Consistent responsive interactions (like being fed when hungry and soothed when upset) helps babies organize themselves.Reading babies' cues and responding to their signals builds a sense of trust.When 4-year-old Jake asks, "When do we play outside?" knowing what to expect in a routine helps him to understand his teacher's response when she says, "Right after nap." Recognizing Before and After Before and after are time concepts understood by preschoolers.Understanding Time-Telling Tools Although preschoolers cannot really read abstract time-telling aides such as analog clocks and calendars until they are older, they are aware that these are tools that help them measure how time passes.Three-year-old Allison loves to hold up her pretend watch and use her special clock vocabulary: "Daddy's late today," "in six minutes," or "at ten o'clock." Some 4-year-olds begin to recognize that when both hands are straight up on the clock, it's time for lunch.Her teacher finds it helpful to review the day's events on an experience chart.
When you must interrupt a child's activities, give him time to adjust to the idea. We try to keep toddlers "on time." Going with their timeless pulse of activity whenever possible makes life more enjoyable and enriched for all concerned. Three- and 4-year-olds need to have lots of meaningful experiences with time in a personal sense (bedtime, storytime) to gain a clearer understanding of temporal ideas.
For instance, Sapphire knows that group time occurs before snack time.
She is also aware that her Nana's birthday comes the week after hers.
Babies also bring their own temperament or personality to the family, adding another voice to what will happen and when.
Add Flexibility to Routines Although toddlers can't tell time, it is quite remarkable how they develop a sense of order through repeated routines.