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

Baby is quickly growing into a more and more capable little person, and as she approaches her third birthday, you may want to consider offering her a bit more independence, as well as her 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 her hair and teeth to scrubbing down in the tub, hygiene is a big part of Baby’s day. Though she still needs your help to make sure she is thoroughly clean, Baby may be ready to start doing some basic hygiene tasks, like brushing her own hair, and to finish up brushing her teeth once you’re sure they’ve been properly cleaned. In the tub, give her a washcloth to clean her 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 her start to get involved. Simple ways she 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 she will be excited to lend a hand.
  • Dressing: Let Baby pick her own outfits some days so she can get familiar with the items she will need for the day. When it’s cold, remind her 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 her completely. She is now becoming more capable of getting into (and out of) her own clothes.
  • Cleaning: It’s certainly faster, and much less of a battle, to clean Baby’s toys up for her at the end of the day. Still, Baby should be starting to understand the concept of cleaning up her own mess, and now is a good time to start asking her to help you with tidying up a room. You may also choose to show her 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 her 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 she sees out in the world. Before too long, she won’t even need you to prompt her before she does the same.

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

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