Self-Care Skills Are Not Just For Adults!

Teaching those all-important tasks such as brushing our teeth, brushing our hair, and feeding ourselves can be tricky with our little friends, so we need to come up with fun and creative ways to develop the skills that will set them up for life.

Why are self-care skills so important?

Self-care skills are one of the first ways children learn to plan and sequence tasks, organise the necessary equipment/materials, and develop the physical control required to complete functional activities of daily living (ADLs). For kids, these tasks may include opening a lunchbox, pulling up and down pants, and packing a school bag). The definition of ‘self’-care skills is all in the name; we are expected to be able to do these ourselves, so learning the steps from an early age is crucial, particularly as children start to become more independent (going to school, on excursions, to sleepovers).y

What physical components are required to complete self-care tasks?

  • Hand and finger strength
  • Hand control
  • Sensory processing
  • Language and communication
  • Planning and sequencing
  • Object manipulation

What other skills might my child be experiencing difficulty with?

  • Eating
  • Sleeping
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Social Skills
  • Fine and gross motor skills
  • Learning new tasks
  • Organisational skills

What strategies can be implemented in collaboration with my Occupational Therapist?

  • Visual schedules
  • Allowing sufficient time to complete tasks
  • Consistent routines
  • Breaking the task into small, achievable steps
  • Reward charts
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