As adults and teachers or caregivers, we tend to prefer a sense of order. Which means we like rules and have them to apply to all sorts of situations. One rule that is used often in child care and preschool is that tables and chairs stay together. To go a step further, generally children are expected to sit in a chair while they are working at a table. To be honest, I used to have these rules in my class.
You might wonder what led me to eliminate that rule several years ago. I attended a conference several years ago sponsored by the Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children. While I can no longer remember the presenters' names, I do remember what I learned from a session on toddler activities. These two ladies shared some wonderful ideas which led to a discussion of rules for toddlers. When setting rules, they considered two things: Is it a safety issue and if not, is it something they could live with. They shared that their toddlers had started taking the play dough to the dramatic play center. They had previously banned this practice but as the children continued, they decided to re-evaluate. They decided they could live with a little play dough in the carpet so the rule was eliminated and everyone was happier.