Self-Help Skills

Self-help skills are very important to teach during the early childhood years.

Simple things adults do every day like zipper their coats, tying their shoes, etc. are all skills children need to learn before entering kindergarten. At Learning Ladder Academy, our staff does their best to ensure that children in their care are learning these skills, but children should also be working on these skills at home to build a stronger foundation.

Some age-appropriate self-help skills you can be working on with your child are:

1-2 Years Old

  • Has an awareness of a parent’s approval or disapproval of their actions
  • Understanding common dangers of hot objects, stairs, glass
  • Tolerating and diaper changes
  • Settling themselves to sleep at night or during the day
  • Attempting to brush teeth
  • Removing their own socks and shoes
  • Cooperating with dressing by extending an arm or leg

2-3 Years Old

  • Using the toilet with assistance and having daytime control
  • Unbuttoning large buttons
  • Using a napkin to wipe face and hands
  • Feeding self-simple meals using a fork or spoon
  • Taking socks and shoes off
  • Attempting to brush teeth

3-4 Years Old

  • Settling themselves to sleep at night or during the day
  • Brushing teeth independently
  • Dressing and undressing self
  • Toileting independently
  • Using a napkin to wipe face and hands
  • Independently packing items away

4-5 Years Old

  • Using a napkin to wipe face and hands
  • Settling themselves to sleep at night
  • Independently packing items away
  • Following rules
  • Toileting independently
  • Able to put on coat
  • Choosing weather-appropriate clothes
  • Dressing self independently
  • Feeding self without difficult
  • Taking turns

5-6 Years Old

  • Dressing independently
  • Morning routine at school
  • Feeding self without difficulty
  • Able to tie own shoes
  • Opening lunch boxes, zip lock bags, and food packaging
  • Sitting at a desk, following teacher instructions, and independently doing simple in-class assignments
  • Coping in busy/noisy environments
  • Settling independently for sleep
  • Packing a bag for school or other outings with assistance

There are many ways to ensure your child can master the above-listed skills. A lot of the time it is simply giving the child a chance to perform the action instead of doing it for them.

Other options can be self-help boards like the one found on amazon below. These are great tabletop activities to work on with young children.

Self-Help Skills

A great tip our preschool staff has shared is the “Flip method” to put on a coat.

To do this:

  1. Place the coat on the floor with the inside facing up
  2. Stand facing the coat with your feet at the top (Where the collar or hood are.)
  3. Bend down and slip your arms into the sleeves
  4. Flip the coat over your head as you stand up

Self-Help Skills

Some information to create this blog was found here.

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