July 29th, 2013 by

Practicing Independence Skills – Get Ready for K Through Play

Independence skills your child needs. Think your child is too young to help around the house? Think again.
It’s time for week 3 of Get Ready for K Through Play! If you joined us for the last two weeks, then you know that this is an 8 week series with some of my favorite bloggers that will give you all the tools you need to prepare your child for Kindergarten in fun, hands-on ways. Each week, we are going to focus on a different Kindergarten readiness skill. This week we are focusing on practicing independence kills that will help your child to be more independent in Kindergarten and at home. I will share some ideas for chores for kids.

In Kindergarten, children are expected to be a lot more independent than they were in preschool. Part of this is to help your child develop and grow and part of it is because Kindergarten class size is generally bigger than preschool and there may be one teacher as opposed to two. The teacher can’t be expected to hang up your child’s coat, open their lunch box, or throw their trash away.

I have found that a great way of practicing Independence skills is to start at home. There are so many things kids can do for themselves at home. Having them practice being a productive member of the household will boost their confidence in this area and allow them to feel more capable as they enter the Kindergarten classroom.

Kids are natural born helpers. They love to be useful and feel big. But so many times, we as parents will do things for them that they can do themselves. I am guilty of this. I find myself doing things for my child because it’s just quicker and if I do it, I know it will be done right. But this is no way to build a child’s confidence in their ability to take care of themselves. I have a come up with a number of chores for kids that I think most four/five year olds should be able to do independently and we have starting working on these skills as we get ready for K.

Set their spot at the table
This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, just a plate, utensils, napkins and a cup. Since my kids use kids plates and cups there is no danger of anything breaking.
Setting the table
Child doing chores

Clear the table
This includes throwing any leftover food in the trash and placing their dish and cup in the sink.
Kids helping out

Placing dirty clothes in the washer
In the past my kids would just take off their clothes at the end of the day and leave them on the floor of the bathroom. And then I would pick them up and bring to the washer if you can believe that. Well, no more!
Chores for Kids

Sort clothes from the dryer
This can be a fun game for the kids as they try and match up socks and check the sizes of clothes and put them in piles – size 4 for the twins and size 3 for their sister.
Easy chores

Cleaning up their toys and putting them in the correct spot
My kids usually clean up before bed, but their idea of cleaning up is just getting toys out of sight and shoving them wherever there is room. Since we have been working on being more independent, I have labelled more areas in the playroom and asked them to return their toys to the proper spots.

Making their bed
This is a great habit to get into each morning. It’s something that a four or five year old can do. It doesn’t need to be done perfectly or how you would do it. If I see a blanket spread out and a pillow and stuffed animals on the bed, I consider it a win.
Making a bed

Getting their own art supplies and putting them away
They will be doing a lot of this at Kindergarten so why not start at home. If you have a low shelf you can organize art supplies in a basket so kids can reach them. When they are finished working, they can place them back where they came from.

Hopefully, by the end of the summer, your child will have mastered these skills at home. Just think of how independent they will be feeling. They will be fully prepared to exhibit that same independence in the classroom as they make the transition to Kindergarten.

Be sure to visit the following bloggers and check out their Independence skills posts:

Everyday Ways to Foster Independence from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
3 Independent Skills Your Child Needs for Kindergarten from Coffee Cups and Crayons
Teaching Kids Independence: Learning How to Ask and Offer Help from Mama Smiles
Getting Out the Door – Helping Develop Independence Skills from Rainy Day Mum
Transition Time: Teaching Kids to Successfully Move from One Activity to Another – Toddler Approved
Be sure to join me here at Mess For Less every Wednesday for Get Ready for K Through Play. Then, please check out my fellow bloggers in the series: Coffee Cups and CrayonsMama SmilesMom to 2 Posh Lil DivasRainy Day Mum and Toddler Approved, who will be bringing you some more great resources on each week’s topic.


The topics are:
June 12 - Language
June 19 - Social and Emotional Skills
June 26 - Independence Skills
July 3 - Math Concepts
July 10 - Books, Reading and Literacy
July 17 - Fine Motor and Writing Skills
July 24 - Alphabet and Phonics
July 31 - Ready to Learn Skills

For even more ideas to prepare your child for Kindergarten, follow the Get Ready for K Through Play Pinterest Board.

Vicky

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