Recovering Play – I can do it myself!

I can do it myself!

Self Help Skills

What is it?

When they are babies, little ones are totally dependent on others for all their needs to be met. As they grow, they need to start to be supported to be independent and begin to learn to do some things for themselves.

Why is it important?

Children need to develop life skills to grow, to become responsible and confident individuals. So often it is easier and quicker for adults to do things for children, like putting on shoes or coats. However, children need to be given time and support to learn how to do these things without help.

How to bring it back

Encourage children with all aspects of self-help skills to try to do it themselves. Make it fun, let them take their time and be there to support and encourage them when they need it and of course give lots of praise when they are successful.   Consider all areas of nursery, where could children help themselves? Snack, shoes, coats, getting and returning resources, the list is endless.

Sharing with home

Share with families how much their child can do for themselves, children will often do something in nursery but not even attempt the same thing at home, leaving adults to do it for them.  Encourage families to take the time to support their wee ones. Make suggestions about the kind of skills that are appropriate for children to try to develop.

This is one of a weekly series of posts highlighting different spaces, experiences and interactions that practitioners have told us are not all easy to get back after the pandemic restrictions.

It’s all about playing, talking, and having fun together – so we hope they are useful.  If there are any ideas you’d like us to highlight, just get in touch with your link EYESO.

For ideas about family engagement, you will find a “home” version of this post on