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Self Help - Psed

Guest terrydoo73

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Guest terrydoo73

Just wondered if anyone out there could tell me in what way do you help your children to help themselves. I am thinking of things like dressing up for themselves, accessing materials etc


We feel we have made our children too adult dependent and are looking for ways to improve this - just if I personally had a list that I could look at quickly and implement it on a day to day basis!


Thank you in advance!

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ways i can think of are:-


putting on their own coats and wellingtons, steps to help them reach the coat pegs, wellies in a box pegged together so they are easily accessible


snack time - children access their own snack, pour their own drinks, make a choice over whether they want snack or not.


Free flow - choice over whether they go outside or not


toilet - children access the toilets independently, also a lot of my children change their clothes if they have got wet in the garden through water play and have forgotten to put on waterproofs:)

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In what way do you mean the children are too adult dependent?


Without specifics I can only suggest that you are going to have to start scaffolding the children towards greater independence, you can't just suddenly expect them to develop it. So for example if a child asks for help putting something on get them to have a go themselves but with you supporting them with instructions/encouragment rather than actually doing it for them and build up from there.

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in my setting we try to encourage independance as much as possible -

*take off / put on own clothing + shoes

*help themselves to drinking water when needed

*get their own snacks and drink at snack time

*find aprons and put them on for painting etc

*they are free to choose any activity they wish from the shelves -but know they should put it away before they chose another

*choose what snacks they would like for the following week

*choose what art activities they would like

*self select anything from the craft area -pens, sissors, paper, glue, glitter etc etc

*choose what they want to do with their artwork or 'creation 'take home /put in learning journey/ stick on the wall -they then do it themselves

* wash hands

we are always available to help if they need us, or we see they are struggling a bit

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Guest terrydoo73

Just wanted to see that we are not adult dependent too much!!


By giving me your lists I am able to say tick tick tick and that pleases me!! We had an Early Years Advisor today whose first reaction to us asking what we could do with a child who was flitting terribly said she is too adult dependent - this was not seeing the child in action and we questioned if it was true.


Yes we do ask them to put on their coats themselves and ask for help if needed - we taught them the hood trick and they do follow it!

Yes there is availability of drinking water and cups which they can access at any time

Yes they do get their own snack mat, drink, food and fruit at snack time

Yes they do choose their own activities and do put away after finished with it and moving onto another area

Yes they do put on aprons when they are going to play in the water and paint areas and they have to ensure their velcro straps are securely in place

Yes they do choose their own artwork to do each day - some choose through colour, some choose through what they stick on their artwork etc etc

Yes they are encouraged to use the toilets and wash hands themselves - we would only step in to help if we feel they are struggling or have clothes wrapped in a ball!



The only thing we can think of that maybe we are guilty of is in the area of dressing up which this child just loves doing about 6 times in the space of an hour (another posting on here!) We have tried as far as possible to say to the child try you and put the dress on yourself and I will help if you get stuck. She does manage to get it on herself but 2 seconds later it is off again, then 5 minutes later back on again! We are convinced it is an attention seeking thing and are trying to work out what triggers it and how to react to it. We are thinking that it is a case of an adult being in that area helping others or sitting there waiting for children to arrive in the morning - this particular child wants the adult to give her the attention so picks a dress as it is sitting in the area. Maybe it is a case of the adult moving about more!! We have seen that this child will "shadow" adults in the setting so that is why we are convinced it is an attention seeking thing. None of us as adults were in this dressing up area today and she never used the area once!! The three of us kept moving about the room from area to area so much that the child went and played on their own in a specific area for a longer period than we had seen her before!

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Guest Spiral

Just a thought about dressing up and independence.


I visited another setting a couple of years ago and they wanted to encourage independence with dressing up. They put all the clothes into a suitcase and left it closed in the centre of the room.


It became a chair, a stage and all sorts until one child managed to open it - then the children took the clothes out and made their own play.


At the end the clothes were all over the floor and some of the children were wearing what they wanted, but the rest of the children turned the empty suitcase into a boat!


Not sure if this is helpful,


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Another thought about dressing up and independance - I see the children in my setting being more dependant on adults for help with the dressing up clothes when we have the commercial 'fancy' outfits out - Snow White dress, Spiderman suit, etc - becasue they are more fiddly to get on/off. When we have out the more simple tabards, real clothes, or (my favourite) pieces of material to drap, wrap & tie, they are less adult dependant. (They do ask for help tying 'Superman' capes out of scarves, or 'Princess' dresses out of scarves, but this will be after draping round themselves.)

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