Smiling like Sunshine: Practical Life Activities for Older Children

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Practical Life Activities for Older Children

I have been trying to encourage Defne (6 years old) to do more practical life activities for the last couple of months.
Cracking an egg

Chopping veggies
Transferring water beads using a tong
Tying her shoelaces

Defne also enjoys helping setting the table, preparing the lunch boxes. Over the summer,I would also like to teach her finger knitting and using a lucet which she has asked before.
Practical life activities help children become more independent,social and at the same time, they help develop fine motor skills. Unlike adults, children focus on the process. They enjoy repeating the activities until they master a certain skill.
Practical life activities also help children control their movements, to focus and to complete sequential steps. Therefore these activities also lay the foundation for other areas of learning such as maths,science,language etc.
 Practical life activities also develop social skills. Learning how to ask for help, how to interrupt someone's speech, knowing how to reject help or a request kindly are all excellent skills for the older children to learn.
I also think that it is important for the children to feel themselves as part of the family unit. So they can contribute to some of the things that need to be done around the house. Having said that, I would never want them to get the feeling that they need to do some boring chores day in day out. So I feel it is very important that,we,as parents need to be good role models and encourage them gently.
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