I'm A Big Kid Now: simple things that your little can do to feel independent!
Good Morning Family!
Your littles are the voices, brains, and souls that will carry us into the future. Feeding into your little's want for independence will only help them flourish in the future. It is important to make your littles feel that their strong will and ambition is used in positive learning environments. All the greats started small. Allowing them to do simple tasks on their own without your help may be the building blocks for developing them into future presidents, astronauts, doctors, lawyers, scientists, artists, etc. I've got a list of things that your little is sure to be able to handle on their own. You'll get a tiny break while your little thrives!
Peeling their own tangerine/orange/clementine: They may need help getting started but this is a fantastic way to develop early motor skills and who doesn't love the way their fingers smell after peeling citrus?!
Peeling their own banana
Clearing their own dishes from the table
Combing their own hair
Putting on their own shoes: They may not be quite ready for laces, but if your little is still wearing slip ons, they should be easy to slide on themselves. Even if they put them on the wrong foot, allow it to happen and have a teachable moment.
Putting on their own underwear and pants: Elastic waistbands allow for easy learning, worry about buttons and zippers later...:)
Buckle themselves into high chairs or car seats: This may take some patience if you're in a rush, but allowing a couple of extra minutes so they can process through figuring it out can be helpful and save a tantrum.
Getting on the potty themselves: If your little is too small to climb up themselves, grab a step stool.
Brush their teeth: This one may take some supervision to make sure their teeth actually get brushed. Maybe you can do the first pass and then allow them to finish up on their own. Sometimes setting a timer is good for a little to learn how long they need to brush their teeth before being done.
Putting toys away: Establishing specific bins or baskets where certain toys go can aid in non supervised clean up.
Washing their own hands: This one may also need some supervision to start to make sure your little doesn't burn their hands on hot water.
Feeding the family pet: An activity that also serves as great counting practice! Get a scooper and teach your little how many scoops to put in the bowl. This is also great practice for teaching them nurturing techniques.
Carrying the mail from the mailbox: I always loved doing this as a kid, it made me feel important and I always loved to read who the mail was for...:). If your mailbox is located in a busy area, this should also be lovingly supervised.
Wiping up their own spills: This will not only create independence but also respect for spaces and cleanliness.
Zipping their own jackets, pjs, etc.
Picking out their own cups/bowls for meal times: Maybe creating a drawer that is low and filled with only cups and bowls for them.
Drinking in an adult cup/cup without a lid: This may create lots of frustration and messes at first but the feeling of victory when they hold it and do it on their own is incredible!
Carrying their own snack/water bottles/toys/coloring books/etc. in their own bag or backpack
Putting their laundry away: Another task that you may have to allow to be messy at first but will establish great independence and an added bonus for you in later years...;)
Making their own bed
It's always hard to let go but often the reason your little gets frustrated, acts out, or even has a tantrum is due to their want for independence. As adults, we can definitely relate!
Starting with simple independent tasks will make the harder ones that much easier!