Effective weekly lesson plans for toddlers are based on the typical daily schedule in the classroom, and they typically contain several short, engaging activities that help toddlers develop essential skills in areas such as language, math, cognitive function, motor development and social behavior. Many teachers use lesson-planning templates to plan activities that target specific areas of toddler development.
Lesson plans typically feature five columns, one for each day of the school week, and enough rows to accommodate the types of activities offered by the curriculum, although some teachers prefer schedule-based layouts. Music and finger-play, language and literacy, fine motor development, large motor skills, and social-emotional development commonly appear on toddler lesson plans. Some classrooms also include art projects, daily circle-time activities, sensory exploration and planned outdoor activities.
Weekly or monthly themes often make lesson planning easier and are great ways to extend learning in the toddler classroom. Age-appropriate themes that relate to daily life are the most effective. Toddlers typically enjoy themes about seasons, transportation, food and family. A weekly toddler unit on transportation may include ride-on trucks, airplanes and trains for gross motor development, painting with die-cast cars for art, and boats and cars at the sand-and-water tables for sensory exploration.