Many parents have mixed feelings about their child starting school. If your experience at school was not a good one, then it’s natural to worry about how it will be for your child. On the other hand, you may also be feeling a bit excited. Your child is going out into the world to experience new people and new ideas. Are you comfortable with your child’s ability to figure things out? Are they able to tackle problems on their own?

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Figuring out how things work is the beginning of building problem-solving skills.

Doing things on their own helps build independence. In school, being able to figure out how things work and doing things on their own teaches them what to do in a certain situation. We’ve already talked about the importance of your child being able to recognize their name so they can find their cubby and coat hook. This is all part of problem-solving.

Solving Problems

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When it’s raining, they get out rubber boots and an umbrella.

They put mitts on when it’s cold outside.

You can make it part of the morning routine to check the weather together and let your child decide how to dress.

They’ll understand more about how to apply a solution for different situations.

Figuring out how things work

Give your children the opportunity to take things apart, have a good look at them and try to put them back together.

Large puzzles, interlocking blocks and logs are all ideal for figuring out how things work.

Let them figure it out on their own. It may take a while, but they are learning to do hard things.

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Do simple everyday things around the house

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They can learn to set the table.

Show them all the steps to getting ready to eat dinner.

You can make special placemats with drawings on them to show where things go.

Each child could draw their own.

Sorting laundry builds many skills. You can show all the steps there are in doing the laundry, like separating whites, darks and colors. Your child can help sort the clean socks into pairs.

Let your child see and hear you talk about the steps it takes to complete a task. Show your child the steps each time. Young children cannot remember a lot of steps so take time to explain and make a game of it.

Start with two steps and work up slowly after your child is comfortable. As your child matures, he will be able to complete tasks that involve more steps.

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