I will admit, I strongly encourage this with Xavier but it definitely takes patience. When you have to wait for him to take each individual piece of clothing out of his laundry basket to put into the washer one by one, you realize how patient you really can be, and know that it is teaching your child. Plus, their future spouse will definitely thank you if you have a child that can learn to do chores and look at them, not as punishment or something they hate, but something that has to get done to function as a family unit. Here are some of the chores that Xavier is doing at two years old. What have you tried with your children?
Chores for A Toddler
- help sort laundry
- help put laundry into washer/dryer
- help carry laundry in basket (or push basket depending on how heavy)
- put away clothing (this may depend on how picky you are, since I let Xavier put away the majority of his clothes he has three drawers, tops, bottoms and pajamas, he knows those drawers and puts the appropriate things in them, however, they are just strewn about in the drawer and no longer folded, but my toddlers independence and smile when he puts them away matters more to me than if they are folded when he wears them).
- pour ingredients that are already measured out for recipes
- stir with a spoon for a recipe (not recommended for over a stove)
- put items in cart at supermarket
- put items on conveyor belt at supermarket
- help load and unload dishwasher (Xavier hands the plates from the dishwasher to me to put in the cupboard. However be sure to take sharp objects and knives out of dishwasher first before you let your toddler do the rest)
- clean up toys by putting in a toy box or bins
- help feed pets (Xavier puts Vito's food away after every feeding. NOTE: be careful your toddler does NOT EAT your pet food, close supervision is recommended)
- bring items to put on the table (he is too young to really "set" the table, but he will still put the stack of plates and forks and drinks on the table for you!
- help carry groceries from car to house (perhaps this is reaching but if you happen to have a bag of napkins, toilet paper, paper towels, chips, bread or something light it's one less you have to worry about)
- help put away groceries in cupboards and refrigerator (Again for these Xavier hands me the items and I put them away one by one)
Remember toddlers are great helpers so the next time you are wanting to do a project think of ways to include your toddler. It is a great way for them to learn something new, for you to get done what you need to get done and for you both to have some quality time together. Remember anytime, even chores, is quality time with your child!
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