Close this search box.

A Look at a Full Day Kindergarten Schedule


I get asked a lot about our Kindergarten schedule from a variety of people. Sometimes parents, other teachers, or even people not in education at all say things like, “When I was in Kindergarten we took naps!” and they are curious about what it looks like today. I even hear, “What do you do all day?” Well, trust me, we are busy! If you have known me for a while or been around this site, you know that I am a huge advocate for play in the classroom. I am very blessed to teach in a place where play is not only supported but a part of every Kindergarten classroom daily. Due to this, I have been asked a lot about how that fits into our day. I thought it would be helpful to share our Kindergarten schedule with you!

*Don’t miss out! For even more teacher support and access to tons of amazing resources, request your invite for our “All Access” Print and Play Club membership!

This article is an interesting look for early childhood teachers into a full day Kindergarten schedule that still incorporates play!

Every Classroom and Kindergarten Schedule Is Different!

Before sharing my schedule, I just want to state that every classroom is different in every school around the world. What works for one doesn’t work for another, and schedules often vary based on district requirements, bus scheduling, etc.

I also know that sadly, several Kindergarten teachers are simply not allowed to have play in their classrooms. This is so disheartening, and I hope a change is near for them! If that is the case for you, I suggest reading 10 Ways to Incorporate More Play into Your Classroom. I hope you can find some inspiration!

And be sure to check out this full day Transitional Kindergarten schedule for even more examples of how to include play in the classroom!

My schedule for Kindergarten is just to give you a glimpse into our day since I have been asked so much about it. I am not going into full detail in this post about each aspect of our day. But I hope to answer the main question of “What do we do all day?”

Of course – I would love to hear from you anytime with more questions!

Our Kindergarten Schedule

*I currently teach Transitional Kindergarten, however, this schedule is very similar to when I taught Kindergarten (see schedule linked above).

8:35-9:00 – arrival, breakfast, morning work

Our morning work consists of unpacking, signing in, fine motor tasks, and play.

9:15-9:30 – number corner, calendar

I recently made the switch to number corner and calendar in the morning and I LOVE it – I really feel like for my class and preferences, this flows better in the morning vs. later in the day during math.

9:30-11:00 – literacy (science/ss integration)

Our literacy block focuses on mini lessons, writing time, a LOT of reading and read alouds, and free-flowing centers, where students are moving through their choices and I am meeting with small groups.

Want to know more about free-flowing centers? You can learn all about how they work in the P.L.A.Y. course (request your invite!).

11:00-11:45 – lunch/recess

11:50-12:10  – rest/story

We don’t sleep or take naps, but we do spend some time with the lights out just taking it easy with a story/regrouping. These kids are very young and the day is busy!

12:15-1:00 – classroom play/centers (kitchen, sensory, blocks, etc.)

This is when my kids make their plan to play in our classroom. We have a kitchen area, blocks, cars, LEGOS, puzzles, and tons more.

Our room is set up so that our work areas are actually integrated into play areas. You won’t find toys on the outskirts of the room, rather the centers are all throughout and in well defined spaces.

Kids decide on a plan, but are allowed to change their plan and move freely between areas. During this time I support the development of social-emotional skills, as well as work on academics in authentic ways as they come up naturally through play.

For instance, if I have a student who isn’t able to count with one-to-one correspondence, I may build a LEGO tower with him and count the blocks. If a student cannot read CVC words, we may do word puzzles together or read books.

This is a time that they are continually learning and it is SO important for their development. I can’t imagine our day without it!

Keep in mind they are allowed to free play, and I do not interrupt their play. Rather, if they are interested in playing and learning with me, I may approach them, but I never interrupt them. 

For instance, if a child was already immersed in building legos, I would never go over there and make them count them. It’s only if we have started building together or they show an interest.

1:00-1:50 – math

Math is a similar structure to literacy. Routine is VERY important at this age and they thrive when they have similar systems in place throughout the day.

We have mini lessons, number talks, and free-flowing math centers (similar to literacy) where students are freely moving through their choices and I am meeting with small groups.

1:50-2:05 – recess

2:05-2:20 – snack

2:30 – dismissal

Note – early in the year we dedicate WAY more time to dismissal and pack up – it takes us a while to get it down to ten minutes. 😉

Need an EDITABLE template to plan your own schedule? I have the one below for you – snag it at the bottom of the post!

Plan and post your Kindergarten schedule (or Pre-K too!) with this free teacher schedule template!

A Few More Thoughts

I also get asked the following questions (or receive these comments) sometimes –

Don’t you have standards to meet?

Yes, we are actually a Common Core state so we definitely do! I find that my kids are succeeding because this play is intentional and supporting the whole child. 

You must have “high kids” if you have time to play… 

No, I actually have kids with all abilities and from all sorts of walks of life and backgrounds. Students qualify for Transitional Kindergarten based on social-emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and academic need – so it’s a busy room! Learning through play supports my kids where they are at, so it is differentiation at its finest!

