What are routines and why are they important?
Routines are an integral component to preparing for and attending school. Routines enable children to anticipate what happens next and gives them a great deal of control over what they do during each part of the day.
Effective routines are those that are designed to meet the needs of your child’s, not the teachers. Effective routines provide children with opportunities to develop an understanding of social roles, responsibilities and discover boundaries of socially acceptable behaviour.
When routines don’t work they can be a source of stress and frustration for staff, parents and a source of anxiety for the children.
Strategies to consider to ensure your child’s routine is effective
The following strategies are some examples which can be applied to support consistent routines. This list is not exhaustive and the strategies depend heavily on the child’s characteristics and circumstance.
• Involve your child in their routine. Give them choices in their routine where possible.
• Have a sensory bag and/or toys/or preferred transportable activity to keep hands busy during periods of waiting
• Use visuals to represent different activities in their routine. Once children are familiar with the routine, visuals are not necessary. However if there is a change in the routine visuals may need to be reintroduced.
• Remember pictures are not the only type of visual, once your child can read pictures can be replaced with words and be used in the same way as visuals.