Include young children in regulations

Everyday rules give toddlers freedom! At first glance, that sounds pretty contradictory. But that’s exactly how it is when you carefully introduce rules for the little children in your daycare or crèche.

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Rules for toddlers have this benefit

Rules allow freedom, so to speak border. Through a regular everyday life …

  • already get that recent orientation. They know what is expected of them, what is OK and what is not.
  • small children can develop safely. Because through regulated "restricted zones“Or processes, toddlers can live freely in a set framework without dangers and in a timely manner and try it out to their heart’s content.
  • avoid potential for conflict. Because little children will eventually realize where a “No"Applies. They have to explore that from time to time. But little by little it becomes a matter of course and does not have to be spoken again and again.
  • promote the independence of young children. All things e.g. Unreachable for infants in a cupboard are taboo for them. The things down in the closet, however, can be brought out by the children at any time for independent experimentation.
  • create a good atmosphere in your daycare or crèche group. Both children and educators know which freedoms they can use and where cooperation is required. This gives you the certainty that everyone is pulling together and respecting each other – and this is important even for the youngest!

How to involve toddlers in the rules

It is important when setting up rules – spoken and unspoken – that nothing is regulated over the children’s heads. Because even very young children can get involved and have the right to have a say. This also applies to young children who cannot yet express themselves in words. For your part, great sensitivity is required. This is how you succeed in establishing rules for the well-being and in the interest of young children:

1. Pay attention to needs

In the everyday life of small children, only what is really necessary should be regulated. The best rules are, so to speak, those that are not necessary at all. Instead of "You must not pull yourself up on the shelf because it could tip over“, You should make sure that furniture for young children is stable and safe. So you allow young children to have a say by taking children’s needs seriously and taking them into account. So keep a close eye on the children in everyday life: What are they doing? What are you currently exploring? Then make sure that things are safe for young children and that they can deal with them without restrictions.

2. Offer alternatives

Certain actions are certainly dangerous for young children. But instead of pronouncing a ban, you’d better look for alternatives to questionable materials or activities. In the phase of autonomy development, toddlers focus on: B. like to do things with which you can slush. Offer the children experiments with modeling clay, trays, water, etc. The children can follow their urge without having to introduce rigid rules. Do you have to "No“Keep in mind that children’s actions always have a purpose. Therefore, offer the children an alternative here too.

3. Ask about children

Children from 2 years old can You at the Include rules well. Explain to the children why something is not possible. Show understanding that this is still fun for the children. Ask what the children could do instead. If the children cannot (yet) contribute ideas, offer them 2 options as a suggestion. The children can choose between these two suggestions. If a rule is defined, you can make it particularly clear by hanging up a picture. Applies in your daycare or crèche e.g. B. the rule: "We only drive the Bobby Car in the hallway", Hang a picture of a Bobby Car on the"Corridor Roadway“Drives up in your daycare hallway.

4. Inform parents

Make rules that apply to toddlers in your daycare center also transparent for parents. You can do this e.g. B. do it as part of a parents’ evening. If the parents know, they can use their child’s mouthpiece to specifically address and introduce their needs. B. "My child slept badly that night. That’s why it’s pretty tired today.“Then on this day you can adjust the rules for your sleeping times or group activities in accordance with the needs of the child.

5. Discuss rules in a team

It is important that all colleagues in your team pull together. Therefore, discuss together which rules are necessary, which should be reconsidered or which have no meaning at all. New employees should be informed about applicable rules right at the start of their work in your facility. Be open to objections and ideas.


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Christina Cherry
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