Self-care: What you can expect

As your child gets older they’ll learn – and want – to do more things for themself, from attempting to tie her shoelaces and taking a bath to making their bed and setting the table. While watching your preschooler or kindergartner grow more and more independent can be phenomenal, learning to take care of themself is an big part of her personal and social development.

Skills they’ll work at:

Getting Dressed: 5 year olds should be up to attempt zippering their jackets and sweatshirts and buttoning their shirts and pants. And it’s at this age that your child will learn how to tie her shoes, though some children don’t get the hang of it until around age 6. But do not discourage them, encourage them to keep trying!

Using the toilet: By the time your child is in PRE-K or Kindergarten they should be able to use the bathroom on their own, though they still may need help wiping.

Hygiene: Some children this age may want to take a bath or shower on their own. Let your child think they are bathing by themselves but keep an eye and ear out for them in the background. However, they may need help drawing the water to get the water to the right temperature. Otherwise, reduce the temperature of your hot water heater. They should also be brushing and flossing their own teeth by this age. You may have to double check they got everything.

Making breakfast: Five-year-olds should be able to attempt to make themselves a bowl of cold cereal and pour some juice or milk, but be prepared they are still going to probably spill, let them.

Packing her backpack: Five year-olds feel very independent by packing their bag for school. You’ll probably want to check, though, to make sure that nothing like sweaters, raincoats or lunches are left behind.

Chores: Children this age can pick up their room, pick up their toys and make their beds. They can also help out in the kitchen by being able to help mixing for baking and simple tasks for cooking. They can even help out by picking weeds or watering flowers in the garden.

What you can do

Always, encouragement is key. Whenever your child tries a new skill, tell them you’re proud she made the effort and encourage them to keep trying. However, don’t just jump in to help, let them fail. They will learn more from failure and keep working hard at accomplishing the task on their own.

What to watch out for

Some children develop more quickly than others, but if your child actively resists attempting any of the tasks above or shows zero interest in learning them, talk to their pediatrician.

What’s ahead

As the years go by, your child will get more self sufficient at taking care of themself. They’ll be able to make toast for breakfast, and then it’s just a matter of time before they can do laundry! Careful what you wish for. Before you know it they will be driving themself to school and then they are off to college or working a full time job!

At Precious Memories Preschool of Sandy Hollow PreSchool of Sandy Hollow, we offer a special place for children to not only grow and develop along the way, but a place for them to CELEBRATE each and every step. If you are interested in enrolling your child in our program please fill out the form on this page or call us at 860.572.9958