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February 14, 2022
Toddlers are a force of nature—from their infectious laughs to their I-can-do-it-myself attitudes to their ability to see the magic in their everyday lives, the season of toddlerhood is one to be treasured. It’s also an important time for learning, and one of the best opportunities for “teachable moments” can be found while tackling everyday household chores.
Let’s be honest…will a toddler assistant allow you to complete tasks in a fraction of the time it would take you if working solo? Unlikely. But learning how to tackle household chores teaches children important skills they will use for the rest of their lives. And, when children are allowed to contribute to the wellbeing of the family, it instills in them a sense of accomplishment that builds their self-esteem esteem.
We’ve gathered a list of 5 chores to try out with your toddler…many of which are friendly to babywearing so you can keep little brother or sister tucked up close to your heart as you teach big sib important life skills.
We all know toddlers are prone to being picky eaters. Letting your little one help plan the weekly menu and shop for the ingredients can help. Children who are involved in the grocery shopping and meal prepping tend to be more open to trying new foods.
Let your toddle pick a new fruit or veggie to try while at the grocery store. Once home, allow your child to assist with food prep in a way that is age appropriate. Washing produce, Stirring, and mashing ingredients, picking leaves off herbs, and plating are all great chores for little hands.
While you fold laundry with your sweet babe tucked up close to your heart, you can let your little helper go through the socks and find matching pairs. Sorting socks is also a great developmental task as children must use problem solving skills, reasoning, and fine motor skills to accomplish the chore.
Pulling a bed together in the mornings sets a positive tone for the rest of the day. It’s also a quick chore that allows children to feel successful right away, especially if mom or dad helps the first few times.
Bed making helps children learn how to accomplish steps in a logical order…First, we pull up the sheet. Next, we pull up the blanket. Then we add the pillow. All done!
Why give your toddler a toy dust buster when they can man the real thing? When your child enjoys a snack on the go and leaves behind a trail of crumbs, let them use the dust buster suck up the mess. The same goes for any debris left around the dining table…little ones love to bust the dust…and the cracker crumbs.
Spills are practically an everyday part of life with a toddler. Letting your child take responsibility for cleaning up messes teaches important problem-solving skills and makes them feel more independent. Will you have to come behind them to provide a more thorough clean? Probably…but letting your child go through the motions of self-care is vital to their healthy development.
And there you have it—five chores your toddler can take on that will make them feel accomplished, boost their independence, and help them understand what it means to be a contributing member of the family. While toddlerdom can be challenging, take time to savor this all-too-brief season, mamas. They’ll move into the next phase before you know it!
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