Routine versus Ritual

My guess is that we all love to learn a little bit more about something special and something new – early childhood rituals is indeed something special.


But what does this mean for Nursery I hear you ask?
For some time at our four Beautiful Minds Nurseries we have been observing and reflecting on our daily Nursery routines, five of which are key in a young child’s day – sleeping, toileting, dressing, feeding and transitioning (from one activity or place to another).  These five daily Nursery routines are vital in a child’s life; they give a child comfort and continuity and thus a sense of calm.  Our Nurseries regularly reflect on these times, asking how can we turn the mundane routine into a treasured ritual – celebrating each moment of care, finding value in each routine and giving it the correct time and respect it deserves?  This is a brief outline of how we do it –

Attention to Detail
During our daily breakfast and lunch Nursery dining experience children are encouraged to slow down and enjoy the social experience of dining, to enjoy the flavours of their meals, to admire the homely environment with a beautiful table cloth, vase of flowers and aesthetic lighting.

The children finish their meal with a rose water sprinkle to rub into their hands and a lemongrass scented towel to wash their face.  Independence is paramount as the children competently serve their own meals and water and after the meal take responsibility for tidying their dishes.

We feel the dining experience is the perfect opportunity of taking an everyday routine and

transforming it into a ritual.  ” Attention to detail is a vital Beautiful Minds Nurseries focus – social etiquette experiences for the children during the mealtimes enable the children to understand many excellent behavioural qualities of life, such as sharing, patience, politeness and acceptance of others.”  Ms. Bernadette King-Turner Founder / Director Beautiful Minds Nurseries.

Inject Care Moments with Love, Care and Creativity

Our Nursery rituals are ‘rich for all’ injected with love, care and creativity.

Being Fully Present
Being fully present with each child throughout their care moment or ritual is significant to us.  With eye contact, being at the child’s level, being emotionally ready and connecting through meaningful language and conversation, we believe defines the difference between a routine and a ritual.

A Pathway to Self-Regulation – ‘Self-Regulation’ is the process young children begin to develop, when taking control of their own learning.  When a child is encouraged within our style of enriched environment to become autonomous, this process of self-regulation begins to develop along with the child’s sense of confidence, they become empowered to learn and make decisions about toileting, eating, sleeping and all areas of their own development.

Parents often ask how they can mirror this at home – and the answer is simple – be fully present and treat every routine as an opportunity for respectful care.  Changing a nappy would be a great start… treat this as a care moment to connect, communicate and be fully engaged with your child.

Rituals cultivate a practice of deliberately honouring beauty and delight, touching our heart, stirring our spirit and engaging our mind.

I just love being part of this amazing team of ladies who are dedicated to ‘Respectful Care.’

Sharon Ward, Nursery Director

Emerald City Nursery