23 November 2020

Rituals are different from routines. Rituals can be seen as how we transform the mundane routine into a sacred special time together, making the ordinary moments extraordinary. Rituals and rhythms give children the predictability to feel safe, where they build their sense of the known and a sense of security.

When we create beautiful rituals for children, we are giving them an irresistible invitation to participate in something meaningful and to engage and connect with others. The thoughtfulness of a ritual created by the head, heart and the hands resonate with all that it is to be human – moving us to revisit this joyful familiarity again and again.

When we value aesthetic qualities of an experience, we show respect for a deep human need which is to appreciate and admire our surroundings. Our environment can be the inspiration for kindling children’s imaginations, evoking awe, and wonderment, and stimulating curiosity. When Educators and whānau express genuine awe and wonder, children approach their learning with a sense of delight and inquiry (Gibbs,2011).

You can also invite children to participate in the preparation of your own special rituals; it’s an excellent way to nurture your collaborative relationship with them - helping to encourage feelings of importance, inclusion and achievement. Here’s some simple ideas:

  • A special recipe or meal that’s prepared only on birthdays.
  • A special bedtime story read each evening, or a special lullaby sung.
  • Older children may enjoy a moment at the end of each day to share a moment that brought them joy. You can take turns to ask each other about the day and explore the feelings that may arise from this. Taking a few minutes to really listen to your child will increase their sense of self-worth and belonging, and they can drift off to sleep feeling loved and secure.
  • Each Spring, you might put a special plant into the family garden.


“Poipoia te kakano kia puawai”
Nurture the seed, and it will blossom


Blog inspired from Kimberley Crisp