It is amazing how toddlers observe you and want to mimic your actions. Activities such as doing the dishes or sweeping are what we consider chores or work, but it a child’s eyes, it is play. This also works in reverse, the simple luxuries in life, like napping or sitting down to a nice meal come off as some kind of form of torture to a child, or at least to my child.
Lately, my daughter has become very aware of messes. She will point & shout out “MESS! MESS!”. Sometimes, she will even break down in tears if I don’t get to them quick enough This is ironic being that most of the messes in our house have her brand stamped all over them. For quite sometime now, I have tried to work with Mai on the importance of picking up her toys. Some days it works and some days….
She is so often complaining about these messes that she wants mommy to pick up but as soon as I pick up a dish to clean it or pull out the vacuum, it is instant water works and before I know it a crying baby is wrapped around my ankles. “Ok,you’ve got mommy’s full attention.”
I found this list on Pinterest of age appropriate toddler chores.
from the blog http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/
This week was an experiment in chores. Let’s see how she did.
Age Appropriate Toddler Chores:
~ Pick up toys and books and put them in their proper place – this does happen on occasion but typically is followed by her re-dumping them out
~ Put dirty clothes in the hamper – Mai does do this at bath time
~ Wipe the table after snack and dinner – Mai does like doing this. She sees me wiping spills on the floor a lot and she wants to do it too.
~ Dusting- make it fun! I have let her use my Swiffer duster before. She prefers the original Swiffer.
~ Unload the groceries- I haven’t tried this yet but she does love taking the food out of the lazy susan, maybe she will like putting them in too.
~ Help set the table- I don’t think she is quite ready for this yet.
~ Let them help you make the bed- I tried this with her this morning. She was less than receptive.
~ Wipe cabinet fronts- This she liked. But she was more interested in squeezing out the sponge on the floor than actually wiping.
~ Put dishes in the sink after meals- Mai is still to short to safely put them in the sink but sure does like washing the dishes
~ Water plants- I do not have any indoor plants, but this is a good one for next spring
~ Sweep- Swiffer!
~ Help sort whites and colors- Daddy is color blind, so this could be a big help for daddy.
~ Sort clean socks- Great idea
~ Wipe the windows- My daughter adores spray bottles, so she loved this
~ Bring the newspaper in- Mai loves going down the driveway with daddy & Duke to get the mail & paper
~ Push the buttons- If there are buttons that need pushing let your tot do it – Mai starts the dishwasher all the time. She often double washes loads for us. Thanks baby, for getting our dishes extra sparkling clean,
~ Help in the kitchen- there are so many ways toddlers can help in the kitchen from stirring to pouring to
Today we let Mai help mommy with breakfast and then with the dishes at dinner.
At breakfast, we gave her some colored rice and a measuring scoop. She was scooping the rice & saying “cooking, cooking.” “Yes Mai Mai, you are cooking.” This made her very happy & very proud.
When the dishes were finished, she actually got upset. She wanted to keep washing. The sweet excited “Washing” from earlier turned into a sad, down trodden “waaashiiiing”. Don’t worry, honey, there will be more dishes to do. Wait a few minutes. The sink will fill up again. It’s magical like that.
This week went well. She really seemed to enjoy taking on her new responsibilities as mommy’s little helper. Will this love for chores continue into the upcoming years? Doubtful but maybe with a little help, it can still be enjoyable & worth while.
Please share your input and ideas. I would love to hear what you have to say on this subject.
Up next…Stuffed Pork Chop & Smashed Potatoes