Practical skills to teach your almost-three-year-old

Baby is quickly growing into a more and more capable little person, and as he approaches his third birthday, you may want to consider offering him a bit more independence, as well as his other birthday presents.

As you go about your regular routine, here are some ways you can encourage Baby to learn and start to use practical life skills.

  • Hygiene: From brushing his hair and teeth to scrubbing down in the tub, hygiene is a big part of Baby’s day. Though he still needs your help to make sure he is thoroughly clean, Baby may be ready to start doing some basic hygiene tasks, like brushing his own hair, and to finish up brushing his teeth once you’re sure they’ve been properly cleaned. In the tub, give him a washcloth to clean his own body, before you take over to get down to the real scrubbing.
  • Cooking: Baby isn’t ready to use the kitchen appliances just yet, but while you’re prepping meals, let him start to get involved. Simple ways he can help are by bringing you ingredients you need, sprinkling in a dash of seasoning, or mixing ingredients in a bowl. It may leave you needing to do a bit of extra cleanup, but he will be excited to lend a hand.
  • Dressing: Let Baby pick his own outfits some days so he can get familiar with the items he will need for the day. When it’s cold, remind him to get a sweater, and so on, depending on the weather. This is also a great time to start to resist the urge to dress him completely. He is now becoming more capable of getting into (and out of) his own clothes.
  • Cleaning: It’s certainly faster, and much less of a battle, to clean Baby’s toys up for him at the end of the day. Still, Baby should be starting to understand the concept of cleaning up his own mess, and now is a good time to start asking him to help you with tidying up a room. You may also choose to show him the basics of other household tasks like dusting, sweeping, and sorting laundry.
  • Greetings: When the two of you are outside of the home, you can start to work on Baby’s social skills by encouraging proper greetings and farewells. Since you’re his biggest role model, showing off your own good social behavior by saying hello to familiar faces, and goodbye to a clerk when leaving the store, is also a great way to encourage Baby to behave politely to friends and strangers he sees out in the world. Before too long, he won’t even need you to prompt him before he does the same.

Baby is going to learn new things from you every day, whether you teach them to him or not, so picking out the specific skills you want to encourage him to adopt is a great way to get him started in the world with the skills he needs.

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