Hello Early Learning Families, One of the best ways to cultivate self-reliance and self-confidence is to give your children developmentally appropriate responsibilities. Plus, young children naturally want to help, feel important, and contribute to the family. Sincerely, Debra Honegger Early Learning Consultant
Young children want to help with cooking, cleaning, and other real work. When you share tasks, you help your child: *Feel important *Care about others *Be a contributing part of the family *Feel capable *Be independent *Learn important life skills *Participate in family routines
Teach and model tasks that your child appears capable of doing and in which he/she appears interested. TIPS · *Patiently help when children need support or make mistakes. “That’s okay. Let’s get a towel to clean up the water that spilled over the dog bowl.” · *Offer choices when you can. “Let’s fold the clothes. Do you want to sort the shirts or the socks?” · *When possible, allow your child to decide what needs to be done. “What should we do next to get the table ready for dinner? “
· *Encourage efforts and avoid pointing out mistakes. “I noticed how carefully you washed the cup. “
· * Don’t expect the task to be completed to the same standards as you would have done it and don’t redo it while he/she is in eyesight.
* Avoid jumping in and doing it for him/her. Allow your child to feel the pride of accomplishing the task.
ADDITIONAL BENEFIT OF GIVING RESPSONSIBLITIES= Develops Gross and Fine Motor Skills Activities such as putting groceries away and digging in the garden promote large motor development, while fine motor development can be encouraged through activities like peeling an orange. Hands-on learning is an important part of brain development in childhood.
Math Skills Activities that involve counting such as counting the number of plates or silverware to place on the table, naming the shapes of toys as they are put away or counting to five while pouring water on a plant all help build math skills while completing a needed family responsibility.
I recently had the privilege of working with some amazing teachers at Union Public Schools in Tulsa, OK. We discussed the benefits of dramatic play for children and the critical role of children developing complex play within dramatic play experiences for the development of their executive functioning capabilities.
PreK and K teachers are first and foremost teachers of social and emotional skills, self-regulation, attention, engagement, persistence, thinking symbolically, and cognitive flexibility. If students do not first learn these skills, then the academics and life with always be a struggle.
Research links dramatic play activities with the support of the teacher to move students to more complex play as one of the best strategies for developing social/emotional and executive functioning skills.
The teachers developed visual analogies to help us always remember the link. Here are pictures of their insightful analogies. Thanks, Union Teachers!
“Shift Manager” This student provides a 5, 3 and 1-minute warning prior to clean up. (can also signal other transitions throughout the day)
Following the 5-minute warning, students are not allowed to retrieve any new items or move centers. They need to remain in the center in which they are currently for the last 5 minutes of play.
“Quality Control Inspector” This student inspects all areas and cleans up any remaining items.
“Floor Sanitation Monitor” This student picks up scraps from the floor and/or reminds students to throw away their scraps throughout the day, especially after play centers.
“Celebration Coach” This student provides an award to another student (a gold slip, a high five, a fist bump) for being the most efficient, yet respectful, during clean up. (respectful clean up = cleaning up quickly while still treating materials and friends with respect, using gentle hands and kind words) This student can also be responsible for finding and celebrating respectful behavior throughout the day.
Do you have one or two students that clean up time is overstimulating?
Allow the student to be a “Clean Up Supervisor.” As soon as he/she cleans up 5-10 items (depending on student’s needs) in the center in which he/she was playing, they get a clipboard with all the students’ names and travels from center to center to find 5 children who are experts at cleaning up for the day. The “Supervisor” can reward those five with a High Five or Fist Bump at the end of clean up time or announce the names for the whole class to give a silent cheer.
Allow the student to complete another job that consists of heavy pressure or heavy lifting such as taking a stack of books to a neighbor teacher or wiping all tables with a spray bottle of water and a rag (or just a wet rag).