Home » Education » Learning Activities for Kids » Getting Ready for Kindergarten: Nurture Independence

Getting Ready for Kindergarten: Nurture Independence

Nurture independence by helping kids develop skills. From mamasmiles.com.


Nurturing independence is a huge piece of getting kids ready for kindergarten – one I find especially important for my wonderful little velcro kids! Here are three things I do to nurture independence: I give my children lots of opportunities to try things out on their own, encourage them to help others, and provide safe spaces for self-expression.

Nurturing Independence in the Kitchen

The kitchen is a wonderful space for kids to practice being more independent! My kids practice being independent by helping us cook dinner, bake desserts, making applesauce, and making lemonade. They also practice independence by clearing their dishes from the table, loading and unloading the dishwasher, and washing dishes! They are always so pleased with the meals they help to make, and the measuring you need to do in the kitchen is great math practice!





Nurture independence by giving kids opportunities to help others. From mamasmiles.com.


Nurture Independence by Helping Others

Helping others is probably the way in which I see my kids gaining the most independence! Lily is often at her happiest when she is helping – whether that help is walking Anna down the stairs, helping Johnny clean up the LEGO bricks, or making her baby cousin smile. Lily is also bravest when she is helping! The other week, she proudly walked her two older siblings across a crowded room to pick up some papers they wanted, but were reluctant to get on their own! I suspect that, if Lily had been the one lacking bravery that day, both Emma and Johnny would have found the courage needed to walk her across that same room – but she felt pretty independent and important leading them across that busy room!

Nurture independence by respecting your child's individuality. From mamasmiles.com.

 Nurture Independence through Artistic Expression

Lily has ALWAYS had her own way of doing things, and I love giving her free reign on our craft projects and seeing where she goes! In the painting above, she was exploring color mixing. Lily continues to “write” complex stories in an illegible scrawl, although she has pretty good handwriting when she decides to write in letters that everyone can read. I am sure that someday she will outgrow this. I look forward to seeing her write stories that I can read, but I will also miss the days when a series of loops represented incredibly complex plots.

School tasks can sometimes feel very prescriptive out of necessity – a teacher cannot always allow an entire classroom to do the same things that are possible at home. Making home a space where children have room to be as creative as they like will help them develop and maintain their own sense of self.

Get Ready for K Through Play button

This post is the second in this year’s Get Ready for Kindergarten Through Play series! Here are some great ideas from my co-hosts for this series, and clicking on the button above will take you to the links from my blog for both last year and this year!

How do you nurture independence in your children?

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

9 thoughts on “Getting Ready for Kindergarten: Nurture Independence”

  1. Elisa | blissful E

    It’s wonderful to be able to nurture helpfulness and independence at the same time!! Kids love knowing they are useful. Your tips are spot-on!!

  2. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    Love the pictures in this post. I can’t believe that Lily is entering K – I was reading your blog when she was born! She is a great little girl, and, I think, the most outgoing :)

  3. Three fantastic ideas – I love how they work together and are more independent together – we find the same with my two they won’t go on a piece of apparatus on their own at the park but the two of them together are ready to conquer anything they face.

  4. I’ve been meaning to say this a long time, your kids look so much like you and your husband! :) You guys really look like a family!

    Probably the best way we encourage independence is through letting them do their daily tasks themselves. So my eldest dresses himself, brushes his teeth, gets his socks and shoes on, fetches his own snacks and utensils.

    He’ll be going to pre-K next year, so I’m sure he’ll learn even more ways to be independent.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top