Four Ways our Childcare Centre Helps Children Grow Their Independence
The journey from helpless baby to independent preschooler is a significant one. While a lot of changes along the way happen naturally, there are also many things both at home and at daycare that can be done to foster and encourage independence. Here are four ways our teachers at The Cubbyhouse in Palmerston North help young children develop this all-important trait.
Let children do it themselves
DIY is a crucial part of Kiwi culture, so why not introduce it to your tamariki sooner rather than later?! We are used to doing everything for our babies, but like magic right before our eyes, they gradually become capable of doing more and more tasks by themselves. As your little one grows, try to identify what they can do themselves and let them.
At our Palmerston North daycare, we encourage our babies to reach for their favourite toy, our toddlers to choose a book of the shelf, and our preschoolers to put on their own shoes. Even if they are not quite up to the challenge, the confidence you instil in them will encourage them to keep trying.
Allow opportunities for teamwork
Ironic as it may sound, there are few activities that foster independence quite like working together as a team. As children begin to play with one another, our childcare teachers like to leave them to it, letting them work out how to become a team player. Sometimes children will take the lead, other times they will fall into line. They are experimenting with different ways to interact, share and socialise, and developing these skills will make them confident and self-assured within a group setting.
If you let a toddler make every household decision, they’d be eating ice cream for breakfast and sleeping in their shoes! But that doesn’t mean that we can’t infuse a little bit of choice into their regular lives.
Our daycare teachers like to give children ‘either-or’ options whenever possible. For instance, do you want to wear shoes or gumboots? Do you want to eat an apple or an orange? Would you like to play inside or out? None of the answers leave a child barefoot, eating lollies outside the front gate! We are keeping them safe and healthy, yet still giving them enough choice to develop their own opinions, preferences, and autonomy.
Plenty of free play
Days at our Palmerston North childcare centre are filled with free unstructured play. We set the stage for fun and engaging activities – an arts and crafts corner, a sandpit, blocks and more – but let children follow their instincts and choose their own path each day.
By offering free play, children naturally discover their unique interests and skills, they find their limits and learn to overcome them – and there’s nothing better than this for building independence and individuality.
To send your child to a daycare in Palmerston North dedicated to helping foster their independence, get in touch with The Cubby House today.