In Kindergarten, we believe that children are carried along by the rhythms of the world they live in – from the rhythm of breathing to the daily rhythm of sleeping and waking. Children flourish when their daily activities reflect the natural order of life with a rhythmic arrangement of the day. Rhythm gives a series of fixed anchors for children to work around in their day and week — mealtimes, as well as bedtime, playtime, work time. Rhythm, once established, is deeply soothing, since children are fully aware of what is coming next without need of verbal instructions. This also helps to create safe boundaries for children, as they know when, where, and how of their daily routine as this creates the feeling that the world is predictable, and safe- hence, good.
Rhythm is developed around daily, weekly, and seasonal rhythms. Children can anticipate daily activities and are given a chance to “breathe” in and out (there is a balance in individual/group, restful/active activity), from the quiet moments of stories and circle to the active movements of rigorous work and play. Great attention is paid by the teachers in balancing the breathing in and out activities, so that the children do not become overwhelmed by any one activity or energy in the room. This rhythm is not an imposed schedule, but arises from the physical needs of the children and teacher because this rhythm is natural to the children it assists their physical development, provides them with a sense of security, and prevents overstimulation. Transitions (such as coming in from outdoors or moving from one activity to another ), which can often be stressful for children, are made with songs and short games.
For establishing the rhythms, we consider the following aspects: