Self-Help Skills in Early Childhood

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All parents will at some stage come to understand that their child is more than capable of doing everything themselves (or so they think). This usually occurs around the time your child becomes a toddler.

The whole ‘do it myself’ phase can be messy, tricky, time consuming, painful and accident prone but it is one of those essential skills for lifelong learning.

Why are self-help skills so important?

Self-help skills are the backbone to raising your children to become successful and independent adults.

While practicing small tasks like washing their own hands, feeding themselves or even tying their shoelaces, they are gaining more and more confidence as well as developing fine motor and gross motor skills.

What are some Examples of Self-Help?

  • Toileting – Toilet training or toilet learning is a fitting example of children taking that next step in becoming independent. You need to look for signs that your child may show you indicating they are ready for toilet training. Showing your child how to climb up onto the toilet correctly, removing clothing and then washing hands are great ways to encourage self-independence.
  • Self-feeding – we have all been there when we want to quickly get the little ones fed and into bed but sometimes it’s just not going to happen. You can start promoting self-feeding from infancy and by offering finger foods such a rusk sticks or sandwich fingers. As time goes on you can start introducing cutlery. Invest in some unbreakable and durable bowls and plates or even ones that can attach to the high chair.
  • Self-dressing – Self-dressing isn’t just about putting your arms and legs in the right holes, it’s also about your child having a say in picking out their outfit for the day. With the younger children you can start by asking them to help pull off their socks and then gradually move onto trickier tasks like mastering zippers and buttons.

How we help at ToBeMe

We understand the importance of self-help skills and we use every chance possible to encourage children to develop as much independence whenever possible.

Our childcare centres in Burwood and Five Dock have been designed to allow children to have access to resources and furniture that enables them to take responsibility and show self-sufficiency.

Some features include:

  • Low level sinks in the rooms and eating area
  • Low level benches
  • Easy to access bathrooms
  • Resources that help with things like buttons, laces and zippers
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