Your daily life is filled with rhythm and movement. There’s daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal rhythmic activities that help carve out that space. Consider when you do creative time. When you do classroom chores? When you go outside and when you nap? When do you cook or bake? When do you do festivals? All these big and small items are part of your rhythm.
You can see rhythm reflected in the Whole Child Curriculum, schedule, and lesson plans. Rhythm is the pattern that you set to guide your days, weeks, and seasons. There’s different rhythm types: daily, weekly, and seasonal. Let’s dive more into each type.
Your daily rhythm is an intentional flow to your days. It can include activities that meet basic needs such as eating, sleeping, and basic hygiene. Daily classroom maintenance such as handiwork time, art, lessons, gardening, and playing are daily rhythms as well as classroom preparation, rituals, walks, and napping. It is important that you prepare your daily routines with thoughtfulness and consistency.
These are activities that are done on a regular basis. These activities include items such as baking, beeswax molding, and large craft activities. As well as classroom routines, deep cleaning, prep work. You can also include social events such as visiting another classroom, family visit, a hiking day, and a fun game day.
Seasonal rhythms are special activities that you do year after year to reflect the seasons including festivals, birthdays, and holidays and how we celebrate. These rhythms will show themselves when you sift daily and weekly rhythms to reflect the season. You can anticipate the change and prepare yourself and your classroom.
Daily rhythm creates an intentional flow to the day. The order matters, but everyday doesn’t have to look the same. It’s more of the order of operations. Rhythm is a natural impulse like breathing. The quality of breathing in is different from the quality of breathing out.
This is how rhythm is different from a routine on a schedule. It has a feeling of breathing in and out throughout the day. It’s balanced and it’s pace is comfortable for all.
This is focused, quiet, and restful breathing. This breath gathers our resources, refueling, letting our brain make connections. Some activities can include watercolor, art, listening to stories, sleeping, alone time, and eating meals.
Expressive, active, and social time. This breath helps us engage with others, exploring, and learning new things. Some activities can include playing outside, social activities, drama (theater) time, and circle time.
Be aware of your in and out breath as you go throughout your day. Ask yourself these questions. Is there anyone who needs to either breathe in/breathe out? How does my rhythm feel? Rushed? Too slow? As much as there is a balance, make sure not to fall into the trap of thinking that both need to be equal... everyday will be different and it depends on the day, week, and season. Watch and be with your children and their rhythms.
Chanting, fingerplays, skipping, running, scooters, dancing, singing, traditional housework: scrubbing, sweeping, sewing, baking, cooking, chopping, and raking are all natural rhythmic activities for children.
Having rhythmic activities promotes:
Healthy neurological development and function.
Proprioception (whole body in space)
Vestibular (sense of balance)
Cross Midline (move/see/write in all planes)
Take all this into consideration as you build your own family rhythm. It's important that everyone has a space to breathe and feel free to communicate their needs and wants.