Navigate our Website

Routines and Rituals in ECE

In this short blog post Pāpāmoa Beach Kaiako, Amy discusses the importance and significance of routines and rituals in our Future Focus centres.

“Through rituals comes empowerment, belonging, excitement and connection.”

Toddlers have little control of their world. Often we see anxious toddlers trying to make sense of their day. Routines help infants and toddlers feel safe and secure in their environment. Rituals & routines can be particularly powerful for building relationships and strengthening the bond between child and kaiako, when we follow a child’s lead we often stumble upon routines and rituals we didn’t anticipate.

Early childhood routines can be meal times, bottle feeding, nappy changing or bedtime, each offers an opportunity to become a ritual. We’re all familiar with “big” rituals or ceremonies of birthdays & marriages, consider your own daily, weekly or monthly routines that could become rituals if we “took the time” thought positively and became more grateful those things have become the rhythm of our lives. These routines, when we take time, become rituals as we become mindful and conscious of them. Think about the differences between routines & rituals. For routines you think about words such as predictable, secure, necessary, familiar, rosters, timeframes, checklists and structures. I believe routines are important to a point, but I believe we get so fixated on “ticking a box” then what we have to offer our tamariki becomes so much less important and special. We end up giving them less care, attention, creativity and, when we give that, that’s what we’re teaching. Meanwhile, when I think of as a ritual it’s inviting, special, sacred, community, symbolic, caring and creative. These words call on our full attention to be purposeful, aware and intentional.

Rituals hold such a sense of magic, that’s why here at Future Focus we celebrate them regularly across all centres. Participation and collaboration in these moments are an important part of our tamariki’s learning experiences – enhancing their sense of identity and belonging. Te Whāriki, recognises the importance of these things and guides us in our daily planning.

– Kaiako Amy