By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris
The start of a new year is a traditional time to set goals and try new things. Success, of course, varies! With so much uncertainty still overshadowing our days—thanks to the pandemic—success might feel even more challenging than usual.
So let’s talk about ways to build early learning routines in ways that won’t feel as overwhelming.
Check out these videos about routines
Introduce stories naturally during certain points of your day, like meals or bedtime.
Last year, Jenny and Ruthie shared their memories of 2020, good and bad. Memories are a way to share stories, too.
Try these activities to build routines
For the first few months of 2022, our Early Bird Reader tips (sign up to get texts sent straight to your phone here!) are going to focus on early learning goals and building routines that will help kids be ready to learn when they start school. One way to do this is habit stacking, which is adding small things to existing routines, based on BJ Fogg’s research.
We know children thrive on routines, and so do many adults! We all have them: when and how we eat meals, wake up and go to bed, how often we shower. Adding new things to busy days can be daunting. But adding new things to existing routines can make things more manageable.
You can start your child’s day with a song, either one you sing as you enter their room, or start the day by playing music on speakers.
- Raffi’s Rise and Shine is a morning classic, but you can find more examples at 4KinderTeachers.
- Or pick a song that you love and want to share! Maybe The Beatles or Hamilton.
There’s no wrong song because any will help kids hear how words are made and broken down: one syllable per note.
What are other routines you have regularly with your children?
- Which one could you add a rhyme to? Maybe when you’re getting ready to leave the house, or say goodbye at daycare.
- Where can you add sound practices? Maybe you make the first sounds of everything on your plate as you get ready to eat.
The important thing is to keep it fun and keep it routine. All of these little, regular activities will build your child’s brain and get them ready to read in school.
Shelley is a children’s librarian with a passion for early literacy, serving and celebrating the disability community, and exploring technology. She can often be found practicing storytime songs with her black lab, Bingo.