As your baby becomes a toddler, it can take a while to realise they don’t need you to do absolutely everything for them anymore. Seeing your toddler grow up can be very exciting, and now is a great time to start teaching them tasks that they can do on their own, to help build their confidence and physical abilities.
- Peel their fruit. You may need to make a start for them at first, but the pinching action of peeling a mandarin or banana is great for fine motor skill development.
- Clear the table. Ask your little one to clear their own dishes from their highchair or the table after eating. If they cannot reach the sink, ask them to stack them for you to pick up. This helps build good habits of cleaning up after ourselves, too.
- Put on their shoes. Velcro shoes are great for motor skill practise.
- Put toys away. Also a great habit to teach, this one will also make your life that little bit easier. Teach them where toys live when they aren’t being played with.
- Choose their outfits. It helps if you offer two choices to make sure they will choose something weather appropriate.
- Feed the pet. If your animal eats something that a child can serve up, like dry food from a scooper, you can teach your toddler to count out the right amount of scoops into the pet’s bowl. Be sure to supervise your little one.
- Zip up jackets. This one might take a bit of practise, but it is great for fine motor skills.
- Carry their own bag or toys on outings. A great way to teach responsibility for our belongings (but maybe don’t let your little one take care of the tickets).
- Put away socks. You can show your toddler how to fold clothes, but pre-rolled socks are a simple way to get them involved in putting away laundry while keeping everything neat.
- Make the bed. Teach them how to throw the covers back over their bed and arrange their pillows and favourite toys.
Your little one is learning new things every day. By encouraging them and trusting them to do things for themselves, you could be fostering good self-esteem and healthy skill development. Make sure to be there to supervise when needed, and answer any questions your toddler might have.