Teaching kids to play

When kids are busy playing it gives them the chance to explore and develop their skills, and it means they’re less likely to misbehave.


It can also give them the opportunity to be a bit more independent from you. But it can take time for kids to learn new skills and be able to do them with as little help from you as possible.


One way to keep kids busy and teach them new skills is to use an activity schedule. You can use a schedule to help teach your child how to play with blocks, how to do a jig-saw puzzle or how to use a colouring book.

Or you could use a schedule to help kids move from one activity to the next when they’re playing. 


Use a picture for each step of the activity. If you were teaching your child to use a colouring book, you could have one picture for getting the book, one for getting their pencils, one for sitting at the table and so on. Put the schedule somewhere that’s easy for your child to see. 


Help them with the schedule at first. You can point to the picture, help them with that step and then go back to the schedule again for the next step.


Over time, give them less and less help and eventually they will be able to follow the schedule themselves.


As kids get used to the activity schedules you can set some up for other tasks. They can be used to teach new routines or skills like getting dressed.

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