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“1,2,3 THANK YOU LYNDA! SEE YOU NEXT TIME! BIG KISSES!” - The Importance of Rhythms and Rituals for Young Children

Three little phrases. Big impact.

I have little rituals embedded in my program that the children come to rely on - Doo Dah song to start, “off” to get their attention, “Shalom” to finish class and the phrase above to say thanks and goodbye.

In some classes children flock to me to get a hug as soon as I start counting. In others they blow me a million five hundred and twenty flying kisses that I catch and put in my dress pockets (I love dresses with pockets!) and tell the children their kisses are my fuel throughout the day. They love this. It lets them know that they are as special to me as I am to them.

The other week I was in a new classroom and upon finishing the “big kisses” ritual, a little girl said “I get hundreds of those from my dadda” and we had a little chat about her dadda which helped me to get to know her better.

Another little girl who is non verbal and only sporadically participates in music said “see you!” last week to the delight of all of her educators. This is more important learning than doing the class itself.

So “big kisses” is all the things - a ritual, a provocation, a positive interaction, a way to raise voices, a way to build trust and love.

Little thing - BIG impact! 💖😘🎶

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