Ask any early years practitioner what is the most important thing a child can learn? The vast majority will tell you that independence and self help skills are top of the list. Learning how to do things for themselves opens up a whole new world of opportunities and experiences.
Children should have the freedom to do things themselves as early as possible in life. Learning new skills will support children in their own learning, as this encourages them to seek new knowledge and learn independently from an adult.
At 14 months old, there are obvious limits to what Little Bee can do himself, however I try to encourage independence as much as I can.
Yesterday Little Bee helped me make these apple and oat breakfast cups .He mixed all the ingredients together and then put the cake cases into our muffin tin. This would have taken me less than 5 minutes to do alone, but I thought it would be more fun to get him involved. Cue the sticky, gooey oats being splattered on the walls and floor.
Little Bee enjoyed the part where he put the cake cases into the muffin tray. He put them in, took them out, put them back in, crumpled them up, put new ones in, took them back out and finally put them back in. If I had known he would’ve been so engrossed in the task, I would have made a cup of tea.
This simple activity took around 20 minutes and Little Bee loved it. I have a few more simple recipes to try out with him, here’s hoping he enjoys them just as
I also encourage Little Bee to :
~Put his clothes in the washing basket.
~Pull his shoes and socks off.
~Walk up and down stairs (with help).
~Tidy toys away.
~Feed himself (despite the mess).
~Drink from a cup without a lid.
~Help dry dishes (non breakable items).
~Brush his own teeth (after I’ve given them a good clean first).
~Help peel bananas and tangerines.
~wipe the table clean after meals and snacks.
These are just a few things we do to help Little Bee develop his skills and independence. The list will keep growing and growing as he gets older. The more we support and encourage him, the more action the hoover and cleaning products get. but Hey.. at least we’ll have a happy, confident and independent child.
Flourishing little mind