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End Of Day Routine


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how to people ensure a calm and productive end to the day? I can feel my tension levels rising at the end of the day - need a swift routine that will get my little lovlies to put their coats on and be ready for the end of the day? Any songs or helpful hints?

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don't know the kind of setting you are in, or age group so it may be useful to give a little idea as all works so differently.


Being a preschool with 3-5 yr olds we didn't get children to put on coats etc, parents collected and did this bit with their children.


When we did need an en mass putting on of coats/ getting ready for outside we used to sit them all together in a group and send one or two at a time to collect their coat and return to the group...


one adult was at coat area another directing the group and who went to collect...


they they put on their coats while the next two went , repeating until all had coats on and were once again sat together. we found once taught most could put a coat on , those who needed support had it from the one adult with the group. Or very often other children would help them as well, we were surprised at how many learnt to do zips, buttons etc by helping each other at this time.


eventually all ended sat together with coats on and we went out... but if waiting for collection would do a story or song or something as a whole group..


Doing this regularly they soon learnt to collect own coats quickly and return to group to put it on so we could do it without the adult at that end...


the chaos came when they all went together, or more than 2, and tried to put on coats etc in area coats were kept, before returning..


this worked well for 20 children and became very practised so only took 5 mins before going out.


Practice and routine were our key words to most things we wanted all to do..


if we changed this once established chaos reigned again!



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Certainly agree with the practice and routine being key here.


Our last 15 minutes are quietly collect a chair for assembly - which they do ( but consider even for new children that there are enough older children used to the routine that they just follow them and don't question what is happening) They put their chairs out in two rows, some direction needed here, but not much. I collect a book to read. We have the story. Towards the end of the story one or two of the adults collect the coats, bags, shoes, boots etc. which are needed for those children not staying on for lunch normally about 15 out of 20 at the moment. All the adults then sort out the coats - holding them up asking for their owner etc., adults hand the coats over and depending upon a child's ability we begin the process of teaching them independence in putting it on and doing up the zip, changing out of shoes and putting on boots etc. This exercise takes about 5-7 minutes much less obviously in the summer. During the snow recently this was a little more stressy because of the sheer amount of boots, ski suits etc. we were trying to contend with.


When we want to establish any new routine, we "walk and talk" the children through it a few times before we do it, and make sure all the adults are on hand to start with to re-direct as necessary. You only need a few core children getting it right before all the others follow suit I think. Once the routine is adopted I don't change it for quite some time I don't think it's fair to the children to keep chopping and changing, so a lot of thought goes into any change in the first place.

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  • 3 weeks later...

All I can say is how we do it that works for us. After tidy up time children go to the toilet and put their coats on. Staff are distributed IE on toilets, one coats area and one in book area helping to put on and do up. So there is a good distribution and flow. The children then chooses a book until everyone is ready.

We then go outside, on coming back in we leave coats on unless they are wet. Children sit down for story, at the end of story we give out things to go home.

Parents then collect lunch bags etc from pegs and their child who is ready to go.

Hope that makes sense

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