Routines to build into daily activities

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Routines play an important role in young children’s lives, and they also make life easier for the adults that care for them.  

Children often need predictability as it gives them a sense of security. They know what is going to happen and when, and this allows them to feel confident and in control. Studies have shown that relaxed and secure babies and children have greater potential to build a solid foundation for future learning, behaviour and health. 

Everyday routines 

Try building simple routines in your day to boost your child’s learning and development. When you get up in the morning, talk about what is going to happen during the day. You might like to involve your child in packing their bag and you can talk about where you are going or the things that they will need. “It’s Wednesday today, so that means I go to work and you go to day care. We need to pack a hat, lunch…..” You might even start to notice your child being able to connect different routines with specific days.

Heading out somewhere? Try talking about where you are going as a way of informing your child and helping them prepare for what happens next.

Routines to help with transition times 

Build simple routines into everyday tasks or activities, when you travel in the car, make up a song about putting on your seatbelt and sing it with your little one every time you buckle up. You can talk about where you are going as a way of informing your child and helping them prepare for what happens next. 

Use bath time as a way of relaxing and calming down at the end of a busy day, sing songs and talk about what happened during the day. Simple bedtime routines might involve, brushing teeth, choosing books or finding a favourite toy. Snuggle up together and share a book, this is a special time that you can both enjoy and you’ll be surprised how quickly your little one will look forward to this routine and remind you about what part comes next! 

Books for bedtime 

These stories are lovely to share at any time but are comforting stories that are particularly great for bedtime storytelling. 

The going to bed book by Sandra Boynton 

If animals kissed goodnight by Ann Whitford Paul  

A book of sleep by Il Sung Na 

Time for bed by Mem Fox 

Don’t let the pigeon stay up late by Mo Willems 

Owl babies by Martin Waddell 

Where the wild things are by Maurice Sendak 

How do dinosaurs say goodnight by Jane Yolen 

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