Updated: May 6
In this world today, which has gone completely wonky, it is good to keep to a routine. Routine is just as important for children as adults. While it is important to have playtime, children also need structure. A routine helps your child understand the balance between enjoyable tasks such as play, and functional tasks such as brushing their teeth. A daily routine helps reduce stress. When a child has a predictable daily routine, it reminds them that they are in a secure, loving environment.
Routines give infants and toddlers a sense of security and stability. Routines help infants and toddlers feel safe and secure in their environment. Young children gain an understanding of everyday events and procedures and learn what is expected of them as routines make their environment more predictable.
From morning routines to workout routines, our lives as adults are filled with everyday routines that help keep us on schedule. Children also need to have predictable routines that have room for flexibility, especially infants and toddlers. Here are three main reasons why routines for mealtime, nap time, playtime, bedtime, cuddle time, etc. are important for infants and toddlers:
1. Routines give infants and toddlers a sense of security and stability.
Routines help infants and toddlers feel safe and secure in their environment. Young children gain an understanding of everyday events and procedures and learn what is expected of them as routines make their environment more predictable. Routines can also help infants and toddlers become more trusting of you as a caretaker if their routines are effective and they feel comfortable in the environment.
2. Routines influence infants and toddlers' social, emotional, and cognitive development.
Infants and toddlers who have effective routines are often more engaged with their environment and the people around them. Young children learn to anticipate changes in routines, and they slowly become more independent as they learn what each routine entails. If routines are predictable, have appropriate transition cues, and have room for flexibility, routines will also help reduce challenging behaviors (tantrums, hitting, biting, etc.) in infants and toddlers and in older children.
3. Everyday routines can be used as teachable moments.
Everyday routines are full of learning opportunities for young children. For example, you can start teaching children the importance of washing their hands before eating or the importance of brushing their teeth. You can also use these everyday routines as opportunities to talk with young children and help them develop their communication skills. (Kaplan, )
Help your child develop the love of reading that leads to lifelong literacy by making reading a regular part of your family's daily routine. Reading experts recommend kids read at least 20 minutes every day. If you make reading for 20 minutes a daily routine your child will read over 3,600 minutes in a year. (JustTake20.org)
3,600 minutes in a year. WOW! This coming from just 20 minutes per day.
I loved reading with my kids. Whether they were on my lap, cuddled up on the couch or tucked into bed at night. Eventually as they got older, we would alternate reading sentences. Sometimes they would read the whole story to me.
We made this part of their everyday schedule.
As adults, my kids are both avid readers. My son, as an actor, reads scripts. My daughter, as a recent college graduate, has read many required books and now, historical fiction. In fact, my daughter, has such a love of reading, that she has decided to earn a master’s degree in library science. That along with her bachelor’s degree in History, will help to continue her love of books and of reading them.