How To Create a Lesson Plan for Toddlers

How To Create a Lesson Plan for Toddlers

lesson plans for toddlers

Lesson planning is an essential skill that all teachers should have. Lesson plans establish learning objectives, help you assess the quality of your instruction, and ensure that your curriculum aligns with established standards.

Creating well-structured lesson plans ensures you are prepared to help children reach their educational goals. Here’s how to create your own.

Elements of a lesson plan for toddlers

To create a successful lesson plan for the children in your childcare center, you'll need to consider five components:

  • learning objectives
  • lesson materials
  • lesson procedures
  • related requirements
  • assessment


Learning objectives

​​​​​​​​​​​Learning objectives are goals that you hope to achieve with your lesson. Your lesson plan should include at least one objective that states what children will learn and which cognitive, physical, social, and emotional skills they will develop by completing the lesson.

Learning objectives can focus on skills such as understanding the relationship between cause and effect, learning pattern recognition, and identifying colors.

For example, a learning objective for a necklace threading activity may be: “Children will develop their motor skills and learn to identify colors and recognize patterns by threading colored beads.”

Lesson materials

This lesson plan section lists the materials you will need to teach the lesson. Materials in this section can include:

  • Handouts (like coloring pages, worksheets, and laminated flashcards)
  • Necessary supplies (markers, pencils, paint, construction paper, scissors, etc.)

Lesson plans for toddlers should also incorporate educational materials that encourage the children to play, such as alphabet blocks, musical toys, and color sorting toys.

A list allows you to purchase materials in advance, prepare a budget, and stay organized. You’ll also avoid altering lessons due to a lack of necessary materials.

Lesson procedures

This section of your lesson plan provides a step-by-step outline of the lesson and explains how you will introduce the lesson topic to the children. The lesson procedure may also describe the methods you will use to teach the material and explain the real-world applications of the skills the lesson will teach.

The constraints of your lesson procedures will differ depending on your teaching philosophy and methods. For example, if your childcare center utilizes the Montessori method, your lessons may prioritize hands-on activities encouraging children to explore materials independently and learn at their own pace. 

If your childcare center utilizes a Reggio Emilia-inspired approach, your lessons may prioritize project-based activities that encourage children to explore through collaboration with each other.

No matter what teaching philosophy your childcare center uses, creating an outline of your lesson’s procedures will help ensure that your lessons are focused and aligned with your teaching philosophy.

Related requirements

Related requirements are guidelines that extend beyond the scope of your lesson. This section describes how your lesson aligns with national, state, and local educational standards and your childcare center's teaching goals.


This section describes how you will assess the children to determine whether they have met the lesson objectives. This section may include a wrap-up activity that tests the children's understanding of the new concepts, such as questions you can ask the children.

Check out our free daily lesson plan template to identify learning objectives for each lesson you create and customize it to suit your teaching style and children's needs. 

Download our free daily lesson plan template!

Evaluating your lesson plan

After you teach your lesson, you should evaluate your lesson plan. Reflecting on your lesson plan will help you think critically about your teaching methods so you can improve the lesson for future classes.

To evaluate your lesson plan, take notes on how you presented the lesson. For example, suppose you find that you rushed while explaining the activities or explained them too thoroughly and lost the children’s attention. In that case, you may want to adjust the amount of time you allot for instruction before allowing the children to begin the activity.

Asking yourself the following questions after the lesson can help guide your evaluation: 

  • Did you stray from the plan you outlined? 
  • Did you allow enough time for the children to ask questions? 
  • Did the children struggle to complete the lesson or activity? 
  • Did the assessment show that the children learned the required skills? 
  • Did any children struggle to understand the lesson?

After asking these questions, consider what you would change about your lesson plan. These changes can help your lesson plan meet your children’s needs and better fit their learning styles. You can also prepare for the children you will teach in the future.

Examples of lesson plans for toddlers

A is for Apples toddler lesson plan


This weekly lesson plan includes a variety of activities centered around the theme of the letter “A” and apples.

Letter of the week lesson plan


This template focuses on a different letter of the alphabet each week and encourages letter recognition through books, activities, and crafts.

All about me lesson plan


This lesson plan encourages children to share about themselves with their teacher and classmates.

Rainbow threading lesson plan for toddlers


This lesson plan helps children develop fine motor skills by threading objects with yarn.

Bring curriculum visibility to families

You can meaningfully engage families by bringing visibility to what the children are learning daily. Share your weekly lesson plan and daily activities with families to partner and build strong home-to-school connections. With access to the weekly lesson plan, families will be better equipped to support their children's development at home.  

Create a lesson plan for the toddlers at your childcare center

A detailed lesson plan will ensure that you are prepared to teach your children new skills, assess their understanding of the material, and evaluate your teaching procedures. 

When you create your lesson plan, consider the skills the children need to learn, the materials you’ll need, your center’s teaching philosophy and goals, the guidelines your childcare center must follow, and your assessment methods. 

Creating thorough lesson plans will help you evaluate your teaching methods and develop activities that teach your children the skills they need to succeed.


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