Routines and Child Development
Routines play a crucial role in early childhood development. Routines provide predictability, give children a sense of security and stability. They allow young children to recognise a sequence of events and be able to anticipate what will happen next. Routines support children’s emotional regulation and their learning. It is important that routines are implemented in a way that is flexible and responsive to your child.
Here are a few simple ways we can support and connect with our children when creating routines -
1. Allocate extra time - many toddlers have an ‘I can do it’ attitude. It is important for us as adults to step back and allow our children the time to try simple self care activities for themselves. We often forget that children live in a much slower-paced world than us. When implementing a routine, try allowing extra time for our children to catch up and make choices.
2. Visual reminders - the Little Agenda and Routine Helper are perfect for engaging little ones in our everyday routines. They provide a visual for children to easily understand what is expected of them. The tiles have small pi tires that can be recognised by children who cannot yet read.
3. Give children choices - this is one of the most important aspects in creating a routine. We often forget that our children do not get much of a choice when it comes to the days we plan. The Routine Helper allows us to discuss all the events that must happen but we can allow our child to choose the sequence which they wish to complete the tasks. When our children are given safe choices they feel in control and power. This supports their decision-making skills and gives space for them to learn how their decisions impact their world.
Managing routines with care and thoughtfulness so that children can become a treasured part of the day paves the way to building places for children that are rich in potential for meaningful engagement and strong, secure relationships.