It's the Little Things:
Unit Overview and Objectives
This unit will help you to:
Understand the general principles related to handling daily routines in a healthy way
Acquaint you with the elements of a good, full-day schedule
Provide strategies for carrying through smooth transitions
Learn to be sensitive when handling parent-child separation
Learn about sound nutritional planning that incorporates family values
Daily routines also offer children a sense of stability, and a feeling of warmth and caring from their teachers.
A sense of routine or knowing that there is an order and predictability to events is extremely important to young children as they form their ideas about the world and how they can operate within it.
appropriate daily routines
Offer children a sense of consistency and security.
Yet those need to remain flexible and responsive to the individual needs of each child
Daily Routine Components
Planning time (10-15 minutes)
Work time (45-60 minutes)
Recall time (10-15 minutes)
Small-group time (15-20 minutes)
Large-group time (10-15 minutes)
Outside time (30-40 minutes)
Transition times (including arrival and departure) (variable)
Eating and rest times (variable)
Adult team planning time (20-40 minutes)
Transitions are the minutes between other blocks of the day, as well as arrival and departure times.
Teachers strive to make transitions pass smoothly, since they set the stage for the next segment in the day's schedule.
They also provide meaningful learning opportunities themselves.
Think of a daily schedule as a guide which is responsive to children and teachers
Flexible schedules let us extend those moments that arise when children discover something that interests them.
They allow us to extend a play period so the children gain maximum satisfaction from what they're doing.
It is important to provide a healthy balance for children, between group times and more solitary moments, quiet and noisy activities, indoor and outdoor play.
Arrival and Departure
When they are dropped off at school, children are not always ready for their parents to leave.
Factors affecting the ease of arrival at school can include:
The child’s general enjoyment of school
The security of the child’s attachments
It is important for teachers to take the time to share little bits of information about how the child’s day went.
Provide a “car talk” board by the sign in and out sheets that tell parents what we did that day.
This gives the parent specifics to talk about with their child on the way home.
Reassure parents that children often are reluctant to leave school at the end of the day. This is normal. It doesn’t mean their child doesn’t like them.
Children feel anxious when main caregivers leave them at school.
This feeling appears to be strongest in American Children between 10-18 months.
Introduce the Child to School Gradually
Visit the school together (parent-child) before the first day.
Set a very short first day where child stays and parent leaves for a brief period.
Gradually increase the stay time as the child’s ability to endure separation increases.
Use a transitional object to ease the home- school transition .
Handle Outbursts of Emotions with care
Children often deal with 3 feelings when their love one leaves:
Routines that Center Around Eating
Remember that not everyone has the same diet.
It's important to be especially sensitive to children who come from cultures other than our own, are vegetarian, lactose-intolerant,(food allergies) or who have other special religious or dietary needs.
It's essential to talk to the families and find out which foods are appropriate and which are not.
Children prefer plain, familiar food they can eat with their fingers.
It's important that snacks vary from day to day, and that snacks, drinks and desserts are nutritious.
When there are children at school from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, it is crucial to include foods they like and that are familiar to them.
Here are some considerations that help make mealtimes positive experiences for children and teachers:
Children eat at their own pace and some eat more than others do.
Avoid tying food together with behavior either as a reward or a punishment.
Eating should be a shared and cooperative experience with foods served family style. Meals should be a time to chat, enjoy and help each other.
Mealtimes are opportunities for children to be independent by making choices about foods.
Encourage children to taste everything but be careful not to force them to eat.
Handling Nap Times
Nap time can present some challenging moments.
This routine can either convey warmth and security, or stress and turmoil to children.
It's up to the child as to whether or not she sleeps, but it's our job to create a relaxed and quiet rest time.
Children often have trouble settling down at nap time because restful sleep is an act of trust.
All preschool children need to lie down and relax for awhile, but older children need not sleep.
Create a restful mood for children by reading quietly, playing soothing music and rubbing backs.
Reasons for restlessness might include :
A crisis in their lives,
Excitement about a special event
Perhaps a child's temperament makes it difficult for her to settle down.
The Process of Toileting
Going to the toilet is a necessary social skill that most children develop sometime around their second year.
The process of toilet learning takes time, understanding and patience.
The most important rule is not to rush children into using the toilet.
As in all aspects of child care, communication with families is essential.
The first step in the toilet learning process is talking with families about their ideas and beliefs.
The more we can work in cooperation with families, the smoother toilet learning will be for the child.
There is no set age at which toilet learning should begin.
The right time depends on each child's physical and emotional readiness.
A child is ready to learn to use the toilet when he remains dry for at least 2 hours at a time or is dry after nap;
He indicates beforehand that a bowel movement or urination is about to occur;
He seems uncomfortable in a wet or soiled diaper;
He asks to wear underwear.
Further ideas for encouraging healthy, respectful toilet learning in toddlers:
Ask families to dress their child in clothing with elastic waistbands that the child can remove herself.
Also, be sure there are plenty of extra clean clothes available for the child at the center.
Keep the toileting experience positive and relaxed.
Toilet learning is closely associated with how a child feels about himself and we never want to punish, humiliate or push children or compare their progress.
Comment favorably when a child is successful.
Never display disappointment in a child who is not successful.
Handle "accidents" in a calm, matter-of-fact manner and reassure the child that he has done nothing wrong.
Careful sanitation procedures are a must. Each child's and adult's hands should be washed thoroughly after each attempt.
Types of Group Times