As with all children, comfortable appropriately-sized seating is the best. Small tables and chairs for play and later on for homework are very convenient. When using regular-sized chairs or school desk chairs, a footstool to avoid dangling legs is a good idea. It has been suggested that a table slightly higher than would usually match a certain chair is often more comfortable.
Stepstools are a MUST for any little person. Helpful in various sizes for reaching sinks, countertops, getting onto an average-sized chair, used as footrests at home and at school, in bathrooms, closets, etc. No household seems to have enough stepstools. A platform type stepstool (a 4-8 inch "aerobic step" is a good choice) is most helpful in the bathroom, both at the toilet and sink.
Aside from having light switches lowered (36" is a good height), there are several gadgets which attach to the light switch and which extend the reaching range of children. If these are still not low enough, drill a hole in the switch itself and attach a long dowel using fishing line, ribbon, etc.
Touch-on lamps, remote controls, and "clap-on" lights are other recent conveniences that work well for LPs.
Keeping snacks, paper cups, and cereal bowls available on lower shelves of the pantry allows for independence. Small plastic drink containers for water, milk, and/or juice on the door of the refrigerator allow the child to take care of his/her own needs. The older child will eventually learn to handle regular drink containers, but for young ones, the plastic ones work best. There are also plastic "handles" that can be attached to drink containers. These can be found in most grocery stores.
The refrigerator door can be opened by poking a wooden spoon into the seal of the door and pushing at an angle. The spoon can be tied to the door handle with ribbon or shoestring.
A two-step stepstool is very useful in the kitchen. Little ones can usually climb these easily -- only we suggest that the parents NOT watch while it's happening! The higher version of these two-step stepstools also make good "junior size" chairs when your child gets too old for a highchair.
Even young ones can help to set the table, clean up after themselves, and do small chores around the house.
Doors can be opened more easily using lever-type doorknobs; these also extend the reaching capability of a young child. These can be "extended" even further by drilling a hole in the end and adding part of a jumprope, as shown in the photos at the top of this page. The child then only has to tug on the jumprope handle and the door opens easily. Devices which go over a regular doorknob and turn the knob into a lever (see photo, left) are available from Amazon, using "doorknob extender" in the Search box. These devices can be "extended" in the same way as the installed levers.
Placing a small stepstool near a door is another way which allows the child to reach a doorknob or lock. This is a good idea outside of front/back doors because they have an extra step into the house. Another great idea is to add a grab bar so the child can get onto either the stepstool or up the step into the house.
Having a touchpad garage door opener on the outside of the house OR providing your child with a small garage controller allows for easy access to the house. Are steps from the inside of the garage into the house a problem? Replace with half steps or make a small set of half steps on the side of the existing steps.
Copyright © 1997-2016 by Vita Gagne