As childcarers, we all know that when working with children we must always expect the unexpected. Being spontaneous is a big part of the job! Bu, we also know the importance of establishing a daily routine with which children feel comfortable and help them build habits. Here I tell you 5 fun ideas to include in the kids daily routine.
1. Craft a routine wheel
To help kids learn a new routine, a routine wheel is a nice tool. The wheel includes the different daily activities the kids have (snack, bath, dinner, nap, play time, reading time, tennis, piano, etc.). They just need to place a drawing of themselves with a peg according to the activity that is currently happening. This is an engaging way to help kids get used to a new routine and is also useful to make transitions smoothly. You can get creative and do a different shape like a timeline. If you have younger kids you can use images instead of words and a picture instead of the drawing.
2. Music box
Place some songs in a recycled box and ask kids to pull out two or three every day. This not only is a fun activity but also improves their English listening and pronunciation skills. They’ll learn new vocabulary and you get them to participate actively. Here’s some of my kids favorite songs to sing and dance:
3. Reading paper snake or bookshelf
Getting your kids to like reading and be motivated to do it everyday might be a challenge. The reading paper snake or the bookshelf is a visual way that allows the kid to track how many books he/she has read. Every time they read a book in English you just add a ring to the paper snake or a book to the shelf with the title of the book. You´ll see how excited they get when their snake starts to grow, or the bookshelf is filling up.
4. Bath time
Some childcarers struggle with this moment of the day since usually kids are having the time of their lives fighting pirates or having a play mobile party. Something that works for me is “Day O” song; is a catchy song that hints to the children to start cleaning up and getting ready for bath. Make it fun telling them that they must finish before the song gets to the end. Getting kids into the bath would never be the same!
5. Chores chart
An old friend for some, but still a good way to make kids aware of what they need to do. What I do is list all the things my kid has to do by herself (washing her hands, fold her clothes, eat with the cutlery, use English, put away her toys, etc.) and give her stickers when she does those things. When she reaches 10 stickers, she gets a small surprise: extra 5 min playing at the park, or she gets to pick something fun we could do the next day or next week.
These are 5 things I do that make the kids daily routine certainly funnier and easier. I hope you can adapt some for your own work with kids.
By Juanita Torres, CAP diploma graduate 2018/2019