Tips For Teachers: Getting Little Ones to Line-Up

Knowing how to line up is not a skill we are born with. It is something we must learn. As an early childhood educator, whether in daycare, nursery program, or preschool, it will fall on you to teach this valuable lesson to the little ones under your care.

Here are some essential tips for teaching toddlers and preschool kids to line up:

  • Consider the space in your room and select a line-up area that allows easy access for the children.
  • Designate the beginning of your line using tape or another marker.
  • Mark the line itself so the children can visualize the line
  • Mark spaces for the children to stand on-make sure to leave enough room in-between spaces, so the children have room to stand without crowding on top of each other
  • You can use shapes such as footprints or stars on the floor to make it easy for the kids to find the spaces

Avoiding the First-in-Line Dilemma

It might feel inevitable that there will be arguments and hurt feelings over who is first-in-line. Young children love being first. It makes them feel important.

You can avoid this problem by designating a child to head up the line. You can do this daily or weekly. You can tie it to a helper calendar or other activity, so the children know what to expect and when it will be their turn.

You can also make sure that you do not place too much importance on being first. Praise the children who are fourth and seventh in line! Line-up is an excellent opportunity to practice counting also.

Tips to Prevent Running

Kids don’t just like being first-in-line. They also like being as close to first as possible! To avoid having your classroom turn into a sprinting contest during line-up, control the release of the children. Call children to the line in groups. This helps build listening and other essential skills while keeping the children safe and orderly.

Some categories for calling children into line:

  • The letters in their names
  • The patterns on their clothing
  • How they got to school
  • The kinds of shoes they are wearing
  • The colors of their clothing
  • The types of clothing – buttons, sleeve length, shorts v. pants, etc.

Contact Drawn2Learn

Teaching children to form a line is a small but crucial part of the job of an early childhood educator.

Of course, a successful school involves more than lining up. Curriculum is one of the most important parts of the process, and our eco-friendly reusable books and materials save you time, money, eliminate frustration in students and give parents greater satisfaction in their child’s learning process.

For creative, comprehensive toddler and pre-k curriculum programs for directors, teachers, and child caregivers, contact Drawn2Learn at [phone] or learn more on our home page at