Teaching everyday skills to children are vital steps in encouraging good behaviour. For example, if the child doesn’t know how to put their toys away, he or she might refuse to do it or overreact when asked to do so. The only solution is to teach them how to do it so the next time they can respond positively. As adults we sometimes forget that skills take time to develop and practice is essential.

How to set up a great environment to teach children;

  • Use the child’s name to encourage them to engage.
  • Remove any background distractions such as radio, tv or toys.
  • Use clear language that your child understands.
  • Use a calm and friendly voice.
  • Lead by example by showing the child how they can complete the task
  • Monitor how the child remembers how to do the task.

At Twisty Tails Nurseries, we use a technique called modelling to teach vital skills to children. Through watching adults, children can learn what to do and how to do it. When this happens, the adult is ‘modelling’. Modelling can be a very efficient way to teach children most tasks (and the skills required) because the child is shown how the task is completed rather than just being told how to complete the task. Modelling is known to work especially well for teaching children social skills by allowing them to see how the use of phrases such as ‘thank you’ or ‘more please’ are used.

How to make modelling work well;

  • Get the child’s attention and make sure he or she is engaged.
  • Move slowly through the steps of the task so that the child can clearly see what is required.
  • Highlight the important parts of the task.
  • Provide the child lots of opportunities to practise once they have seen the task completed.
  • Be encouraging.

Some tasks are complicated for a child. For complicated tasks each task can be broken down into smaller steps. Step-by-step teaching teaches each skill required to be taught – one skill at a time. When the child has learned the first step, we then teach them the next step and so on. We often start with the easiest parts as this encourages enthusiasm.

When teaching any task, we always consider the following points;

  • We make sure that the child has the coordination, physical ability and maturity to handle the new skill.
  • We avoid teaching new skills just before nap or meal times to ensure the child is fully alert.
  • We allow children the chance to practise the skill because the more the child practises, the better they shall become at the task.
  • We give praise and encouragement to help with the development.
  • We avoid negative feedback when the child doesn’t get it right and instead show them once again how the task can be completed.

We always provide each child ample opportunities throughout the day to make positive choices. A child feeling like they don’t have control of a task (or themselves) can trigger a tantrum. By giving each child the chance to make choices, such as which snack they would like to have or the book they want to read before bed empowers them to feel more in control. Toddlers can become easily overstimulated and sometimes have difficulty regaining their composure. Sometimes, a quick break from a stimulating environment can help them calm down. At other times, we just have to try again another day.

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Rear of 13A Bishops Walk, High Street, Pinner HA5 5QQ
020 8617 0422 (OPTION 2)


25 Sheaveshill Avenue, Colindale, London, NW9 6SE.
020 8617 0422 (OPTION 1)


Devonshire Business Centre, 582 Honeypot Lane, Stanmore HA7 1JS
020 8617 0422 (OPTION 0)