As every child grows they begin to obtain a large sense of wonder and curiosity. This can become the foundation to several cuts, burns and climbing accidents or become a golden trail to a new sense of independence.
It is very important to begin creating a young child's independence as soon as possible. It will become a healthy way to feed their curiosity and also develop their mind.
A great way to establish a child's independence is to let the child try dressing themselves. Sometimes a head may go in an arm hole or a shirt will be upside down but it is all part of the process. Try to ease them towards the correct holes and pockets but, at the same time, let them do it on their own as much as possible. Make it a game instead of a chore so they find getting dressed exciting and fun. A great option for this is to purchase a Velcro toddler belt
that they can strap on and off on their own.
Another fun way to boost a child's independent thinking is to get the children involved in grocery shopping. Instead of just sitting in the cart, give assignments like grabbing a jar of peanut butter or counting out five apples. This gives a child a feeling of being responsible for something important and also cuts down on temper tantrums from bored children at the supermarket.
To give a child a good sense of individuality, let them pick out meal options. This does not mean allowing only cookies and chips but rather giving three vegetable choices, three meat choices, three dessert choices, etc. If there is more than one child, try to make it a game and do pictures on cards that they point to and flip over to find out what is for dinner. This gives the child a feeling of decision making.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts time is always a great way to boost a child's independence and develop sensory skills. When joining in a craft with a child, always be there to assist and to keep fingers out of glue, but try to let them do it on their own as much as possible. Different ages require different levels of crafts. Use individual judgment in deciding what a certain child is ready for, make a good set up and let them create on their own. When a picture is completed, give them the choice of where they would like to hang it for display. The ALEX® Toys - Early Learning Paper Bag Puppets
is a great paper craft kit for little hands.
Caring for small pets can create the independent feeling of responsibility. Always make sure it is a safe option for young children, nothing with teeth or claws. A couple of options are fish or turtles. Let the child pick out a pet themselves and, while always being close to assist, have them take care of their own little friend. Goldfish are often the safest option because they are easy but still give a child the feeling of taking care of something important.
A child’s independence is extremely important on the developmental chain. No one can learn anything if everything is done for them. Give a child a start to the independent actions that their young mind yearns for and they will continue to learn and blossom throughout their lives.
Your Next: Share how you encourage your child's independence.