As a child I was very fortunate that I never had to do much in the way of chores. Sometimes I would be asked to empty the dishwasher or run the vacuum around to earn a bit of pocket money. I guess that’s partly because my sister and I are both tidy people. Now we could get into a whole nature vs nurture debate, but reasons aside, we would always put our toys away and keep our rooms reasonably neat.
I want to make sure I pass this on to my children, not in a borderline OCD way, but in a way they can look after themselves as they mature. *Whispering* Boys especially will probably need house training.
So here are some nifty ideas to get your little ones enjoying helping mummy and daddy around the home;
- Sweeping into a square – indoors you could use masking tape on the floor and get them to use a little broom or dustpan and brush to sweep into the shape. If they’re helping in the garden you could chalk the outline or a hula hoop. I’ve mentioned in the past about how you can get the kiddie winks to help out in the garden too.
- Sorting the socks in washing – I do this a lot with my 3 year old. Place all the socks in a pile for them and while you fold the rest of the laundry, get them to pair up the socks. It gets harder with Daddy’s infinite number of black and grey socks. They love it as its like a little game, plus its a sorting task so a bit of Maths thrown in.
- Dusting – Give them a cloth and away they go. Ok they may not do a great job but they will like feeling involved and doing what grown ups do.
- Race to tidy toys – The only way I can get Lil Man to tidy his toys is by turning it into a race. A bit of motor-racing style sports commentary as we go always helps.
- Put away plastic washing up –Lil Man just one day starting pulling various items out of the dishwasher one day but I noticed how careful he was and got him to start handing me cutlery one at a time to put into the drawer. But that can take forever, so most days he just takes out all of his plastic plates and bowls and pops them in his own low down cupboard. You can decide on what they could help with depending on how old your little ones are and how sensible they can be.
If your tots are a bit too young at the moment or you’re not quite brave enough to get them as involved yet, here are a couple of play ideas to get them used to the idea of chores;
Domestic toys – most little girls with have these items anyway, but they are plenty of toys out there that are in gender neutral colours or even shrunken grown up brands. For example, my son and daughter both love their tiny Dyson (even Mummy doesn’t have one of those).
We even made our own little washing machine with a cardboard box. They just love the action of putting things in and taking them out again.
‘Cooking’ pasta –
sometimes, whilst I’m cooking I give Lil Princess a plastic bowl, spoon and a handful of dried pasta to stir away. Yes most of the time she crunches away on some but hey its still food right?
What ways do you get your little ones involved with chores? Do your tots have any good toys that encourage helping around the house?