Integrating Early Childhood Intervention into Daily Routines

Mother Reading to Her Child
Self-Care Strategies for Parents Navigating Childhood Developmental Delays
June 10, 2024
Mother Reading to Her Child
Self-Care Strategies for Parents Navigating Childhood Developmental Delays
June 10, 2024
Show all

Integrating Early Childhood Intervention into Daily Routines

Integrating Early Childhood Intervention into Daily Routines

Did you know that ordinary daily routines like snack time, washing hands, and getting dressed are important to early childhood development? These simple activities can help promote learning and growth, especially when combined with Early Childhood Intervention strategies. Let’s take a look at some practical tips and learn the benefits of integrating early intervention into daily routines.

Routines and Early Intervention

When it comes to early childhood, routines are any consistent, everyday activity that occurs in the child’s usual surroundings, such as at home or in daycare. These are actions like feeding, diaper changes, bathing, dressing, and bedtime rituals, as well as playtime, story reading, and simple chores.

Early Intervention services are available to children who may show delays in reaching expected developmental milestones. These services help children by supporting and encouraging growth in key areas including cognitive, physical, communication, social-emotional, and adaptive skills.

By introducing early Intervention therapies into a child’s daily routines, therapists and caregivers can leverage the power of familiar activities to teach new skills and reinforce learning. Best of all, this means developmental support is not limited to isolated sessions but is woven into the child’s daily life, where it can often have the most impact.

Common Routines and Developmental Benefits

We can better understand how this works by looking at the developmental benefits of two common routines: mealtime and bath time.

Mealtime presents a great opportunity for learning new skills. During mealtime, children can work on their fine motor skills by practicing self-feeding, grasping food, and bringing it to their mouths, and eventually using utensils. Mealtime can also be about words and phrases related to eating, such as naming foods, expressing preferences, and learning manners like saying “please” and “thank you.”

Bath time offers a playful setting for developmental growth. This routine is perfect for enhancing sensory experiences, as children explore different textures, temperatures, and water play. Fine and gross motor skills are developed through activities such as washing, playing with bath toys, and pouring water or catching floating objects. Bath time supports language development through the use of songs, naming body parts, and engaging in conversation about the bath process.

Incorporating early intervention strategies into these daily routines not only supports developmental milestones but also ensures that learning is continuous and embedded in the child’s everyday environment.

The Importance of Play

Play is often more important to childhood development than many parents realize. It provides children with a natural and enjoyable way to explore, learn, and grow. While daily routines like mealtime and bath time are important, play stands out as a crucial activity that supports various aspects of childhood development.

Play provides a rich context for children to develop cognitive skills through activities like building blocks, playing with balls, puzzles, and imagining. These activities help children understand things like cause and effect, problem-solving, and spatial relationships. Social-emotional development is also significantly enhanced through play, as children learn to share, take turns, and deal with social interactions both among their peers and with adults.

When children play together, they build foundational skills in empathy, cooperation, and emotional regulation.

Motor skills are another area where play has a profound impact. Actions like running, climbing, and playing with balls develop gross motor skills, while fine motor skills are honed through activities that require precision, like coloring and block building.

How to Build Early Intervention into Routines

The first step in joining early intervention with routines is to recognize the potential within each activity for developmental support. With babies, a simple example is taking advantage of diaper changes. Here, caregivers can talk to the child or sing songs, fostering language development and social interaction. When it comes to toddlers, parents can encourage the use of utensils at mealtime to enhance fine motor skills, or use descriptive language about food to promote vocabulary growth.

The second step is using routines that occur regularly, such as getting dressed or preparing for bedtime. By using predictable occurrences where children feel safe and secure, they will also be more open to learning. During these times, specific strategies can be consistently applied, like encouraging the child to choose their clothes (to develop decision-making skills) or reading a bedtime story (to support language and cognitive development).

Finally, understanding and integrating early intervention with cultural and family-specific routines can be a powerful tool. This can include activities like religious and spiritual practices, cultural holidays and festivals, and other meaningful family traditions. From decorating the home to preparing special foods and singing traditional songs, at each event there are rich opportunities to help children interact and grow.

Benefits of Routine Based Early Intervention

Routine-based Early Childhood Intervention provides regular opportunities for children to practice fine motor skills, language development, social interactions, and more. By integrating early intervention strategies into these daily activities, children can learn and grow in a manner that feels natural and enjoyable, promoting effective and sustained developmental progress.

Routine based early intervention also empowers parents and caregivers. This method encourages active participation from the entire family, fostering a collaborative and supportive environment for the child. It has also been shown that utilizing familiar routines reduces the likelihood of resistance and power struggles, as children are more comfortable and receptive in predictable settings.

Early Intervention Therapies

If you are concerned that your toddler is not meeting their developmental milestones, and you feel they would benefit from additional support, TEIS Early Intervention can help you get answers.

If you have questions about your child’s development, feel free to call TEIS Early Intervention at 412-217-8347 or ask your pediatrician about Early Intervention therapies and, if your child qualifies for services, request TEIS Early Intervention to be your child’s provider.

At TEIS Early Intervention, our therapists listen to your concerns, assess your child’s individual needs, develop a customized treatment plan, and coach you along the way on simple routine-based solutions to maximize your child’s development in their natural environment.

Early Intervention evaluations and therapy services are available under the Federal Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities.  Before services can be provided, an independent evaluation of your child must be completed. To assure impartiality, one agency offers evaluation services while another provides therapeutic services.

To schedule an evaluation, call 1-800-692-7288 or email to help@connectpa.net