If you are the parent of a toddler or preschooler, your home is undoubtedly busy. Even if you don’t make it out the door, the activity level and needs of a young child can keep you hopping all day long. Doubtless, your daily activity involves plenty of household chores that keep your family life running smoothly. Thankfully, your child is getting to an age where they can assist you in completing your daily tasks. In fact, with some guidance and supervision, young children can take on surprising amounts of responsibility and even enjoy contributing to your family life. Here are some suggestions for chores for toddlers and preschoolers in each area of your home.
How to Make Chores for Toddlers and Preschoolers Work
Some of the key parts of successfully teaching young children to help around the house are actually dependent on you, the parent. Setting a routine of daily tasks helps your child remember their responsibilities and makes them more likely to happen. Additionally, approach chores not as drudgery, but as a group project. Say things like, “Let’s work in the kitchen now!” or “We need to sort the laundry before our trip to Falls Park.” Your child will enjoy spending time with you and will learn at the same time. Be sure to set reasonable expectations. Toddlers and preschoolers still have a lot to learn, including patience, motor skills, and perseverance. Therefore, try to expect them to work hard without requiring perfect results. In the end, a hardworking child will improve their tasks over time.
One of the first daily tasks a young child should tackle is caring for their own belongings. This includes cleaning up toys and books after using them, as well as putting away shoes and other possessions after a day out of the house. It will help enormously if you have a designated space for all of the things they are cleaning up. If not, offer a box or basket where they can collect everything they are responsible for. Children can clean up their toys at as young as one year old! As they grow, consider having your child take responsibility for using a hand-held vacuum or sweeper in your living spaces.
Kitchen and Dining
As soon as children are able to get up and down from the table themselves, they can clear their place after meals. Simply teach them which items to put where (trash, counter, sink), and give gentle reminders at the end of meals. Small children are also very good at setting the table before meals. Just be sure not to entrust them with anything sharp, hot, or fragile until they are older. Additionally, children love to help prepare meals. While not a regular chore, if you are cooking and a child can help stir, measure, or pour, invite them to work beside you.
Children can take great pride in taking care of their bedrooms. Making beds is a very natural place to begin teaching a child to care for his or her bedroom. To make this a regular part of your day, simply tell your child that everyone will make their beds before breakfast. Once you show your child how the task is done, encourage them to attempt it on their own. Before you know it, they will accomplish it without being reminded or assisted. As your child grows, give them responsibilities like putting laundry in a clothes hamper, emptying their trash can, and clearing their floor of toys and books.
The laundry is an excellent venue for chores for toddlers and preschoolers. Even very small children can learn to fold washcloths and kitchen towels. Also, the “sock matching game” is both popular and accessible with young children. Older children are capable of folding larger towels and clothes. Additionally, by preschool, most children can put their own clothes away in their room. If they have a difficult time remembering where things go, you can make simple picture labels for their drawers to assist them.
Unfortunately, chores for toddlers and preschoolers aren’t going to remove your workload. In fact, as you teach your child how to perform tasks, you may have a bit more on your plate. However, the practice of daily chores that help the family benefits your child immensely. It lays the foundation for good discipline and habits later in life. If you are looking for childcare that encourages responsibility, consider Legacy Academy Woodruff Academy. Call or visit today for more information.