3 Tips for Pre-K and Kindergarten Dismissal Routines

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There’s no doubt that building classroom routines can set you up for a successful school year. It all starts with putting in place daily routines that are simple and effective. In my classroom, we have routines that begin from the moment my students arrive and continue all the way until they leave. These 3 tips for Pre-K and Kindergarten dismissal routines will be sure to leave you feeling calmer and less stressed when the students head out at the end of the day!

*For more tips on how to create a positive AND playful learning environment in your classroom, be sure to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!

These 3 tips for Pre-K and Kindergarten dismissal routines will be sure to leave you feeling less stressed at the end of the day!

3 Tips for Pre-K and Kindergarten Dismissal Routines

Does the end of the day ever feel a little (or a lot) chaotic in your classroom? Give these easy tips a try to ensure the end of your day feels more peaceful (so you can focus on everyone getting on the right bus!).

If you put in the time now, things will go much smoother later. It’s always worth it to take the time and make the effort to build SOLID routines in the classroom.

Be sure to check out my teacher tips for setting up an independent morning arrival routinebut first, here are my favorite tips for implementing a smooth and effective dismissal routine!

Tip #1 – Break it Down

Begin by breaking down the routine and practicing EACH step before practicing another. Telling 4 and 5 year olds to go to their cubbies, get their things, pack up, and come to the carpet is way too many directions at once.


  • First, students will practice standing by their backpacks and returning to the carpet.
  • Next, we practice putting backpacks ON (this can be hard!).
  • Then, they will practice walking back to the carpet with backpacks on.

These are all separate steps and should be taught separately before putting them all together.

Practice having your students get their backpacks and return to the carpet in separate steps.

Tip #2 – Make it Catchy and Fun!

Break down routines into phrases or sayings that the students can repeat or sing with you! After we have practiced each step independently we move onto putting the full routine together. We may say something like “Papers, Backpacks, Carpet! Papers, Backpacks, Carpet!”

The kids sing or chant this and and it helps them to remember exactly what they are doing!

Dismissal routines can be simple and effective.

Tip #3 – Routine Stack!

What does “routine stack” mean? It simply means combining routines when possible. For example, if your pack-up time is right after cleaning up from centers, then after they clean up they should pack up and THEN come to the carpet with backpacks on. NOT… clean up, group go out again, and come back again.

Or, if you go home shortly after a last recess, have the students pack up BEFORE heading outside.

Putting backpacks on can be tricky and require a lot of practice.

Just remember, go slow to go fast later!

What does the end of the day in your classroom look like? Do you have routines in place for your Pre-K or Kindergarten dismissal?

BONUS Goodbye Song!

Songs are powerful AND effective! They can be especially useful tools when teaching classroom routines and transitions. That’s why we want to share with you one of our favorite songs for the end of the day.

What better way to send your students off than with a song? This simple and engaging song is sung to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell.”  Your students will look forward to singing it as part of their dismissal routine each day!

Check out the video to hear our goodbye song in action. You will definitely want to try it with your kiddos!

It’s time to say goodbye.

It’s time to say goodbye.

Our day is done –

we’ve had such fun!

It’s time to say goodbye.

See you later, gator.

Bye bye, butterfly.

After a while, crocodile.

It’s time to say goodbye.

Want to improve classroom management and increase student engagement with music and movement?

Don’t miss out – sign up today for The PLAYlist! With 3 new songs every month designed specifically for Pre-K, TK, & Kindergarten PLUS corresponding games and activities, this resource is quickly going to become your favorite tool in your teacher toolbox!

Join the PLAYlist and get 3 new songs every month plus corresponding games and activities.

Join The PLAYlist and spend less time trying to capture student attention and more time being engaged in active learning!

The Kindergarten Connection
3 Tips for Pre-K and Kindergarten Dismissal Routines

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