Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Doing it Myself: Pride in Self Care Activities

E starts the process of getting his shoe on by pointing his
toes into the front of the shoe.
E then uses his hand to work his toes further into the shoe and to try and pull the back over his heel.

The other day E decided to stay inside with me as I cleaned. We finished up our work inside then headed for the porch to get our shoes on. I slipped into my flip flops as E watched me. He said to me, "Your shoes are so easy!" I nodded, "Yeah, I wear flip flops since I take my shoes on and off so much." E studied his shoes for a moment, "Watch how I put my shoes on, okay? It's work!"

We have been talking a lot lately about shoes and coats and the various ways we can work hard to get them on our feet. I stepped back to watch E put on his shoes and as he started to narrate to me what he was doing I started snapping pictures. Though its' been a considerable topic lately, slowing down with him reminded me just how many steps are involved as the children work to take care of themselves. There are so many moments that allow them personal success and a chance to take pride in their own abilities!

E noted: "I can stand up to push my foot in! Watch me!"
"Now I gotta buckle these!"

"My coat is right here! That's my name!" E pointed to his name tag above his hook before taking his coat down.

"I flip it!" E placed his coat on the ground. He stood at one end of it and looked puzzled for a moment before heading to the other side, "I stand next to the hood to flip it!"
E placed his hands into his sleeves then flipped the coat over his head and onto his body. The preschool flip allows children to have ownership over getting their coat on easily without an adult helping.

After flipping his coat on this his body, E pulled his sleeves on to make sure the coat was all the way on. Then he looked at me and beamed, "I can even do the zipper!" Carefully he found both pieces of his zipper- this was the first time I had observed him attempting this since moving to the preschool house! We both felt pretty excited. He carefully put the two pieces together and started to zip- but only one side came up! For a moment E looked crestfallen. The zipper didn't work like he thought it would! He slowly slid the piece back to the bottom and started over again. After a few tries, both pieces came up together! The coat zipped up! E zipped it all the way to the top calmly then looked straight at me, "It's done now. We're ready for playing!" I followed his lead, "Yep! You finished getting ready to go outside. Now all of us are ready."

E's trust in his ability to care for himself drove him to keep trying rather than get frustrated with the zipper or at any other moment a challenge presented itself. Successfully completing getting on his shoes and coat helped him to satisfy his intrinsically human need for autonomy. Self care is such an important piece of a preschooler's day! 

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