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Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Teacher's Point of View: Purpose Driven Tasks for Kids


Guest Post By Lelia Shipp Wendel
Image via MSN
At the end of the school year last year, I was organizing and cleaning our supply closet trying to sift through things and get ready for the following school year. I came upon a large bucket of markers, and immedietly thought of a fun end of the year activity for my students. The next day I gave them all a sheet of white paper, and set out bowls of the markers on the table. I told the kids that I needed their help to get our supplies ready for our students next year. 

I cannot even explain to you how excited my students were to help out! 

They took this job very seriously! Double checking markers, and making sure to put the markers back perfectly. This reminded me of something I have learned through teaching. Children love purpose! Children adore when they have a job to complete and know that they are being helpful. Whether it’s organizing or cleaning or helping to prepare a meal, children have an innate need to be needed.

We have a helper of the day in our classroom, and that helper does a variety of jobs. They help with calendar, check the weather, {which we call the meteorologist….there is nothing cuter than a four year old saying “meteorologist”} water our plants, {the horticulturist, of course} hold open doors, etc. But their absolute favorite job is helping with snack {my sous chef!} 

They set the “table”, pass out snack, help pour water, etc. The incredible sense of accomplishment they get after completing this task is enough to melt my heart. Children love purpose. Give them a job, and they will thrive. Encourage and appreciate their hard work, and you will have an extremely happy child on your hands.

Here are some easy and fun ways to help give your child some purpose: 
-Take your child to the dollar store and let them pick out a tiny dust collector and hand broom. Give them the task of dusting the floor, and let them go! 
-Have your child set the table. This teaches them great manners, and is a huge help! 
-Get some kid safe scissors and let them help you cut things up for meals. 
-Give your child the job of stirring in your house.  Anything that needs to be stirred is their job. I promise they will stop anything they are doing to be helpful! 
-Have your child collect kid cups that accumulate around the house and bring them to the sink. I could go on and on, and I’m sure you can think of a million things for them to do!

So here’s to helping your child feel driven and loved by having a purpose! Encourage them in their skills, and show them how grateful you are for their hard work! They will thrive, and you will get some help around the house! 

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