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Self care, or 'care of self', is a Montessori term that refers to the practical life skills your child will need to develop in order to independently take care of their bodies. In this guide, we will cover toileting, teeth brushing, washing of hands and face, and hair brushing, with simple, inexpensive, practical suggestions for preparing an enabling environment for self care practices.


This is the first in a series of six guides on the theme of independence, written for parents and childcare professionals living and working with children from birth to 5 years. The other five guides in the series are: dressing and undressing, food and drink, toys and resources, tidying up and independent play.


As parents and childcare professionals, one of our roles is to support and encourage our children to become independent. By providing an enabling environment, we can gently encourage our very youngest children towards independence without the need to teach, push or force them prematurely.


We all know that children learn best when they have autonomy and are able to direct their own learning and development, at their own pace. If we want our children to play independently, tidy up independently, and move towards greater independence in general, then we need to be enabling and encouraging and allowing for them to have some independence in all areas of their lives, in a developmentally appropriate way, right from birth.


This is the third of 24 guides that form part of my self-directed course, The Fundamentals of Play. You'll find my Art Materials Guide and Loose Parts Play guides listed in my store. More to follow soon!

The Fundamentals of Play: Self Care


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