As parents, we do almost everything we can to make our children’s day stress free and easy going as possible. We get them up in the morning, get them ready for the day, make breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We organize most of their time for the day, always trying to keep them busy. But there is a point where it can be too much. We need to allow space for our children to develop independent skills that they can use daily. Don’t get caught up in making their day your WHOLE day. Allowing them to be able to start caring for themselves is especially important. These are some valuable independent skills that your preschooler can work on mastering at home and school.
One of the first self-skills your child learns is how to hold their own bottle, then as they get bigger use their fingers to feed themselves table food. Then eventually a spoon and fork. At dinner, do you let your child serve themselves? We do this (during non-crazy corona times) at YSA! Its an amazing self-skill that we foster daily. The kiddos participate in family style dining and they should be doing it at home with you too. Do not worry, the messes they can clean that up too! We also embrace spilled food/milk, it is really no big deal to help them learn how to wipe up a mess. Show them how to do it, do hand over hand, then allow them to just take the lead! Be encouraging and proud when they clean up their own messes (even if you had to help a bit) when they are finished. I always make sure to thank them for cleaning up their mess and being responsible, it is a big deal!
Blowing their own noses is another independent skill that is super important! Find a way to get your kiddo to blow dragon breath out of their nose! Or have them spray the fire hose! Make up some silly saying and show/ teach your kiddo how to blow and wipe their own nose. Along with blowing noses is washing hands. Another hygienic task that we work on with your kiddo. YSA kids are some of the best handwashers, we really have put in the practice to make sure all the kiddos are following the safest and complete hand washing steps. This is another thing to practice at home. Ask your preschooler to show you how, ask them what song they sing while washing. You will be surprised to see how awesome they do!
Putting on, zipping, and buttoning a jacket is another multistep skill your preschooler is working on at YSA. A great one to work on at home as we approach chiller temps. Don’t let them fool you! They are working on/mastering this skill at YSA! This is such a great fine mother exercise! Don’t take the practice from them, let them try…fail…try… try again! An easy way to help them to start learning to put their jacket on is by having them lay it on the floor, collar/hood closest to their feet. Then they stick their arms in and superman flip the coat over their back. I will include a picture example : )
And last but not least… wiping. Yep, got to throw that one in too. We work on this skill at school multiple times a day! Ha! Please, show your preschooler and help them master this oh so important life skill. Front to back… need I say more! Haha!
These are just a few of the basic self-skills for your child to learn. As they grow, give them more responsibility to care for themselves and more responsibility. Allow them to help with daily chores, errands, and taking care of pets as they become of age. They really thrive and get excited to help, just have to be encouraging and sometimes make it some silly fun!
Lead Pre-Kindergarten Teacher