From taking their first steps to learning how to read, children gain self-confidence as they master new skills. This gives them the courage to continue to explore and expand their abilities.

Two-year-olds may use phrases such as "Me do it!" or "Do it myself!" to exert independence. They will often make a mess as they learn to feed themselves soup with a spoon, apply toothpaste to a toothbrush, or "clean" their room, but they will develop valuable skills as they practice new tasks and recognize their progress.

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“Mom, I found the tiniest snail ever in the yard!” After a morning of virtual school meetings (and, let’s be honest, needing a break myself!), I sent my children outside with no particular plan. I felt guilty that I wasn’t able to structure this time, especially with in-person school canceled. I had forgotten that boredom and unstructured play are great for children’s creativity, build independence, and offer stress relief.

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To solve basic math operations — and more complicated ones down the road — kids need problem-solving skills and number sense. Number sense is the ability to understand what numbers mean, how they relate to one another and how they can be used in real-world situations. Because six-year-olds can count to higher numbers, they can also be challenged to work on higher number operations. School-aged children focus on addition and subtraction at first, and then eventually reach multiplication (in the form of skip counting) and division (in the form of equal shares).

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