For Parents
12-23 months
What is Scaffolding?

What is Scaffolding?

July 7, 2022

Scaffolding is a technique used to help children learn new ideas beyond what they already know. Think of a scaffold outside a building—it lets people reach heights they wouldn’t be able to reach on their own. Parents can do the same thing with their children.

How Do I Scaffold My Baby’s Learning?

  • Pay attention to what your child is doing, wait and listen
  • At first, allow your child to experiment with something new on their own
  • If your child seems frustrated, offer to help
  • To help, make a very specific comment about the problem (“that puzzle piece is too big”) and a suggestion about the next step (“try putting a smaller piece in”)
  • Model new skills by showing your child how it is done
  • Help your child accomplish something by breaking the task up into small, easier steps
  • Support your child in doing each step (let them try on their own first)
  • Fix problems or mistakes without pointing them out
  • Don’t finish the task for your child
  • Give lots of specific praise for your child’s effort (“You worked really hard”)
  • Help your child to feel pride in their work (“You must feel so proud that you stacked three blocks!”)

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