Creating a Daily Routine for Nursery: Balancing Learning, Play and Wellbeing

If you’re a parent with a child at nursery, understanding the daily routine is an important part of allowing them to settle into and make the most of their time at nursery.

Published on September 12, 2023

From integrating naps at the same time every day to carrying on with the development of life and intellectual skills at home, we believe that the more you know about the nursery routine, the easier it is to make nursery a core part of your family life.

But just how much routine is there in a typical day at nursery, and how do we balance the need for learning and play with the importance of flexibility, wellbeing, and overall happiness?

What does a day at nursery involve?

One of the most important things that we communicate to all new families joining a My Ohana nursery, is that we balance routine with flexibility and operate child-led activities as much as possible. We believe that while establishing core learning, play, and meal times into the day is important, it is just as crucial that we can be flexible and adapt to the preferences and needs of the children in our care.

The aim behind our flexible approach to routine follows the idea that child-led activities empower young people to exercise their ability to converse, to negotiate, to discuss, and to make decisions at an early age. Building important life skills is something we take very seriously at nursery, with the presentation of child-led routines combining the idea of play and exciting activities with the need to decide what tasks to partake in. This is one of the ways that we unite learning and play with ease, without the children really knowing that they are developing life and communication skills – putting an exciting and innovative spin on each day’s running order.

As such, parents tend to find that every day is different in a My Ohana nursery – which is why communication is so important across our nursery community.

Using an app called ParentZone, we strive to keep parents up to date with goings on in the nursery on a regular basis, providing them with updates that our parents find both valuable and enjoyable while away from their child. Parents are also invited to chat to us at drop off and pick up and can schedule catch up sessions whenever they want to. All of this is designed to ensure that while their (and our) routines change daily, you always feel in the loop and well informed as a parent.

Managing a flexible daily routine in our nurseries

We’ve already talked about how the flexibility in our daily routine is what enables young people to thrive and to develop and uncover new skills. But one question that many parents bring to us is this: how do we create policies and procedures, and ensure that all safety measures are being met, when the routine is so flexible and interchangeable?

Creativity is so important to us here at My Ohana, with many of the activities that we offer combining an incredibly simple approach with creative concepts and characters to make even the most essential tasks or lessons easier and more digestible.

For example, we find that offering the same activities but in different settings and with different underlying themes can often be enough to re-engage children and inspire them to think differently. Reading outside as opposed to inside; getting involved in making healthy snacks and meals at different times throughout the day; even engaging in word association games in different settings and locations can help young minds to think differently and notice and acknowledge new things.

It's this which allows us to combine a different routine every day with the underlying need to balance learning with play, and always ensure that wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do.

Understanding our curriculum

Here at My Ohana, we have developed our own curriculum which presents each child with a tailormade schedule, recognising their individual needs when it comes to rest, play, and care.

The ability to respond fast to each child’s needs underpins most of our management style, as we ensure that children are getting the support they need when they need it – and are able to feel in control of their own routine as much as possible. For us, the best way to inspire independent and resilient children is to give them choices to make and freedom to learn creatively from an early age.

My Ohana means family, we would love you and your little one to join ours!


We’ve been shortlisted for ‘Nursery Group Under 10 Settings’ in the National Day Nursery Awards 2022

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