Independent toddlers

Kids love pouring, it helps their concentration - simple ways to help them

This week's suggestions follow on from last week's post about spooning beans.  

There's a wide range of activities which can be made progressively more interesting and more challenging as the child masters each level.

Any new activity should provide enough of a challenge that the child is aware they're attempting something new while at the same time it important for the child to experience a degree of success.  

So to paraphrase Goldilocks, not too easy, not too hard, just right.

Setting up these activities is great fun and an outlet for your creativity to devise a variety of new challenges as your child develops.

You'll have almost everything you need and if not Op shops are a rich source of suitable objects and cheap trays are often available at many budget outlets such as $2 shops and the Reject shop.

Here are a few  practical suggestions for steps:

  • The objects to be transferred become smaller e.g. large beads or shells or pom poms to large beans to small beans to lentils 
  • Introduce a spoon
  • The objects, the bowl and the spoon all become gradually smaller
  • Introduce things like tongs, tweezers and chopsticks and follow the same progression
  • Transfer liquid using ladles, spoons and pipettes of varying sizes. When introducing liquid if you place a small sponge on the tray  the child can then wipe up any spills.

8 steps to support independence

  1. Open shelves at child height with activities categorised and organised with all components needed. These activities are age and interest specific.
  2. A child sized table and chair or a Tripp Trapp chair (google it, they're fantastic) so the child can use the dining table.
  3. A step to allow access to the hand-basin / toilet. A hand-towel at the right height.
  4. A learning tower in the kitchen to provide safe access to kitchen benches for easy involvement in the preparation of food.
  5. Child safe kitchen utensils (lots available on the net) and a child sized chopping board, plus a place to work.
  6. Organise practical storage so the child can access (and put away) appropriate clothing and shoes.
  7. Purchase clothing and shoes which make it easy for the child to dress themselves and go to the toilet.
  8. Walk at a pace that allows the young child to explore their surroundings.