“I can do it myself!”
You’ve got to love that toddler independence! Even though everything takes five thousand hours to do, I love watching our son Wyatt’s interest in learning how to do things himself. We try to feed that curiosity as much as we can, and introduce him to new things all the time. I always say, never underestimate what your child can absorb (even at a young age)! Below are five fun ways to encourage your toddler to be independent.
Five Fun Ways To Encourage Your Toddler To Be Independent
#1: Teach Them A New Skill. Show them how to do something, and let them run with it! We got Wyatt an instant camera for Christmas. We showed him how it works and then let him play around. Along the way, we offered tips and suggestions of photos he may want to take. We recently brought the camera along on our Mexico trip, as well as to the Ice Castles in Edmonton. Now we’re hanging the photos up in his room, so we can reflect on our special time together.
A Few More Ways:
#2: Have them to pick out their own clothes. It doesn’t have to be every day, but maybe once a week? You could do “Wear What You Want Wednesday”! If you’re concerned about your kid leaving the house looking silly, lay out a pile of clothing you know will work together (a few shirts, pants, shoes, etc.) and let them pick from the pile. This will also save you time!
#3: Let them help with dinner. Instead of letting the frustration mount while you try to make dinner with your kids asking you to play, pull up a chair and get them to help with dinner! This is such a great way for your little one to learn about food, and develop an appreciation for what goes into preparing a meal. Encourage and praise them for helping! We always make a big deal of the fact that ‘Wyatt made supper!’ tonight. Sometimes we’ll have Wyatt set the table while we make dinner. It keeps him busy, and he takes great pride in picking and laying out the napkins. You could even get them a cute apron, oven mitts, and a chef’s hat to make it an even bigger deal. I love this one and this one!
#4: Get them to order their meal at a restaurant. This is a great opportunity to teach them manners, and how ordering works. Involve them in the entire experience!
#5: Create a chore chart. (Watch for a post on a really cool chore we made, coming soon!) Making the bed, filling the dog’s water dish, cleaning up toys, etc. This is such a great way to involve your kid in running the household, and aims to give them a sense of pride in the place they live.
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