unstructured play actually occurs. Take note of centers where the teachers don't try to force unstructured playtime into educational moments. Instead, they might offer unobtrusive, helpful support for the kids when appropriate.

Enroll your child in a center where academic instruction is combined with plenty of free time so your child receives all the advantages of an excellent daycare setting. Facilities like A Child's View Learning Centre Ltd preschool are great places to explore.


30 April 2015