Daycare in Houston
Routines that Toddlers Can Understand
Toddlers are famous for being oppositional, but kids who understand the routine, rather than feeling pushed around by what seems like arbitrary circumstance, are more likely to cooperate.
Routines also develop the prefrontal cortex, the planning and executive function part of the brain, as children learn that things happen in a certain order during the day.
Having a plan for the day can also be important for adults caring for kids. True, many of us love the freedom of deciding on the spur of the moment what comes next, and sometimes that's the basis of creativity.
On the way home, you can review your morning.
"What a great morning we had....we had cuddles when we woke up...then we had oatmeal for breakfast....then we brushed teeth and got shoes on like we do every morning....then we went on an adventure to the grocery store. What was your favorite thing?"
Then, you can talk again about what comes next. "When we get home, I will put these groceries away. Do you want to help me? Then we will make lunch, and have a story, and then it will be nap time. This afternoon, do you want to go to the park or set up the sprinkler in the back yard to run through?"
Does that mean we "force" kids into a routine that isn't working, or keep them on a rigid schedule so they can't stop to examine that bug on the sidewalk? Of course not. A child's routine needs plenty of ease in it to allow them to accomplish some of their most important life tasks: exploration and experimentation. If you want a child who is able to feel joy, you need to let her seize those opportunities to smell the roses and enjoy watching the worm inch through the garden.
Children also need plenty of opportunity to make their own decisions and choices about how to use their own time within certain windows of their schedule. But knowing what to expect allows toddlers to relax in the moment, rather than frantically casting about for the next entertainment.
To help your child develop a sense of his "routine" I strongly recommend creating a "Routine Chart." There are many ways to do this, but basically this is just a poster with photos of your child doing his or her usual activities. You can buy these commercially, but you can also easily make your own, modeled after the ones used by preschools but personalized with photos of your child.
Just take photos (or find pictures) depicting your child's daily routine (wake up, potty, dress, breakfast, errands, snack, play, lunch, nap etc). You can write the words next to the photo. Some people like to arrange the photos in a circle like a clock, but toddlers think of time as more linear, so the clock may not help your toddler as much as a simple timeline. Just arrange photos on a poster board in the order they usually happen. It's good to use tape or velcro instead of glue, to allow for schedule changes, and in case you need to exchange "errands" for "Visit Grandma." You can even buy a magnetized bulletin board and glue photos of your child doing these activities to magnets, so you can move them around.
source: Aha! Parenting
Nutcrackers Daycare Academy We are a family owned and operated academy that provides children with a strong foundation to begin their lives. Our teachers are highly trained and extremely attentive to support your child’s desire to explore and discover. Our passionate staff values the relationships we have with our families and work hard to involve them in all our activities and decisions. Our facility provides an openness inside and out for a child to feel free to explore, create, and learn in a safe, loving and developmentally appropriate environment. Contact at 713-842-7796.
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