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7 Effective Self-Help Activities for Child’s Better Development.

7 Effective Self-Help Activities for Child’s Better Development.

Welcome to the sixth series of Independence and Development blog!

Time for a recap. Taking Independence Day as an opportunity to develop awareness of Milestones, we talked about the 7 Domains of Development that children must attain in early childhood.

We have covered Gross & Fine motor skills, social emotional skills, speech and language skills and Cognitive skills. So in this blog, we’ll be talking about the most essential skills of all – Self Help/Adaptive Skills! – that requires all of the above skills as prerequisites.

Let’s begin by understanding what adaptive/self help skills are and why they are very very important for your child.

Adaptive skills – Child performing daily life skills such as using the toilet, brushing, bathing, eating, reaching out and holding objects, social interaction, visual perception and recognition of things, and everything essential for independent functioning.

Check out Mom’s Belief— Early Starter To Independence to know more.

7 Ways to Encourage Self-Help Skills in Children –

  • Stair Climbing. When your child completes 12-18 months, encourage them to discover the joy of climbing. They will want to climb on everything and everywhere but in the beginning, try to hold hands as they go up and down. Improve their balance, muscle strength, body-mind coordination and focus.
  • Guide your child on Eating. Start by helping them eat using a spoon or folk and describe your actions that make it engaging for them. Once they get familiar, encourage them to use their fingers to eat. Slowly give them spoon and folk to eat. This increases their fine motor skills & teaches them independence.
  • Holding Brush and Toothpaste. Even before your child turns 2, give them a brush just for fun. Just pretend to play with them and act like you’re brushing with lots of movement to make it fun for them. This increases their likeness towards the activity and they become familiar with the process. As they grow, break down brushing activities into small actions like taking the brush, washing it, taking toothpaste, opening the lid and so on.
  • Washing Hands. The most important and hygienic behavior your children can learn on their own because you won’t always be around to make sure they do. Explain to them that hand-washing activity isn’t only for keeping their hands clean, but to get rid of the germs that make them ill.
  • Brushing hair: This is another skill they can learn while standing beside you in front of a mirror and mimicking your movements.
  • Helping around the house. Model good habits like cleaning, making bed, placing things in order and right places by ensuring they are in your presence when you do it. Tell them what you’re doing. Ask them nicely to repeat and help you. This not only improves their confidence, but makes them independent and aware.
  • Self-dressing. Teach your child how to dress-up. Now not all children are patient enough but you need to keep your cool. Start with dressing up a toy bear. Tell them that first they need to unbutton the shirt, try to put their arms through the two sleeve holes, check the collar and button up. They learn by observing first. Then move on to asking them to unbutton their shirt. Help them label and identify different parts of clothing.

Similar process goes on for bathing, playing, doing homework, socializing, everything which is important for your child’s daily life functioning. Pro Tip* here would be to be calm and use rewards to appreciate your child through verbal gestures or token.

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