Support a sense of independence by enabling tamariki to do things for themselves. Whānau should be patient as tamariki learn skills, like putting on shoes. Demonstrate a task, then encourage tamariki to ‘have a go’ to build confidence and happiness.

Why do it?

  • Toddlers are interested in doing things for themselves.
  • They have been watching their parents and copying what they do.
  • They’ve been practising hand-eye coordination skills.
  • It may take a bit longer for a toddler to do something rather than the parent doing it. However, having the patience to let them try will pay off in the long run as they grow in confidence and achieve goals independently. If they’re keen to do something, they’ll master the skills more readily.
  • Saying ‘Me do it!’ is a sign they are growing up.

How to do it

  • Encourage a young child to take some responsibility for getting dressed.

  • They can:

    • take off their socks and shoes

    • take off some of their clothes

    • make little choices about what to wear, such as ‘Blue t-shirt or red one?’

    • put on a hat

    • put their dirty clothes in the wash.

  • Offering choices within the limits can help a toddler feel more in charge, for example ‘Do you want a bath or a shower?’

  • Young children can help with simple tasks, for example unpacking some of the shopping, sorting clean washing, washing the car, scrubbing potatoes or rinsing lettuce

Using more te reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Māku e mahi I do it
To dress
Tangohia ō kākahu Take your clothes off
Kuhuna ō kākahu moe Put your pyjamas on
Whakahokia ō kākahu i te kāpata koa
Put your clothes away in the cupboard please
He tīhāte whero, he tīhāte kikorangi rānei? Red t-shirt or blue t-shirt
Kei te aha koe? What are you doing?
Kei te pirangi koe he tāpu, he horohoroi rānei? Do you want a bath or a shower?
Paraihetia ō niho Brush your teeth
Horoia ō ringa Wash your hand
Wetekina ō hū Take off your shoes
Kuhuna ō tōkena Put on your socks
Kei hea tō tiakete? Where is your jacket?
Tikina koa tō pōtae Fetch your hat please
Kino kē koe e te tau! You're awesome my darling!
Tikina ngā reta Collect the mail
Whiua ki te ipupara Throw it in the rubbish bin
Me horoi tāua ngā pereti Let's do the dishes
Kimihia tō hū Find your shoe
Kei te whakahihi au i a koe I am very proud of you
Me hoki ki te kainga Let's go back home