In the Kofim classroom it is our primary goal to build confident children with a can-do attitude.  Each time a child is able to successfully complete some task it is another building block in their concept of themselves as strong capable people.  The trick is to give them tasks that are challenging enough without being overwhelming.  Teaching self-help skills are a great way to help 3 year olds feel strong and independent and also to practice cognitive skills like sequencing (I have to put my jacket on before I put my hat on) as well as excellent practice for nascent motor skills.

Some of the self-help tasks we encourage can be broken down into four categories:

Feeding

  • Putting away their own lunch box and water bottle each morning as part of their routine
  • Serving snack Family style—each child serves themselves from a main bowl using scoopers
  • Opening lunch containers independently
  • Using a fork or a spoon to feed themselves

Dressing

  • Pulling up or down pants independently in the bathroom
  • Putting on sweaters/ jackets using “The Flip” method
  • Putting art smocks on independently
  • Putting on mittens (park that thumb in its parking spot!)

Hygiene

  • Washing hands
  • Wiping noses
  • Brushing teeth

Community Chores

  • Clean up Time
  • Classroom Job Chart (tasks change weekly)

We know families are busy and it is hard to take the time to allow a child to practice these skills at home but it is truly amazing to watch a child’s “I can’t!” turn into an “I did it!” Please ask a Kofim teacher for tips and tricks for fostering self-help skills in your child.