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Teaching Days of the Week

Songs and activities to help your child learn

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Teaching your preschooler about the days of the week

Teaching your preschooler about the days of the week will give him a greater understanding of how the world works.

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Whenever I go away on vacation I find myself losing track of what day it is. It can be somewhat unsettling, even if the feeling is only temporary. So imagine how your preschooler feels when she asks, "When am I sleeping over grandma's house?" and you respond, "Saturday." Well that's all well and good, but when is Saturday? Is it now? How long will it take to get here?

Once a preschooler hits age three or four, she can start to understand and, consequently, learn, the days of the week. While teaching the days of the week may seem tricky at first because many preschoolers still don't understand the concept of time, once they get the hang of it, it is really just some simple memorization. Using songs, activities and even your family's schedule, your preschooler will learn the days of the week before Tuesday!

Incorporate Family Life

Just from living life as part of a family, your preschooler probably understands that there is a routine in place and different days to do different things -- there are some days that are less structured but busier; there are other days that she goes to school. Make it a point to announce what you are doing and what day it is. "Today is Wednesday so you have gymnastics. Tomorrow is Thursday so you'll go to preschool." Soon enough she'll start to remember on her own that different days have different activities assigned to them.

Use a Calendar
Even if your preschooler isn't reading, he can still start to understand how a calendar functions (and eventually recognize the names of the days). Point out the days on your family's calendar and explain what activities he has on what days. Talk about how there are five weekday days and two weekend days. If you have regularly scheduled events on days (school, dance, swimming lessons), show where they fall during the week and how the days are related to each other.

Days of the Week Songs
While understanding the concept behind the days of the week are important, so is memorizing the names of the days. Singing a song that names each day and repeats it is a great way to reinforce the lesson. Try some of these songs:

  1. (sung to the tune of The Addams Family theme song)
    Days of the Week! (snap, snap)
    Days of the Week! (snap, snap)
    Days of the Week! Days of the Week! Days of the Week! Days of the Week!(snap, snap)
    There's Sunday and there's Monday,
    There's Tuesday and there's Wednesday,
    There's Thursday and there's Friday,
    And then there's Saturday!
    Days of the Week! (snap, snap)
    Days of the Week! (snap, snap)
    Days of the Week! Days of the Week! Days of the Week! Days of the Week!(snap, snap)

  2. (sung to the tune of Oh My Darling, Clementine!)
    There are seven days, there are seven days,
    There are seven days in the week.
    There are seven days, there are seven days,
    There are seven days in the week.
    Sunday, Monday,
    Tuesday, Wednesday,
    Thursday, Friday, Saturday!
    Sunday, Monday,
    Tuesday, Wednesday,
    Thursday, Friday, Saturday!

  3. (sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)
    Sunday, Monday, Tuesday too.
    Wednesday, Thursday just for you.
    Friday, Saturday that's the end.
    Now let's say those days again!
    Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday!

  4. (sung to the tune of Frère Jacques!)
    These are all the
    days of the wee-eek,
    Sing with me,
    Sing with me.
    Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
    Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
    Saturday
    A day to play.

  5. (also sung to the tune of Frère Jacques!)
    Every week
    has seven days,
    See how many
    you can say!
    Sunday, Monday, Tuesday,
    Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,
    Saturday.
    What's today?

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
As you are teaching your child about the days of the week, it's also a good idea to introduce the concept of today, yesterday and tomorrow. Break out your family calendar and point out the current day as being today. Then show your little one which day is yesterday and which is tomorrow. Explain that yesterday, today and tomorrow change as the day does. To reinforce this idea, you could say something like, "Yesterday you went to Chloe's house. Today we are going to the park. Tomorrow you will go to the doctor." Be sure to name activities that are singular in nature so your preschooler doesn't get confused -- if she goes to preschool five days a week, using that in this concept wouldn't necessarily work.

For more tips on teaching concepts of time to your preschooler, check out Teaching Months of the Year.

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