Helping children learn...
 Small movement skills
 
Illustration by Andrea Elovson, from The Kindergarten Survival HandbookDoing things well with their hands is important for many things children will learn in school, especially for writing. Children need a lot of practice to get their fingers to do what they want. This is the time to encourage children to touch things!

Children can get good practice, and learn to do things well with their hands, just by helping you do whatever you're doing in the house, or anyplace else.

For example, as often as you can, let them help you...
    open the mail,
    put things away,
    clean things around the house.

 
CUTTING WITH A SMALL SCISSORS, the kind with round tips, is something that children love to do, and it's very good practice for their fingers.

Newspapers, magazines, and flyers from the supermarkets are great for this. There are lots of brightly colored things in the Sunday paper, too, and you can talk about the colors and the pictures at the same time.

Illustration by Andrea Elovson, from The Kindergarten Survival Handbook
 
Illustration by Andrea Elovson, from The Kindergarten Survival HandbookStirring, pouring, opening boxes, and closing jars are safe things that children can do to help them practice using their hands and fingers. You'll think of many other things they can do, too.
 
LET THEM LACE UP THEIR SNEAKERS AND SHOES and try to tie them.

They get to be good with their hands, as well as learn to dress themselves, if you let them try to do their buttons and zippers and to snap and unsnap things for themselves.

You could let them help dress the younger children, if you have any.

Illustration by Andrea Elovson, from The Kindergarten Survival Handbook
 
Illustration by Andrea Elovson, from The Kindergarten Survival HandbookPRACTICE IS WHAT THEY NEED, TOO, TO LEARN TO FEED THEMSELVES NEATLY WITH A FORK AND SPOON.

The best, and safest, place for them to learn this is at home, where people will be patient with them and encourage them, even if they make mistakes.

 
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Copyright © Parent Education Resourcesfrom The Kindergarten Survival Handbook
Part 2, "A Guide for Parents"