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3 Tips to Help Your Preschooler To Do Their Activities Independently

I love whenever I find an activity on Pinterest for Caleb. Or better yet, when I create one for him and I think its the best thing since sliced bread! I get so excited that I can’t wait for him to wake up the following day so that he can try it. You know that feeling, right?

So you can imagine my pure disappointment when he won’t do it by himself? He is old enough to simply put a counter on a circle or even use a sticker. Why won’t he just do it by himself?  When this happens, and it happens every once in a while, I remember a few things I did with Jael to help her work on her preschool activities on her own.

You've found the perfect preschool activity for your child and then it happens. They don't want to do it on their own. Here are 3 tips to try to help build preschool independence

3 Tips To Help Your Preschooler Do Their Activities Independently

Preschool Independence Tip #1: Do The Activity With Them Until They Are Confident

My son loves to cuddle. Sometimes he does it just because he loves it and other times he does it because he needs reassurance. It’s because of this that I try my best to remember to both demonstrate the activity and do it with him a few times.

If I can’t sit with him the entire time to repeat the activity, I simply ensure that he is close by and I keep talking to him. I ask silly questions and I also ask if he is okay. Other times he just won’t do it on his own which leads me to the next tip.

Preschool Independence Tip #2: If You Know They Can’t Do It, Don’t Do It

Sure we all want to raise super smart kids and we want to challenge them. However if the activity you have given your preschooler seems like Mount Everest instead of a hill, then you are setting yourself up for your child to either feel awful about themselves or for them to ask you to do the activity. Why create a stumbling block?

If you know they have not developed enough to do the activity themselves, please just pack it away until they are ready. It may result in tears and your child may end up disliking activity time (or whatever you call it).

Preschool Independence Tip #3: Set a Timer

I love using timers with my kids. We use it for time outs, for quiet time and even for clean ups. The timer can also be used when you have given your preschooler an activity. You can either:

  • time the activity itself (simply tell your preschooler it will only last for a minute)
  • time how long you sit with your preschooler to demonstrate and explain

Sometimes, however, you have a preschooler who can do the activity but simply refuses to budge. In my case, it’s my first born Jael. When she has decided not to do something, there is no way she is budging without me pushing back. I assure you it’s a battle of 2 stubborn people which makes me wonder how fun her teenage years will be. What do I do when this happens?

What do I do when this happens? I tell her that if she doesn’t want to do it, I am packing it away and she can only do it on her own. Make no mistake, Caleb acts up too but my response is the same- you don’t want to do it or try then mommy packs it away. Hope that helps.

How do you encourage your child to do their preschool activities independently?