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Guiding the Movement

Children learn best by doing, including problem solving. So it’s important to try to let them try. However, young children don’t have the experience to understand what is and isn’t risky. That’s our job.


Obviously, when they’re in over their heads, step in. But when an activity appears a little tricky but you feel it’s not out of their reach, try Pause. Prompt. Play.

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  1. Pause. When you see a potential problem, before reacting, pause for a moment. This gives your child time to work through the potential problem themselves.                             

  2. Prompt. Try not to do everything for them. Instead, gently prompt them with ways to solve the situation. Be the helper, not the leader. For instance, if they’re stuck, you could say “I wonder how we can help you get unstuck. What if I hold your arms while your lift your leg?”                                                                        

  3. Praise. “Good job!” doesn’t tell them what to do next time. Be specific about what they did well. “I love the way you lifted your knee up to get unstuck.” Chances are, the next time they get stuck, they will remember to lift their knee.

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Wheelbarrowing around the playroom or out in the backyard is great for building up arm strength. Have your child put their hands on the floor then pick them at their hips so they can walk on their hands. Avoid holding them by their feet. This prevents an unnatural bow in the back, while lightening the load on those little arms.

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