ACTIVITIES THAT FOCUS ON SELF HELP AND LIFE SKILLS
In one research study, 73 Kindergarten Teachers were asked "What skills do you wish every incoming kindergartener would have mastered when they came to your classroom on the first day of school?". Only 9 teachers answers were academic related. All others were self-help and life skills. We have put together a list of ideas to help your child build the skills they need to get ready to learn in a school setting!
- Practice dressing independently. Dress your child in clothes s(he) can manipulate independently.
- Practice zipping, snapping, and buttoning clothing. Use old clothes, and make a game out of it. Have races to see if your child can “beat” you!
- Practice tying shoes, even if it’s only for the first step by crossing the laces!
- Give your child the responsibility of taking care of his/her personal belongings (Putting away toys, hanging up clothes and backpack, clearing table after mealtimes)
- Teach them how to open every item in their lunchbox independently. When opening a bag of snacks, give your child the verbal cue “pinch and pull” to help remind them of the way they need to grasp the bag to open it successfully.
- When cleaning up after a meal, make sure your child can determine what to throw away vs. what to keep (disposable vs. reusable).
- When using the restroom, teach them how to flush the toilet, wipe themselves, shut and lock a bathroom stall door and undo clothing on their own.
- Have your child practice blowing your nose independently.
- Teach them their first and last name, Parents’ first and last name and Caretaker’s phone number.
- Teach social skills that are helpful in a classroom setting, like how to:
- Follow directions
- Ask for help
- Identify their feelings/emotions
- Respond when their name is called.
- Wait their turn.
- Gracefully lose.
- Do non-preferred tasks (we have to let our kids be bored sometimes).
- Be kind to one another
Early Childhood Partners programs are funded by the Massachusetts Coordinated Family & Community Engagement (CFCE) grant awarded to Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) serving Hamilton, Wenham, Manchester, and Essex. All educational and non-academic programs, activities and employment opportunities at Hamilton-Wenham RSD are offered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, homelessness, age and/or, disability, and any other class or characteristic
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