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Monday, May 11, 2015

Mommy Monday: top 5 household items to foster independence in preschoolers

Today I'm sharing my 5 favorite household items for fostering independence in preschoolers. Some of these are obvious, some are more specific products that I just really love. All of them are items that make it easier for my 3-year-old girls to take care of things for themselves (which makes all of us happy!). 

1. IKEA Kalas dishes

I've raved about these already in my post about how I store the girls' dishes, but it bears repeating that these things are awesome! They are so easy to use, easy to wash, and easy to store. The colors are fantastic and the girls love picking out their dishes for each meal. They even make great toys- the girls pull them out to sort things, or lay them out on the floor to "make a rainbow". My life is so much easier having these, because the girls can take care of their dishes themselves and they get to pick their color.

2. Storage bins
Storage bins are a great way to give preschoolers more independence by making it easier for them to find, get out, and put away their things on their own. I use bins in the girls' closet (right picture) and their toy storage (left picture). The canvas ones especially are easy to move and see into. It's also easy to label the bins with a picture of what should be inside, so the kids can see what goes where when they are cleaning up.

My girls went through a phase a few months ago where they started waking up anywhere between 4:00 and 5:00am and insisting that they needed to get out of bed, even though they were obviously still tired. I tried everything I could think of to convince them to stop getting out of bed before I told them, but nothing worked... until I got this alarm. I have all the sounds turned off, but when it is the time I have set, the owl's face turns green. It's gentle enough that they have slept through it if they are really tired, but if they are awake they see it right away. I was afraid it would just be one more rule for them to fight, but they love coming out and telling me that the owl has turned green! 

4. Step stools

Obviously being able to reach stuff is important for short people who want to be more independent, What wasn't so obvious to me at first is that being able to carry the step stool around wherever they want by themselves is equally important for my girls! I have a fancy wooden 2-step one with storage that I got first, but the cheap plastic one I got later gets used 10 times as much because they take it everywhere (the wooden one stays in the bathroom and serves its own purpose, but the plastic one probably would have done almost the same thing while being more versatile)! The rubber feet on the bottom are also great for the bathroom and other tile floors.

5. Rags

Image result for dirty towels
They may not be glamorous but they definitely are a necessity for life with preschoolers! Having a stash in an easily accessible area has made a huge difference in encouraging my girls to clean up their own messes. Whether they have an accident, spill their milk, or get marker on the table, my girls can grab a towel and wipe up the wet or get it wet to clean up a mess, then throw it in the laundry basket.

Well, that's my list! What are your must-have items around the house with preschoolers? How do you foster independence in your young children? Share your thoughts below!

* I am not being compensated for this post nor am I affiliated with any of the companies that make these items- I just like them :)



  1. Totally need to get in on the storage bins and coloured dishes good ideas! #twinklytuesday

  2. these are all great ideas! we have a stool too but I could really use the alarm! Not sure where to get it thought I live in Europe. Ntina @happy girly crafty

    1. I got mine on Amazon so you may be able to find it online- I don't know what shipping would be like though...

  3. Yes to all of those! The only one we don't have is the alarm...need to try that! Found your post on Twinkly Tuesday. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I LOVE the alarm. Instant fix for my ungodly early mornings!

  4. FANTASTIC ideas!! I LOVE the IKEA plates and cups — I need to get some of those in my life! But also a step stool — this would be so useful for teeth brushing and hand washing! :) Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    Caro |

    1. The dishes are amazing- I hope you get a chance to try them! :)