Goals for everyday tasks - a list

A good way to start identifying your child's abilities and strengths, as well as the tasks that have not-yet been mastered, is to think about all the tasks and activities encountered in a routine day.

Below is a list of goal statements that cover the common daily activities.

A good goal statement describes what a child should be able to do, and how well and under what circumstances they can do it. You may wish to improve the goal statements provided to make them more specific to your child.

Morning routines

Get up out of bed when called, with no more than 2 reminders.

Children should wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day. Some children take a little while to surface and emerge from under the covers, other jump smartly out of bed. It helps to set out some ground rules that allow for your child's individual style, but still sets some limits on the time taken to get up.

If your child is still tired on waking they may suffer from sleep apnea caused by a blocked airways resulting in daytime sleepiness and behavior and concentration difficulties.

Get dressed independently when clothes are set out, in good time and with minimum of prompting.
By the age of 5-6 young children are able to get dressed without help: underclothes, shirt or T-shirt, trousers, jersey or jacket, socks, shoes. They may still need help with buttons and laces.

Note which items of clothing your child does not manage well and take time to practice these task at another time in the day when you are not rushed for time. You may wish to write goals for individual items of clothing

Go to the bathroom/toilet independently and wash the hands effectively

  • Pulling down trousers and undies is usually not a problem, but some children need some special training to pull them up again.
  • Pulling trousers up requires a strong "key" grip which may need work in children with joint hypermobility.
  • Wiping may be difficult - you may need to set aside time to practice this skill.
  • All children need to be trained to wash and dry their hands effectively. Create a routine, with verbal prompts and put aside time to teach your child how to wash the hands.

Brush teeth - some supervision may be needed.

  • Young children need supervision when brushing teeth to ensure that the job is well done.
  • Verbal or picture prompts, as well as rhymes are useful to ensure that the job is well done.

Eat breakfast in good time - with minimum of prompting.

It is best to have a structured morning routine and to insist that your child sits down at a table or counter to eat breakfast.

You need to decide the amount of time you allow for this task.

Checks school bag and puts lunch box in.

Depending on your child's age and tendency to get distracted, you may need to provide some verbal prompting, or for an older child provide a written list of the contents of the school bag to jog the memory.

Get into motor car and fasten seat belt.

Older children can usually faster their own seatbelt.

Younger children who are still sitting in a car seat may need some help.

Say goodbye to parent/caregiver with no fuss at the school gate or classroom door.

Fearful children who have separation anxiety may find this difficult.

Teachers often have good suggestions for how to help a child make this transition.

Walk to school at a brisk pace carrying own school backpack.

Walking to school provides a great opportunity for improving walking fitness.

Classroom and playground participation

Have the strength, flexibility and coordination to participate fully in playground activities

Check with your child's teacher there are particular tasks your child finds difficult. List them here.

Have fitness and coordination to perform PE activities at same level as peers

Check with your child's PE teacher which activities need work. List them below.

Change clothes before and after PE lesson in good time

Children are expected to change for PE in a timely fashion. The environment is usually busy, noisy and crowded leading to distraction and slowness.

It may be necessary to practice this task at home under time pressure to train speed and focus.

Take off and put on outdoor clothing in timely manner

Taking off and putting on bulky outdoor clothing can be tricky and may need dedicated practice.

Manage a school day without getting excessively tired

Managing a full day at school requires good physical and mental stamina. Fitness training may be needed to increase physical stamina.

Able to sit and work at a table for 20-30 minute stretch with ease and comfort

If a child finds sitting and working at a table tiring and uncomfortable, it may be useful to figure out why this is so

Afternoon and weekend activities

These will differ for different families and children - but should include some outdoor activities that promote general fitness.

Walk several blocks easily and without complaining

Young children with good fitness levels can walk at least 1-2 kilometers on flat terrain without getting tired.

Walk up and down a hill and on rough terrain

Young children can manage walking up and down hills and over rough ground without too much trouble.

Ride a bicycle – on the flat, uphill and downhill and over rough terrain.

Children are generally expected to be able to ride a bicycle by the age of 6-7 years. The age and expectations will different in different families, as will the child's abilities and experience of cycling in different environments. Use the space below to set a goal for your child.

Play on the playground equipment with confidence

Playgrounds often have several different activities for young children.

List the activities your child would like to master.

Evening activities

Get self a snack and a drink.

Young children can be expected to get themselves something to eat or drink. List the tasks you would like your child to master.

Help with chores around the house.

Different homes have different expectations. List the chores you want your child to do.

Help to prepare evening meal, set the table.

Helping to prepare the evening meal provides many opportunities for training attention, working memory and hand skills. List the tasks you would like to master here.

Sit at dinner table for evening meal, use utensils as appropriate, finish food without prompting and stay at table until excused

Sitting down for an evening family meal should be a very important part of a family's daily routine. The time together with your children provides opportunities for learning a host of social skills.

Complete homework with standby assistance.

Makes sure all assignments are completed, keeps school items together, repack school bag.

Bath or shower with some help if needed 

Your goal here will depend on the age of your child.

Time limits may be needed.

Make sure everything is ready for the next morning

Lay out clothes, pack school bag.

A checklist is useful to ensure that everything is done

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