Why Routine is Important for Children

routine is important for children

Routines are beneficial to all human beings, as they help us to manage the continual flow of decisions we face each day and provide predictability, which is precisely what makes them so valuable for young children. For children and toddlers, change, transitions and uncertainty can be difficult to process and cause stress. Routines combat this as they provide children with comfort and stability; key ingredients for learning, play and happiness.

 

The core focus of routine is to organise and structure, which allows jobs to get done efficiently, for children, allowing time for play. With this organisation comes a sense of safety and sureness which is crucial for children’s wellbeing. Safe and secure environments foster growth, development and learning, thus routines are a key part of kindergarten. This blog will cover what routine is, how it relates to early childhood learning and why routine is important for children and parents.

What is Routine?

Routine is a series of actions, processes or tasks that are followed in a consistent order. They are set of instructions that become recurrent throughout daily life and, when implemented regularly, elements of the routine can become seamlessly integrated into the day. Routines at home may look like reading a story before bedtime or cleaning their teeth after breakfast. Here at Choklits, some routines we implement are our arrival procedure, which involves signing in, putting bags away and then moving to your child’s designated area, putting plates away after mealtimes and putting hats on before going outside.

Early Childhood Learning and Routines

Babies, toddlers and children are experiencing massive changes in their brains as they learn and grow at an incredible rate. To put this in perspective, at birth, a baby’s brain is about a quarter of the size of an adult’s, and in their first year of life alone it will double in size. By the time they are three years old, their brain will have reached 80% of it’s adult size and will be almost fully grown (90%) by five years of age. They are processing new information constantly and developing at a rapid pace, which is why early childhood learning is so crucial.

Routines have two key roles in supporting children’s early learning; firstly, routines provide predictability, creating a safe space which promotes learning, and secondly, through direct engagement with routines, children learn about structure and order. 

Children learn about how daily life and tasks are organised through their observation of and participation in them, and they have a chance to copy and practice these mechanisms repeatedly when following routines, reinforcing valuable learning. Furthermore, the familiarity that goes hand in hand with a regular routines provides security, maximising a child’s ability to learn, as when stress is reduced, more capacity is available for learning.

What are the Benefits of Routine for Children?

There are a multitude of benefits associated with the regular use of routine for children, including the development of trust. Here at Choklits, we use routine to promote trust-based relationships between children and educators. With routine, children feel safer and find reassurance in their daily schedule that is implemented by our caring educators. This helps to develop trust, as our educators provide consistent care and accommodations relevant to the needs of each child. This establishment of trust through dependability creates a comfortable environment and gives children the confidence to explore and learn new things.

Another benefit of routine is that they set consistent and easily comprehendible expectations for children. As these expectations are reliable, each day children become more familiar with them and therefore tasks are more easily achieved. Children attain a sense of accomplishment and feel in control when they are able to do things independently, and regular association of tasks with a routine increases the likelihood of success.

In addition, routines are especially important during times of stress or change as they provide consistency, allowing children to have something familiar and steady to rely on. When big or small changes occur, such as transitioning from kindergarten to primary school or a change in family dynamics like a new sibling, routines keep some tasks or aspects of daily life the same, providing predictability. Therefore, routines can reduce children’s stress and help provide a sense of safety, especially in times of change.

What are the Benefits of Routine for Parents?

Routines can lower parents’ stress, particularly during busy times, as they reduce the brain power that must be devoted to decision making, allowing a greater availability of ‘brain space’ for other activities. For example, if Tuesday is taco night, you won’t need to think about what’s for dinner. Routines make more time available for fun or enjoyable activities, as they increase efficiency, which can make daily chores run smoothly, thus allowing more time to be spent having fun.

How to Implement Routines at Home

Routines are a staple in school and learning environments such as kindergarten, but are also incredibly beneficial for families at home. Routines are simple in nature, so executing them does not have to be difficult. Starting a new routine could be as simple as getting your child to take their plate to the dishwasher after a meal, which is not only helpful for you, but is also instilling a lifelong healthy habit and giving them a sense of agency and independence. It’s important to remember that implementing routines requires consistency to ensure they become a regular part of daily life, and that your child isn’t necessarily going to remember or ‘get it right’ on the first or even twentieth try. The key idea is that you continue to model and support them consistently to aid their understanding.

 

 

Here at Choklits, we seek to provide the best possible environment to nurture and support the development and learning of our children. Incorporating routines in our nursery, toddler and kindergarten programs is just one of the many tools we use to achieve this as routine is important for children to have a dependable and happy space. Daily routines not only assist with the efficiency of the day, but also ensure the individual comfort and security of each child by establishing a well organised and reliable environment to foster learning.  

Choklits Child Care

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