I wish we could do that! 

Trust me, I wish that for you too. It is my hope that developmentally appropriate practices will continue to be spoken for and fought for, and that play can be brought back in every room! 

Grab Your FREE Editable Schedule Template

You can grab your free editable schedule template by clicking the large, yellow download button at the end of the post (be sure you have PowerPoint to open)!

Want unlimited access to even MORE of our activities and resources? Join us in the Print and Play Club!

Your planning will be so much easier with instant access to:

  • hundreds of printables
  • every TKC resource
  • video lessons
  • a digital games vault
  • Pre-K and TK Scope & Sequence
  • a PLAYlist of fun songs AND activities
  • professional development
  • additional teacher resources…
Want unlimited access to tons of activities and resources for Pre-K, TK, and Kindergarten? Join us in the Print and Play Club!

Be sure to request an invitation so that you don’t miss your chance to be part of the best early childhood club around! Click Here to Download Your Printable


117 Responses

  1. Hi Chandi! Thanks for sharing what you do with your class! I love songs – we sing all the time, especially for transitions or to grab their attention! 🙂

    1. Hi,

      I am looking for the Mega List of Skills and Themes for Kindergarten that is free. Where can I find that? Thanks!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your schedule Laura! I love reading what other teachers do, and especially in other countries!
    I love that you have so much play to learn time and how intentional it is – that is probably such a fabulous time for your kids!

  3. Thanks for sharing your schedule with us Jenn! It is so great to see what other teachers are doing, and it is helpful to readers of this post too! I love that you have play in your day! 🙂

  4. That is wonderful you are doing what you can though! All we can do is our best, and I will hope for you as well that someday there is a bit more play for you! 🙂

  5. Wonderful Kelli! So glad it was helpful. Best of luck as you get your child ready for school – such an exciting year! 🙂

  6. I love hearing everyone’s schedule! I often wonder what other teachers do, how long they play, etc. Here is my kindergarten schedule:
    8:10- kids come in to start day
    8:10-8:30- morning work, attendance, announcements, lunch count
    8:30-9:00- circle time/reading activities (read aloud, sight word flash cards, some sort of song or action/wiggle game)
    9-9:40- Reading/phonics (usually a worksheet from our Houghton Mifflin curriculum and our daily phonics lesson through our Metra Phonics program).
    9:40-10:00- Snack and story or video
    10:00-10:40- Recess time!!
    10:40-11:10- Centers (art, writing, toys, science, library)
    11:20-12:00- lunch
    12:00-12:30- extra recess time
    12:30-12:45- quiet time/drink time (usually ends up being independent work time for most kids-I just shut off the lights and do piano music).
    12:45-1:35- math time (whole group instruction with Scott Foresman curriculum workbooks). If we finish math page early, we do other math games or a special craft
    1:40-2:10- special of the day (library, p.e., or music)
    2:15-2:30- pack up/clean the room time (usually I put on a little kid PBS show or HeidiSongs DVD. I go around and give them a hand stamp for what color they were on (clip chart). This ensures a clean room and orderly dismissal when they are all at their seats watching something.

    I’m blessed to have a principal that fully believes in play, lots of outdoor time, and fun in the classroom! I pray that more administrators come to this mindset, as I know not everyone gets to work in environments like this. Go kindergarten teachers! Woot!

    1. Rebecca, yes – Go Kindergarten Teachers!!! 🙂 Totally love that!
      Thanks so much for sharing your schedule as well – it is so fun to see what others are doing, and helpful too!
      That is wonderful you get to incorporate play and outdoor time in your schedule!

  7. I run a preschool program. It is only 2 hours a day but I block off 45 min./day for play…. or learning centers as we call them (house, building, discovery, quiet corner, art, etc.). It is so important not only for learning, but to give them a love of school at an early age! Love your schedule! Thanks for sharing!

    1. That is wonderful that you are still finding the time to give them play even in a short day! I bet they learn a ton during that time – it’s definitely important! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  8. Hi Alex! I loved your post. It’s a crazy world in kindergarten and it’s so important to support each other. Your post is a great way to open eyes and help one another.

    I work in a Title 1, PYP, and we are slowly becoming a STEM school! We also are a Common Core State. My kindergarten schedule is as follows:

    8:35-9 morning routines, breakfast, morning work, interventions.
    9-9:20 calendar and shared reading
    9:20-9:35 word work
    9:35-10:15 Reading Workshop
    10:15-10:30 Recess
    10:30-11 Workplaces (this is when I fit in my guided reading too!)
    11-11:30 Writing Workshop
    11:30-12:30 Lunch and Recess
    12:30-12:50 Relax and Read Aloud
    12:50-1:30 Inquiry (where I fit our unit in science or social studies!)
    1:30-2 Specials (gym, Spanish, music, art, or library)
    2-3 Math Workshop (small groups)
    3-3:30 Snack and Free Choice

    Few! That seems like such a long day when I type it out! Goes by so fast and we love it. Play every morning and afternoon on top of lunch/recess. May be few and far between, but we do the best we can!

