Learning Plans

Planning Guide

Are you interested in bringing some structure to the way you plan your days and weeks? Try walking through this planning guide to see if it sparks some new ideas for your program.

Scroll all the way to the bottom to download a pdf copy of the Planning Guide.

Step 1

First, let’s establish what you and your children want to focus on.

Questions to consider:

  • What have your kids been interested in lately?
  • Do you have ideas for topics that they’ll really enjoy?
  • Are there materials you are really excited to introduce?

Step 1a

If you’re not sure, spend a week or more looking for inspiration:

  • Use circle time or small group time to ask what they’re thinking about and find out what’s on their minds
  • Read a variety of picture books to see what catches their attention
  • Think about which classroom materials they have been most excited by recently
  • Think about context. What time of year is it? What is going on in your community?

Theme / Focus:

Step 2

What are your primary learning goals for the week (these will probably be a mix of child-specific or whole-group)?

Sample learning goals:

  • Successfully join a group of children already playing
  • Persists at a challenging activity
  • Jump over obstacles using two feet
  • Make predictions about a story being read
  • Copy others, including adults and older kids

Learning Goals:

Step 3

With your learning goals in mind, what materials and/or activities do you want to use?

There will be a lot of overlap between the following areas-- there are very few activities that only fall under one category. The categories are meant to provide inspiration as well as a reminder about the different areas you will likely naturally be touching on in your daily rhythm.

Block Area

Dramatic Play


Literacy / Book Titles



Songs / Fingerplays


Gross Motor / Outdoor

Community Visits / Other

Planning Guide Downloads

Want to see an example?

Download a Sample Planning Guide