The benefits of routines for the early years.
By Nicole Hicks, Early Years Specialist
Ok, what is a routine?
Firstly – let’s define the word “routine” – Oxford Dictionary states routine as – ‘the normal order and way in which you regularly do things’. Let’s now look at the benefits of establishing routines in the early years.
Security and emotional stability for early learners.
Research shows that routines support many areas of development in early childhood. Supporting healthy social and emotional development, and self-regulation in children. Routines can also benefit and be the starting point for good mental health.
Consistent routines, activities that happen at about the same time and in about the same way each day, provide comfort and a sense of safety to young children. Whether it is time to play, time for meals, a rest, or the collection at the end of the day, knowing what will happen next gives babies and toddlers security and emotional stability. Thus allowing trust to form between child and caregiver/educator adults, and when children feel this sense of trust and safety, they are free to go about their day – which is to play, explore, and learn.
Every day actions are rich opportunities.
Daily routines are often thought of as just ‘every day, have to’ activities – such as washing hands before mealtimes, packing away activities, taking a rest, and then at home the routine of taking baths. But these everyday actions are rich opportunities to support a child’s learning and development while having fun. Routines and rituals can offer the chance to build self-confidence, curiosity, social skills, self-control, communication skills, and much more. When children develop these skills in routines they are then better to adapt to everyday challenges, stressors, and new expectations into the future.
Early years and early childhood learning, every day matters.
Remembering the first five years of age are a child’s most formative, everything that occurs in the early years’ counts! Make sure your everyday routines matter!
Explore Imagineland has released on their YouTube Channel some great resources and songs to assist in developing routines for children.
Be sure to check out the website and sign up for a free trial for a limited time at www.exploreimagineland.com