Useful tools, Wellbeing
The importance of routines in early childhood
08 May, 2023
Family life today can be crazy-busy. In all the hustle and bustle of getting everyone where they need to be – or even just in the car – a good routine can be a lifesaver!
Remember when you could just jump in the car and go someplace? Life with kids involves a little more planning and packing a lot more stuff – and that’s just for a trip to the shop for milk and bread! So why are routines important? Having a daily routine for kids helps provide structure that’s beneficial for the whole family. When everyone knows the plan, it’s easier to be prepared for what’s next, both practically and emotionally. And everyone can help out – kids included.
Why having a daily routine for kids is important
Experts agree establishing a daily routine for kids is important for their growth and development in so many areas.
- Routine provides structure and stability. Having an idea of how their day unfolds helps children to feel comfortable and safe.
- It helps them develop good habits. It becomes second nature to, for example, always wash their hands before eating or brush their teeth before bedtime, which has positive health benefits.
- It encourages independence. Through repetition, children learn what needs to be done and can start to do it themselves without prompting.
What is a kid’s daily routine chart?
A daily routine chart for kids simply sets out the main parts of a child’s day so they can see what to expect. It can be as simple as a piece of paper stuck to the fridge with pictures showing key events or tasks.
How to make a daily routine chart for kids
Depending on the age of your child, you may be able to involve them in creating your children’s routine chart. Including children will give them a sense of ownership in the chart and motivate them to use it. First, jot down the key parts of their day that you’d like to include. They may like to draw or cut out pictures to show the various parts. You may like to talk to your kids about how running around and playing outside makes them hungry and ready for lunch and guide them towards gluing the elements of their day onto the chart in your preferred order.
What should a daily routine for kids include?
Everything is easier after a good sleep, so schedule the sleep time that works for your child/ren and fit everything else around that. To keep parents on their toes, how much sleep children need changes as they grow. Speak to the Lead Educator in your room to learn about what may be best for your child.
After sleep, food is the next big priority. Mealtimes are vital for refuelling growing little bodies. Kids can refuse to eat when they’re tired, so establishing structure around meals can help mealtimes run more smoothly.
Examples of activities you may like to include in a kid’s daily routine chart are:
- eating breakfast;
- brushing teeth and hair;
- getting dressed;
- going to Edge Early Learning;
- quiet playtime;
- eating dinner;
- bathing and brushing teeth;
- putting on pyjamas;
- storytime and;
How to use a daily routine chart for kids
Children LOVE earning stickers and stamps so you may like to leave space to reward them for carrying out each task. Letting them stick on the sticker has the added benefit of sending them to look at the kid’s daily routine chart where they can see their next opportunity to earn a reward – and the real benefit: knowing what’s coming up next and being able to prepare for that.
Top tips for establishing a daily routine in early childhood
- Keep it simple
- Use pictures
- Be consistent
How we at Edge Early Learning will support your child’s daily routine
A typical day at Edge Early Learning includes a structured routine appropriate to each child’s age and stage. Have a look at a typical day in the Edge kindergarten program.