Children learn about the world through what we, the adults do with them throughout the day. Developing rituals, maintaining rhythms and routines has become second-nature for us, and I couldn't be happier.
I have seen the kids choose open-ended activities, as well as master skills at an advanced rate - amazing! I chalk it all up to establishing a great system of ritual and routine.
Routine is essential. It includes things like diaper changes, eating :), ...some of the mundane tasks of the day.
Rhythm is essential too. It is through rhythm that the children know what to expect (napping, eating, playing), and when - even the young ones.
Rituals are chosen activities and practices that give sense to the meaning of belonging...identity.
|they are doing the blender dance...|
We have 2 rituals that the kids find amusing, and that THEY created.
If you come by my house at certain times of the day you might be horrified to hear kids screaming at the top of their lungs.
With less than a minute to decide if you should call the Police, or kick the door down and rescue them, you become confused - is that laughter or screams of horror. Could it be both.
Actually, it is both. You might be relieved to know this, or you might be just so traumatized for the initial shock of what sounds like torture behind close doors that you pass out anyway.
So what's going on? Well, it appears the trusty vacuum cleaner has gone a bit mad, or Salma is quite mischievous in torturing young children with her cleaning device(?) Once again it could be a combination of both.
If you take a peek, you will find kids scrambling left and right from crazy energy that cannot be contained. The vacuum dragon is going after their feet and toes, and they better run- and run fast before he catches up. Sometimes we keep our game going 5-10 minutes, but we don't really keep track of time - we just go with it.
...then it's all quiet.
I might "forget" that I need to do a bit more cleaning in one area or that the dragom will only be happy when/if we count down from 10. They are delightfully surprised when this happens.
Sometimes we have tears when the game is done - you know how it is. After all doesn't every kid goes to daycare to get chased by the residential vacuum cleaner...?