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  • Dr Gemma Handelsman

Structuring your ‘social distancing’ weekday with nursery aged children

Unsure how to structure your weekdays? A timetable isn’t for everyone – but it works for us and might help some of you!

Most importantly, BE FLEXIBLE. Nursery aged children don’t need a timetable (except usually for meal and nap times), but YOU may well do. It gives you a plan, variety and a reminder of all the things you could be doing. If you are sharing childcare with another adult, if will also help ensure you don’t repeat something too often on the same day.

As in my previous blog, alternate moving and seated activities and get some fresh air twice a day if that’s possible for you.

Here you can download our weekday timetable. We’ve only used it for three days, so I’m sure it will change over time. It’s designed mostly for our 3½ year old, but our 1-year old joins in too. We are lucky to be able to each work flexibly at the moment, giving us each half a day responsible for childcare. What have we learnt so far? Things don’t go to plan, but that’s ok. Some things took much longer than estimated (we walked for an hour) and other things were much shorter (someone didn’t want quiet time!). And lots of things happened in a different order…but whenever we got stuck, we had this to refer to for more ideas.

Each activity with a * can have a list of options which vary each day. It should include your usual toys and games, as well as new ideas you might want to try. I will try to share examples of these in future blogs. And in theory, over the course of the day we will have done something related to all 7 areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum.

Finally, give yourselves more freedom and variety at the weekends, as you would normally. For us, today (Saturday) this meant staying in our PJs most of the morning and then my daughter chose to wear a party dress, whereas during the week we’ll stick to nursery clothes. And there was much more free choice and independent play than during the week. The weekend has also been a chance for our 1 year old to have more dedicated 1:1 time as we’re both around. Next week I’m hoping to think more about how he can better join in our weekday timetable.

Keep well,


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