Chores for Toddlers
When you signed up to be a parent, it probably didn't cross your mind that you were also signing up to be someone's housekeeper ... and chef, and chauffeur, and laundress, and waiter and butt wiper. ... There's a lot of grunt-work in raising a kid, and while you may have been doing all of it by yourself till now, your kid is finally old enough to chip in (woo hoo!) ... a little (eh, we'll take what we can get, right?). Here are a few ways to turn your little messer-upper into a primo cleaner-upper!
- Assign your kid some age-appropriate chores like emptying the non-breakables from the dishwasher, setting the table, watering the plants, feeding family pets, helping with cooking, cleaning up toys or putting laundry in the hamper. Just make sure you're realistic about which chores your kid can handle.
- Make housework fun! Turn toy pickup into a race, hang a basketball hoop over the laundry basket and have your kid "shoot" in his dirty clothes. Or sing the "cleanup" song as you pick up your kid's room. There are lots of cleanup games that'll motivate your kid (and YOU) to keep things spic 'n span.
- Reward good behavior! Create a sticker chart and give your kid a sticker when he completes his chores rather than dolling out an allowance. Preschoolers respond better to stickers than cold, hard cash (if only we were all so easy to please, huh?). When your kid's got a whole handful of stickers, give him a non-material prize, like a special outing with you.
- Model the behavior you want your toddler to tackle. So if you want him to make his bed every morning, don't leave your covers a crumpled mess! If you're a pig, your kid is inevitably going to be a piglet!