Being a parent is hard. This is not new information, especially not if you have children of your own. And, when you have small children, it can seem virtually impossible to keep up with day to day chores and responsibilities. Doing chores with a toddler, however, isn’t impossible!
For many stay-at-home parents, nap time is a time to knock out some of those pesky items on your to-do list. As a work-from-home parent, however, naptime is worktime. This means that any of our chores must be done during the hours when our two year old is awake. While it would be easiest to plop him down in front of the iPad while I get stuff done, I try to save screen time for my morning shower, and for when I cook dinner. Instead, I have found ways to involve him in the daily housework. Doing chores with a toddler can be quite fun…for everyone!
My little guy is, well, little. But, he can still help with the laundry. He loves to hand me clothes from the hamper to throw in the washing machine. And, when it is time, I hand him clothes to throw into the dryer. He then closes the door, and I lift him up to hit the start button. He loves helping with the laundry, and he knows the drill by now.
Sweeping, vacuuming and mopping
When I have to clean the floors, I load our little guy in my Ergo 360 baby carrier, and get to work. I make sure to play some fun music while we work, too. And I always make sure to wear my Apple Watch to track the calories I burn in the process. He has fun, and I get an extra workout as I tote an extra 25 lbs. around.
While I dust, I give the munchkin a dust rag of his own! He follows me, and helps me wipe down the furniture too!
Believe it or not, he helps us bake, too! Here is the key: measure your ingredients into smaller bowls first. Then, your toddler can help by pouring ingredients into a stand mixer or mixing bowl, and by stirring. Baking cookies? Let your toddler help with cookie cutters, or with decorations. Having ownership over the process is fun and exciting for little ones.
This was a surprise to me, but our little dude loves to help organize! I recently organized our bathroom drawer that holds my hair supplies. He had fun sorting hair ties, bobby pins and barrettes. Plus, it teaches him organization and classification!
Cooking and food preparation
We have big counters, with enough room for our toddler to sit. As I prepare dinner, especially while I cut veggies, I set some aside for him to sample. Needless to say, he loves to watch, and patiently waits for his next tasty sample.
You can do it too!
Let your kids help you clean…but be PATIENT. The key to success is in repetition. At first, toddler help means that chores will take longer, or they will be messier. In time, however, they will master their role. And, as they get older, this role can evolve. Allowing your toddler to help with chores and household duties teaches them cleanliness and organization, and it gives them some ownership over their home.
What about you? How do you keep your children involved in your household chores? Or do you, at all? Comment below! I’d love to hear your thoughts!