Things your toddler can do themselves

Your toddler, who thinks he can do ANYTHING, easily gets frustrated. Here are fun things he can do to make him feel important (and boost his skills).

  • Spread the toast. Give him the margarine, jam/peanut butter and a slice of toast, and let him have fun.
  • Switch on the lights. Lift him up to the light switch and allow him to turn the lights on or off.
  • Open the electric garage door. When you’re coming home, allow your toddler to press the button on the remote control.
  • Button up. Give your little one a big button to undo, and show him how to zip and unzip.
  • Brush his teeth. But you’re doing this already, aren’t you? Give him a toddler-sized toothbrush with a small dab of milk teeth toothpaste (you can start when he has a few teeth). Show him how to brush his own teeth.
  • Take his plate back to the kitchen sink. Ask him to bring you his plate and fork/spoon after he has eaten.
  • Pack away his toys. There’s nothing wrong with toys lying around during the day, but it’s a good time to now teach him to pack away toys – either at the end of the day, or after he has played with it (it’s easier to have only one box to worry about at a time). Show him how to categorise, for instance, crayons go together, and blocks go in another basket.
  • Water the garden. In summer this can be great fun. Give your toddler the water hose and ask him to hold it over the flower bed, or give him a small container and show him how to fill it up from a big pail of water or his mini-pool, and then water the thirsty flowers. (ALWAYS be careful with toddlers around water and don’t let him out of your sight for even a second.)
  • Wipe it off. Give him a Wet Wipe or damp cloth to wipe his own mouth, hands and the table or tray where he has eaten or painted.
  • Choose. Give him a few options (just 2 are great) and ask him what he’d like to play with, eat or watch on DVD. This way he feels in control but you’re leading the way.


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