Tuesday, January 8, 2013

22 Chores Toddlers Love

22 Chores Toddlers Love
Have you ever noticed that your toddler mimics everything you do?

Ever notice how your little 18 mo old wants to be like mommy? She wants a sip of whatever you're drinking, her drink cup just wont do. She wants to wear your lipstick, makeup and shoes. She isn't happy if you leave the room just for a minute to get something or put something away, she will cry and run after you, if she can't get out of the gate(child safety gate) she cries. I say it's time to put that helpful nature to good use!
Here are some good tips to let your toddlers help you through the day.
This gals website lists a lot of good ideas that worked for my girls when they were toddlers.
**************************Read below!
I have decided to put an end to running on the proverbial hamster wheel of motherhood (you know what I mean: make a meal, clean up a meal, facilitate playtime, clean up the toys, put kids down for nap, try to squeeze in a couple of chores, make another meal...round and round you go). It is exhausting and usually done in pursuit of having a house that is clean all at once with time to sit and relax. In reality, that's a rare occurrence with a toddler.

Instead, I took note of all the ways I could include my daughter in the daily housework. As far as my schedule goes, I try to be home for at least one extended block of the day. That almost always includes free play time while I try to do some chores. I value free play and know that it is great for the development of children. However, when your little one seems to be getting in the way of your chores, here's an idea for how to stop getting frazzled and start getting things done!

(about 11 months )

  • Sorting: Help her practice saying her colors, identify articles of clothing and take extra time to check those pockets!
  • Lugging: Have your toddler bring pieces of clothing from the pile over to the laundry machine
  • Loading: Count through the numbers and practice the word "in" while your toddler loads clothing into the washer one by one. If you have a front loading washer, it can be the perfect height but consider using a step stool and a basket for top-loading washers.
  • Scoop: Give your toddler the proper sized scoop and let them scoop up the soap
  • Pour: Time to pour the soap in!
  • Push: A toddler's favorite chore of all: button pushing! "Start"
    • Plant Watering: Have your toddler place an ice cube or two into each of your house plants for slow indoor plant watering. Outside is the place for your toddler to use a watering can!
    • Sweeping: Turn on some music (essential to cleaning in our house) and grab an extra broom. Your toddler will be pushing it around the house in no time.
    • Vacuuming: A bubble vacuum or small hand vacuum is a great toy to have around the house. I take ours out only during "vacuum time with mommy"
    • Fluff Pillows: Give your toddler pillows from the couch to fluff (showing them the proper motion). This is especially fun for high energy boys :-).
    • Tidy Up Toys: Have your child bring toys and place them in the toy basket (find a Clean-Up song on YouTube if you don't already have one).
    • 19.5 months
    • Dusting: Go to the dollar store and grab an extra dusting wand for your toddler. Show them the coffee table and the front of cabinets that are easy for them to dust.
    • Food Prep: Give your toddler a small spare drawer in the kitchen that is filled with play-friendly cooking ware (spatula, dollar store pans, cupcake tins) and they will be "cooking" along side you in no time. Clean up is a cinch - throw all the items back in the drawer!
    • Stir: Grab a stepping stool or clear a space on the counter. Give your toddler the job of mixing ingredients.
    • Table Settings: During the young phase with a helpful toddler, consider purchasing inexpensive or plastic plates and give your toddler a couple to bring to the table. They can also be responsible for bringing place mats, napkins or a basket of rolls to the table.
    • Wipe-Up: If Mommy or toddler makes a spill on the counter or floors during food prep, your child can be given a rag to wipe it up (this helps them learn the basics of being tidy)!
    • Ringing the Dinner Bell: Have your toddler be given the responsibility of ringing the dinner bell that tells Daddy and the other family members it's time to eat. They can also practice words like "Dinner" or "It's Time!"
    • Emptying the Dishwasher: Quickly empty the breakable or sharp items from the dishwasher and have your toddler collect the "yellow plates" or "red spoons" (or other toddler dish ware).
    *Ideally, when cleaning with toddlers you will be using natural products, but always wash your hands after cleaning!
    "mommy and me" cleaning buckets

    • Spray: Teach fine motor skills by assisting with the spray bottle
    • Wipe: Give your toddler a cloth and show them the "wiping" motion
    • Pick Up Tub Toys: Have your toddler round up tub toys like foam letters and floaties to prepare for a wipe down
    • Clean Toilets: My toddler LOVES the toilet scrubber. I have a hard time cleaning toilets without her holding onto the handle. If you have an overly interested toddler, be warned that a cell phone or other non-organic items may eventually end up in the toilet. My first line of defense is to keep all bathrooms closed at all times!

    I hope you've found some of these ideas helpful. Please know that I am not advocating the absence of playtime, but simply giving an overwhelmed mama some encouragement that she can multi-task and create learning experiences and play time in a productive atmosphere. Remember, practice patience and give your toddler what they need most - your attentive guidance. You will reap the benefits of a completed to-do list and quality time with your little one.

    Finally, I want to share a beautiful poem to give you hope on those days where nothing seems to be working.

    The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
    But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
    So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
    I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

    ~ Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

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