"Help me to do it myself"
The young child, through their actions, tells us over and over they want to do things for themselves and that they experience enormous frustration when they are restricted in their efforts.
Where do we start to help our young children to do things themselves?
It's not always practical is it? They get frustrated and you get frustrated it’s very exhausting for everyone.
So how can we minimise their frustrations and help them on their journey toward independence and at the same time, help ourselves too?
Well let's get started:
Step 1: Child’s place:
Create a space specifically designed to meet the needs of your young child, a space that has the things they need for positive play.
Ensure there is enough child-height, safe, open shelving and comfortable child-sized table and chairs.
Step 2: Begin the process:
Clear out the clutter - be ruthless, really this is SO important
Remove everything that's broken or incomplete
Evaluate what's left. Too easy? too hard? Remove and store
Find trays/containers/baskets for each item on the shelf
Make sure each activity is complete and the tools (such as scissors) are efficient and the correct size for the child to use
Step 3: Now you are ready to create some activities.
I'll start by giving a few examples of activities that provide your child with the opportunity to develop, refine and enjoy the skills of everyday life :
Make practise examples of the things your child is trying to master such as
-dry ( beans lentils or small pasta)
-liquid depending on age/ motor development)
cutting a banana,
putting on their shoes
Think carefully about the skills of the child and make sure the activities are within the child's capabilities, with a little practise.
To help your little one achieve success show them how to do each activity with slow and careful movements.
Store the new activity on a shelf where your child can the easily reach it. That way they can choose to use it as often as they wish.
You can replicate this approach with almost any activity/toy.