5 Ways to encourage independence in children

Independence is a vital, but sometimes difficult (for us mammies) stage of child development. Children love nothing more than doing things themselves. “I want to do it myself” or “Let me do it” are commonly heard in households everywhere!

Sometimes non-verbal queues are also visible and this is also a sign to set things up to allow children be more independent and step back! A famous Montessori quote is “help me to do it myself”. 

Here’s my 5 top tips:

  1. Use a left over ketchup bottle to put your oil into. Children can then squeeze the oil out independently rather than having you worry about them spilling or pouring too much!


2. Invest in a child friendly knife from The Curious Chef (not an affiliate link). We love their products.

3. Give your child small containers and utensils to use. You can be inventive and do not have to go out and spend a fortune. Use lunch boxes or storage containers as mixing bowls and tea strainers for sieves. Teaspoons can be used for mixing and a milk frothing whisk can be used as a child’s whisk. When the item is child sized it is easier to use at their  motor development stage.

Picture 1

4. Move your cupboards around… have safe items at the child’s height. They should be able to make their own cereal / yogurt combination with all the required items at their level. Getting their own drinks is also  very encouraging for independence.

wobbler pouring

5. Have your child help with serving dinner. Once the pots are away from hot cooker rings, children can independently spoon out enough for everyone.


Children respond so positively by being allowed to be independent. Always stay with them but you can sometimes take that step back and watch them shine…. because believe me they will beam!!!



  1. Very clever tips and tricks here! I do think it’s very importance to encourage children to help out in the kitchen, they’ll pick up skills that will help when the move to university eventually comes x


  2. I always encouraged my kids to help out in the kitchen. My 21 year old is now a fab cook, and was brilliant at budgeting and shopping while she was in college and staying in a student house. My 15 year old son can also cook (quite basic though) and he does all his own washing. So yes, teach them when they’re young! It’s fun too!


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