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7 Activities to Foster Independence in Toddlers

When it comes to learning life skills, all parents want their children to be self-confident and independent. Let’s put it like this – When your child can do their tasks independently, take responsibility for themselves, and find lesser need to depend on you then you can give yourselves a pat on the back for a job well done. 😊

The first few years of life are full of surprises and challenges. The little ones are slowly gaining independence and achieving some noticeably big milestones with regards to their motor skills. Once they reach their preschool years, they might need more of a push. They need to be challenged. As parents, it is natural to want to make things easier for them and function as a cushion. However, building independence in young children requires effort from us too. 


Let’s look at some simple things we can do to guide our little ones to becoming self-thinking, independent global citizens of tomorrow: 


  • Letting Your Child Help You 

Little ones love to help. Involving them in ‘big people activities’ gives them a sense of being a big kid, and they absolutely adore that. It gives them a sense of purpose and they will try their best to prove to you that they can do it. 


  • Giving Them Chores 

The benefits of assigning age-appropriate chores are numerous. You won’t just be engaging toddlers in independent tasks but also cultivating accountability, building routine, and allowing them to feel like contributors in the house. 


  • Allowing Them to Solve Problems 

Fostering self-reliance in young children means they must encounter problems and enough of them to truly learn from mistakes. Some tasks could be a bit too challenging for them to do but let them do it (and fail, if necessary). Remember to praise the effort, so they are encouraged to keep trying. 


  • Engaging Toddlers in Independent Tasks 

Make sure to support and encourage projects that they show interest in. Whether it be hand painting, knitting, or anything else. Let them take the lead and focus on a contained activity. You may offer assistance, if required. Not just independence, this also helps develop grit. 


  • Encouraging Free Play 

Cultivating independence in early childhood has a lot to do with nurturing free play. Encouraging choice and decision- making in play can help in promoting autonomy in toddlers. 


  • Avoiding Overcorrection

Imagine your child is trying to tie their shoelaces by themselves. They do it but it isn’t how you would have done it. Doesn’t matter! It was their effort, and you must learn to respect and appreciate that. As parents, it is important to understand that our way is NOT the only way. Let them do things the way they like. Hovering around the little ones does not help in building independent toddler routines. 


  • Encouraging Decision-making in Toddlers

How do you let them make decisions? Ask them for opinions. Are you planning a family vacation? Ask your munchkin where he or she would like to go. Valuing their inputs will encourage independence. 


At Dibber, we believe that the most wonderful thing would be if each child knew how valuable they are. We may look at them as young ones, but they are just as human and unique as each adult. And by that logic, each one must be respected as an individual. 


Building confidence through independence takes practice. As parents and caregivers, we must create opportunities for our little humans to develop and nurture this skill. Don’t miss the smile on their faces when they accomplish tasks by themselves and proudly show it off to you. 💚 

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