Babies and toddlers thrive on everyday routines and rhythms. Children like to know what's going to happen and routines help children to understand and prepare for what comes next.
You might be surprised to learn that babies as young as three months of age understand daily rhythms as they see the same activities happening at approximately the same time each day. By twelve months, toddlers can predict what will happen next - after dinner, we brush our teeth.
Routine cards are a great simple way to help your little one tune into rhythms and routines. Simple visuals help them learn about patterns, order, and sequence. This helps children think in more advanced ways and explore reasoning, judgment, and anticipation.
Here are our favorite tips for using routine cards at home:
- Begin by exploring the cards and naming each activity.
- Keep it simple - routines happen in small increments throughout the day, rather than one long stretch. Start by using the routine cards to plan playtime, bedtime, or mealtime.
- Layout the cards and follow the order as you do each activity.
- Add fun sounds and songs to everyday routines to make an activity more memorable and meaningful for your little one.
- Keep transitions smooth by using the same language each time (For example, you might say: “After we read this book, it will be time for bed”).
- Follow your child's lead, interests, and make changes when needed.
Download your free printable routine cards here.