self care milestones patty shukla music

Self Care Tips and Milestones for Children

Self Care Tips and Milestones for Children.

There is such a long, long list of what we need to teach our children, that sometimes I get a little overwhelmed. My son is now 4 years old. It seems every minute of the day is a learning lesson in self care. “Do you need to go potty?” “Pick out your clothes for the day”, “Brush your teeth”, “Did you drink water? “, “Put your shoes on”, “Don’t yell in the restaurant”, “Eat your food” and on and on. It is exhausting and exhilarating at the same time, especially when you see growth and I didn’t have to remind them. YAY! One for team Shukla! Wash your hands children's song patty shukla
I started to think and research, what do therapists and teachers say are vital milestones in self care for children and is my son meeting those standards. After a little research, this is what I found. Some say there are 5 main milestones and self care skills that children need to know by the age of 5.
FIVE by 5
1. Dressing and undressing
2. Using the toilet3. Brushing teeth
4. Tying shoes
5. Nighttime dryness

Tools to grow, a resource for pediatric therapist explained “Mastery of tying your shoes includes the ability to fasten laces into a knot and bow. Successful and time efficient shoe tying requires foundation skills in the areas of tactile discrimination, bilateral manipulation for hands to work cooperatively, visual perception, and motor planning a sequence. Tying your shoes is considered a milestone in a child’s development, children that can tie their shoes experience a sense of accomplishment and independence.” early childhood lesson plans resource curriculum for kids preschool learning patty shukla





Here is my list of teaching songs that have helped my son.  Click on the links to sing, dance and learn some self care through music:

Potty Time –
I Can Tie my Shoes –
Wash Our Hands –
Dry My Body –
Pick up and Put it Away –
Potty time Patty Shukla
Now I have some inspiration for new songs.
Below are two fantastic lists and charts that I use and check regularly to keep aware of the next healthy self care milestone for my boy.
Giving children a chance to practice self-care skills is a very important part of growth and development, says author   and here is her giant list for self care and milestones to be aware of over time.

Giant List of Self-Care Skills for Babies,Toddlers and Preschoolers

Self-Care Skills for Babies (crawlers) to 12 months

  1. Throw own bib in laundry hamper
  2. Clean face and hands with damp wash cloth (finish up with help)
  3. Stow own shoes away (with help/works well to have one assigned spot)
  4. Feed self a snack (cereal 0’s, cubed soft fruits etc…)
  5. Hold a spoon and toothbrush to imitate parents/siblings
  6. Play alone for 10-30 minutes*


Self-Care Skills from 12-18 months (Continue all of the above plus)

  1. Wash hands (may need help)
  2. Brush Teeth (followed up with help)
  3. Start exploring how to undress self
  4. Start exploring how to take off-put on shoes
  5. Start exploring how to use hair brush
  6. Choose own outfit (offer limited choices)
  7. Explore how to drink from open cup
  8. Begin eating alone with child safe spoon/fork
  9. Play alone for 10 -30 minutes*

Taking a bath and drying after self care patty shukla

Self-Care Skills from 18 months- 2 year old Child

  1. Undress pants/shorts
  2. Explore how to dress self (shirts tend to get stuck!)
  3. Put own pajamas into drawer
  4. Take off and stow away shoes
  5. Wash face and hands (may need help)
  6. Comb or brush own hair (finish up with help)
  7. Hang up coat (provide hook that is accessible)
  8. Serve self a snack from a shared plate onto own bowl or plate
  9. Explore using a napkin
  10. Explore pouring water from pitcher into own glass
  11. Explore how to wipe up spills
  12. Put trash into waste bin
  13. Play alone for 15-40 minutes*

Self-Care Skills for 3 year old Child

  1. Dress self (may need some help, esp. with buttons & zippers)
  2. Practice using Snaps, zippers and buttons
  3. Explore what weather appropriate clothing means
  4. Put on shoes (it’s helpful to avoid laces)
  5. Explore taking shower alone (Supervised)
  6. Hang up own towel (make sure hook is height accessible)
  7. Put away a few items of clothes from a laundry basket
  8. Explore how to make own bed
  9. Explore basic cooking (measuring, pouring, mixing)
  10. Pour glass of water/milk/juice from a pitcher (see next!)
  11. Wipe up own spills (helps to keep towels stored where child can reach)
  12. Get a snack from the pantry (Try to keep healthy choices in reach)
  13. Use a napkin at the table
  14. Learn part of own address (Town and own last name)
  15. Help set table (give choice of one responsibility such as napkin buddy or place mat setter)
  16. Remove own plate from table
  17. Explore using the kitchen sink to rinse fruits/veggies/cups
  18. Play alone for up to one hour*

Self-Care Skills for 4 year old child

  1. Continue practicing skills from the 2 and 3 year list above
  2. Explore washing hair alone in shower (may need help to complete)
  3. Explore more cooking skills (cracking eggs alone, making simple sandwich, cutting banana slices)
  4. Learn house phone number
  5. Learn own address
  6. Set / remove own place setting at table
  7. Learn a bit about how to work the washing machine

Self-Care Skills for 5 year old child

  1. Dress independently (may still wish for help, but in general capable of doing alone)
  2. Brush hair independently
  3. Brush teeth independently
  4. Shower independently (may still need assistance with hair washing)
  5. Use toilet brush
  6. Replace toilet paper roll if finished
  7. Understand and choose weather appropriate clothing
  8. Explore tying laced shoes
  9. Explore what a balanced meal contains
  10. Use the kitchen sink with confidence to wash fruits, veggies, plates, cups
  11. Learn how to use microwave (with supervision)
  12. Explore more cooking skills (peeling vegetables with supervision, chopping ingredients with safe knife)
  13. Learn how to place item in oven using mitts (with adult nearby)
  14. Learn about emergency numbers (how to dial for police & fire)

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