In early childhood, routines support healthy emotional development, social and self-control skills. In Montessori philosophy, which inspires our own philosophy, “Freedom within limits’’ entails flexibility, while maintaining guidelines for appropriate behaviour. Young children need routines and schedules in order to learn new behaviour and to follow rules and guidelines which are very much a part of the society that we live in.
Having an established routine is important as it enables your child to feel secure and enjoy a sense of control over his/her environment. Your child will learn what to expect and even look forward to a scheduled activity whether it is circle time, playtime, snack/lunchtime or work time. As your child participates in the routines, a sense of achievement and satisfaction will be experienced when they are able to complete the tasks that are a part of the routine.
It is essential that children are allowed the time to prepare emotionally and mentally for the tasks that are to be performed and for the changes that occur during the transition time between the various routines. Positive behaviour like courtesy, self-control, cooperation and taking turns are important skills that the children learn through the various routines. When children understand that there is an established routine to follow, it makes them less anxious and prevents negative behaviour like arguments and tantrums.
At Kids Club creative and flexible approaches to routines are practised. Childcare routines are established through observing the children and addressing their needs for learning, playing, eating, drinking and resting. Visual routines which is inclusive of all learners is employed at Kids Club. There is consistency of actions as all the caregivers and children will follow the same routine. This is important as the children learn through visual cues, what they hear and of course by completing the actions or tasks that need to be performed and completed. Childcare routines are structured around how the children are feeling and what they are engaged in. Changes that occur throughout the day are adapted to and this demonstrates the child-centred approach at Kids Club which includes flexibility and putting the child first.
Many studies have proven the power of music to enhance memory, improve confidence, strengthen learning capabilities and develop motor skills. At Kids Club, the children benefit from music lessons which are part of their routine. The planned sports activities that are incorporated into the children’s routines have been researched and prepared by a professional sports clinic. Routines at Kids Club not only involve academics and play but include educating the children about healthy eating and nutrition as well. This enables the children to make the right health choices and thus prepares them for a life of well-being. In addition, the in-house fully qualified chefs prepare and cook fresh healthy meals daily to provide nutritious meals for the children who attend Kids Club.
Daily activity and routine charts are a great way to support children in knowing what they need to be doing when. As opposed to a reward chart for ‘doing the right thing. This is due to not wanting to promote extrinsic motivation that is based on receiving material objects. Intrinsic motivation comes from within which means that your child will be motivated to have good manners, be kind and courteous because it is the right thing to do and not because they receive a reward for doing so.
A reward chart can also in some cases, place stress on a child if she/he is unable to achieve a certain behaviour or action at that moment in time. In line with the child-centred approach, the children at Kids Club learn from watching and emulating their classmates, as well as their educators and parents. Children at Kids Club, through their routines, learn how to work independently and collaboratively with each other, how to be polite and kind, how to take turns and how to play cooperatively together as well.