    Thanks for reading!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your schedule Katrina! I love reading about what other classes are doing. I would love to hear more about your journey into becoming a STEM school – that sounds like a big process but I bet it will be great! Best of luck!

  9. Hey Alex!
    We are so fortunate to have admin that support play! I just wanted to share my kindergarten schedule, so maybe someone can use it!
    8:15-8:40 Arrival/Morning work/conversation (because they love to talk about themselves and everything is important to them!)

    8:40-9:45 “Language Arts” part 1–word wall (sight words), counting, calendar, letters/sounds, phonics, language lesson of the day

    9:45-10:30 Recess

    10:30-10:55 “Language Arts” part 2–this time period we do reading, writing, worksheets, (it’s a short time but perfect for assessment)

    10:55-11:45 Lunch and Recess

    11:45-12:15 Science/social studies on Tue/Thurs; Accelerated Reader on Mon/Wed; crafts/Spanish on Friday
    12:15-1:00 Centers–We have 6 centers: 1. books, 2. computers, 3. puzzles, 4. playdoh, 5. room detective (some call this writing the room) and 6. stamps/work with teacher (this is my opportunity to work with individuals, otherwise they work with stamps on CVC, CVCe, digraphs/blends, etc) We rotate daily, so everyone gets to do each center over 6 days.
    1-1:30 Recess
    1:30-2:15 snack and story time
    2:15-2:55 nap time
    2:55-3:05 rewards/pack up
    3:05 dismissal

    I love that we have 1 hr and 45 min of recess every day. I’m lucky my principal was the kindergarten teacher at our school before me, so she really gets the idea of play.
    Thanks for letting me share!

    1. Tana, thanks so much for sharing your schedule! I also love that you have long recesses – that is fabulous and so necessary!

      Thanks again for sharing – teachers are visiting this post and have mentioned that they appreciate that other teachers are sharing their schedules too! It’s very helpful!

      1. Just curious Alex,do you also do Guided Reading by any chance? I didn’t notice it on the schedule? Thanks.

        1. Hi Reyna! All of our reading instruction is inside our “Reading” block with small groups (that is where I would do most of guided reading), Daily 5, literacy centers, etc. Feel free to email me at if you want to chat more about it anytime!

  10. Hi Lina! Thanks so much for sharing your schedule! I used to teach at a private school as well. 🙂 I think it is fabulous that you have an hour of nap/rest, especially with a longer day like that! They truly need it! It sounds like you have a busy, but productive and engaging day!

    1. Our day is 7:50-2:50. 1 (30 min) recess after lunch. Private school. No rest time. Standards to meet. I am finding that auxiliaries are taking up SO much of the time I need in the classroom. With this year’s schedule, 4/5 days of the week I don’t even have the option to start teaching until 9:30 due to chapel and then 10 minutes after that PE. Also, my day is pretty much over by 1:50 due to a daily afternoon auxiliary that is from 1:50-2:20. Then snack and pack up. I feel like my co teacher and I have shared our frustrations with our admin but never seem to get anywhere. Any advice? We need more play!

  11. Great post! It is always so nice to hear how other kindergarten teachers organize their day! Thanks so much for sharing!
    ~Heather 🙂

    1. Thanks Heather! I love hearing others’ schedules too. There are so many parts of the day we can’t control due to requirements etc, but I know all kinder teachers are trying their best with what they have! 🙂

  12. Hi Alex!
    This is a great post and I think your schedule sounds wonderful – especially your play time. Your students are so lucky to have such a dedicated teacher! Thanks for sharing about your day. I am curious though – how often would you change play stations?

    1. Thanks so much Suzanne! I really appreciate that! As far as play stations go, many play areas are the same throughout the year. For instance I always have legos, blocks, cars, puzzles, kitchen etc. What I do change is the type of puzzles, board games, and I try to change out the dramatic play area at least quarterly. I am working right now on developing some boxed up “kits” like restaurant, vet clinic, etc so that I can have them ready to go to rotate out as needed! That part is a challenge for me due to storage, but I am working on it! 🙂

      1. A great dramatic play station that my kiddos love is flower shop! We use fake flowers, kid size garden gloves, the foam flower holders and plastic vases. We also add aprons, notepads and a cash register. The boys love it as much as the girls!

        1. We do a flower shop every spring! I have teachers fill out orders. They say who the flowers are for, select colors, and write a note. The kids copy the note on pretty paper and follow the order to make an arrangement. They then deliver them. The kids LOVE it and feel like they have a very important job and our school is just a buzz with teachers sending flowers and positive notes to each other! 🙂 It’s my favorite!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Learn how to create a PLAYFUL classroom with our LIVE Path to Play Training.  You’ll leave feeling excited and ready to go for next school year so you can enjoy every minute of summer break!