Tidy Up Time

In nursery, each room has their own routine and all the children become familiar with this as they spend more and more time in the room. When a child joins the setting or transitions from one room to another, their parents will be given a copy of their child’s new room routine.

This is vital for young children as it gives them a sense of security and control over their environment. When following a routine, children learn what is going to happen next at various times of the day as they begin to take part.


There are many important skills that can be learnt including self-control, positive behaviour and social skills. Routines can also be a way of managing negative behaviour, especially when it is time to put away an activity. It gives the child the opportunity to emotionally prepare for changes that are about to happen and it also leads them to understand what is expected of them once the task is completed.

When practitioners plan their routines they must take into consideration that it isn’t just about what tasks need to be done but is another way of interacting with the children. It gives us the opportunity to develop the relationship with our Key Children as we encourage them to follow the routine and support them with any parts that they might struggle with.

‘It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.’

Ann Landers


In our Bumblebees room, we have recently added ‘Tidy Up Time’ to our routine. Just before lunch and tea we ring a set of bells and the children will come and sit on the carpet. When all the children are ready we will say their names and tell them which area we would like them to help tidy up. There will be a member of staff in each area to support the children in tidying up.

Once they have finished they are encouraged to come and sit back on the carpet where they will be rewarded with a sticker. They like this part of the activity and are always very proud of themselves.

Stickers help to promote positive reinforcement which is highly effective where childcare theories are concerned. It works by praising or rewarding a child every time they complete something they have been asked to do or when they behave in a positive manner. When rewarding a child, it helps support positive behaviour and completing other instructions that they are given.

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