We all want independent children right? Especially during those all important months leading up to primary school, sending them on their first day able to dress themself, walk in with confidence and do their own thing is ideal! For young children, a sense of importance and belonging is essential for building social relationships and making new friends at school. They will also feel they are contributing to the world, developing their levels of self-awareness and sensitivity towards others which teaches them to help those around them. At Tic Tocs, here’s how we encourage our pre-schoolers to gain primary school independence.
Lunch time Independence
A perfect way to encourage your child to do things for themselves, (and save you a job!) is at lunchtimes. Sure, it may be easier, and let’s face it, quicker, to do it all yourself, but giving your child the chance to do things for them self is the foundation in building primary school independence.
At Tic Tocs Day Nursery in Exeter, our lunchtime routines are the chance for the children to shine! After circle time, the children go off in groups alone to wash their hands. Trusting them to do it alone offers them a sense of responsibility which sets their confidence up for lunch.
During lunch, the children independently find their own names, sit patiently at the table for their friends and serve their own food. Giving them this responsibility, gives them the personal choice of how much they want. They also learn to be more aware of when they are hungry, full and how much food they need.
We also mindfully encourage the children to pour their own drinks, cut their own food, try new foods first alone, feed themselves and even clean up after themselves. Woohoo, amirite staff?!
The routine is followed by teeth brushing after lunch! Routine is vital for developing independence in children, when they know and follow routine they can make personal choices about their day, and organise themselves and feel a part of what’s going on around them.
Tips at Home
Independence can be promoted in so many ways. Here are some tips to try daily at home with your child.
- Self service at meal times: Follow our lunchtime tips and encourage your child to do them at home too!
- Encourage your child to self dress. For more tips on self dressing and primary school uniform, check out this blog!
- Let them wash their own hands.
- ALWAYS encourage your child to choose. Whether that’s the toys they want to play with, the snack they want to eat, the random outfit they desire to wear that day!
- Encourage them to tidy up independently. For tidying up tips, check out this blog!
- Give them age appropriate chores. For example, for a four year old, washing the dishes or setting the table.
- Give them time to discover by themselves. Doing everything for your child will only make them co-dependent when they grow. Exploring alone is essential.