We had school holidays for two weeks and I always take that chance to source materials, prepare activities and rearrange the furniture.
Today was the first session after two weeks of holidays, and my toddlers reminded me how order is so important to them. I innocently moved the water dispenser to the corner, and one of them noticed that it was moved. He lifted the water dispenser and wanted to put it back where it used to be previously. Gladly his Mum explained to him why it had been moved and he actually listened.
I should have known better! That was a mistake, and surely will be avoided.
What is a sensitive period for order? The child has a strong feeling to arrange to make sense of the numerous impressions she is absorbing. There must be consistency for points of reference so she can orient and adapt herself to her environment.
It may seem odd or harmless for adults to rearrange furniture at home quite often, but it can throw a child’s point of reference out of sync, most especially to the younger ones who are undergoing thru this phase.
Imagine yourself going home and someone has rearranged everything. You would probably throw a fit, and feel disoriented that it’s not your house anymore but somebody else’s. This is true for little ones as well.
Do you ever wonder why toddlers like to sing the same songs all the time in a particular order? Why they want to read the same books every night in a particular sequence; Hungry Caterpillar followed by Good Night Moon and Diary of A Wombat.
For children, it’s their point of reference and that’s how the world works for them. You may find it a bit odd. Don’t. It’s through order when the big world makes sense to them. It is through small repetitive actions that help them understand their environment.