Practical Life at home: Giving your children the freedom to care for themselves can be quite daunting, especially when in the kitchen with all the sharp tools and breakables. However there are ways to help your child grow their independence at home in a controlled way. The following YouTube clip shows how one mum has set up her house so it is child accessible for her son. It's a very good watch and may give you some ideas of ways you can alter your house in small ways to support your little one.
Nuts and Bolts - See if you can find a few bolts with their matching nuts of varying sizes (such as in the photograph below). Sit to the right of your child (left if child is left handed) and slowly undo the first nut from it's bolt. Make your movements obvious and slow for your child so they can see the movements you make. Nuts and bolts are great for developing hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, concentration and fine motor skills. This YouTube clip demonstrates how we would present this at nursery, just to give you an idea.
Pencil Grip - If you are doing colouring, drawing or painting with your children, it's vitally important that they are using the correct tripod pencil grip (between thumb and first fingers) not the palmer grip (pencil held in a fist shape). This is to ensure that when they are learning to write and form letters, they are doing it correctly. This video demonstrates how you can encourage your child to hold their pencil correctly in a natural and comfortable way.
If you find your child is struggling to hold the pencil in this way, they may not be ready for that stage. Why not try giving your child activities that will strengthen their fingers and hands in preparation for holding the pencil such as nuts and bolts (see Activities for 2 Year Olds).
The following website gives you some really great activities to do outside whilst the weather is good. Use what you have at home safe in the knowledge that if it gets dirty, you can clean it!
Gardening - why not have a go at growing your own vegetables?! Keep those tops of your carrots, lettuce, celery, pepper seeds.....whatever you have and use this guide to see what happens. Treat it as both a science experiment AND about where our food comes from......not just from the supermarket as most of our little ones seem to think. This website may provide some useful tips to help: