Transition into school

Developing independence

Independence is one of the most valuable skills you can teach your child.

It's not about struggling to do things on your own but about learning to have a go without adult intervention and knowing when to ask for help.

Allow your child to make choices and solve problems for themselves. It will really help them to access the school environment and choose appropriate resources and activities that interest them.

Is your child able to:

  • use tools such as children's scissors to snip or a knife to spread butter
  • go to the toilet on their own, taking their clothes on and off and wiping themselves
  • wash and dry their own hands.
  • tidy the toys away so that no one falls over them
  • dress and undress on their own, asking for help with tricky fastenings
  • take their coat on and off and hang it up on a peg
  • eat lunch using a knife and fork when needed

How you can help

  • cook or make a snack together to practice chopping, spreading, scooping and snipping
  • hold out their coat so that they can put their arms in on their own and start their zip for them
  • provide shoes and coats with simple fastenings (Velcro, zips) instead of tricky buttons and laces
  • let them get themselves dressed and understand that it may take a little longer to start with
  • let them go to the toilet on their own, showing them how to wipe and flush before washing and drying their hands

Activity ideas

  • play fun 'tidy up' games to encourage your child to help put their toys away. You could have a race, sing a song or count how many things you can tidy up in one minute
  • help your child to practice getting dressed into school uniform, including coat and shoes and remind them of the order to put things on
  • encourage your child to brush their teeth twice a day - brush yours at the same time to show them how to reach all the teeth
  • get a PE kit and bag ready and help your child to practise the physical and organisational skills needed to open the bag, take things out, put them on and off and then put them away
  • use knives and forks or scissors in play - cutting Playdoh and cooked spaghetti is a great way to practice