Addy wrapped a present last night for her friend, Gabrielle's, 4th birthday party. She asked me to cut off the appropriate amount of wrapping paper, then she took it from there — all by herself — while I left the room to do something else. She even mitered the corners.
Sometimes people say, "Wow! How did Addy learn to _________ (insert any skill that it doesn't seem like a 5-year-old would know how to do yet)?"
The answer is usually simple: I let her try.
Addy was 2 when she started to tear off unnecessarily long strips of tape to stick onto Christmas gifts. Most of them ended up being decorative rather than serving any adhesive function. No problem.
By the time she was 3, she was wrapping gifts all by herself. They looked as if they were wrapped by a 3-year-old, but that was OK.
Now today, she wrapped a gift that looked as pretty as if her father had wrapped it all by himself. (It's not perfect, but it was her process.) And she even mitered the corners.