And, by chores, we are really just talking about little ways they can help around the house, right? My little guys, not even 2 yet, are too young to understand the concept of “chores” and we do not use any sort of reward (other than praise, of course) or allowance measure. However, by taking advantage of their desire to be independent and “help” with things around the house, we’ve been able to encourage a few simple tasks that allow them to contribute to the day-to-day chores that need to get done.
1. Shoes in the Basket – Placing a little shoe basket by the door has helped us to establish a little coming inside routine. While my boys still need help taking their shoes off, they can take their shoes over to the basket on their own. An added benefit of the shoe basket – they can also help when trying to get out of the house by going to get their own shoes. Every little thing helps when trying to get twin toddlers (and mom) out the door on time!
2. Dirty Clothes in the Hamper – Now that they are a.) walking, b.) tall enough, and c.) able to follow multiple-step directions…sometimes, we’re trying to encourage the boys to put their dirty clothes in their hamper in the morning and at night. (Note: The only possible down side is that they might just remember that their favorite…dirty…shirt is now in the hamper and dig through the pile the next morning while desperately pleading to wear it again. I mean, not that that ever happens in our house.)
3. Feed the Dog – This chore, affectionately known as “scoop doggie” in our house, is a favorite. We actually have two “scoops” so that they can each scoop up some food out of the bin, carry it to the family dog’s bowl, and dump it in. The scooping and dumping initially took some guided practice, and we definitely had still have a few misses now and then as they learn to aim for the bowl, but the dog doesn’t seem to mind and often even helps clean in it up.
4. Kitchen Helpers – I will admit that my little kitchen helpers are not always the most “helpful” when it comes to getting dinner (lunch or breakfast) on the table, but I have found that when I can include them and they can see what I’m doing, we are all happier. One of their favorite kitchen chores is placing the muffin liners in the pan. (And, since we often make a favorite egg-free muffin recipe, they can even help stir and taste test the batter.) The boys here can reach the counter thanks to our Learning Tower.
5. Clean Up – This “chore” is a given, but I’ve been surprised to watch their ability to actually help clean up evolve over the past year. I give a lot of the credit to our music, library, and gym class teachers for helping to teach this routine. Also, a little singing always makes the work more fun. We use the classic:
Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere.
Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share.
How do your little ones “help” around the house? When did they begin to show an interest in contributing to the family chores? How do you (or how to you plan to) continue to encourage helpful behavior?
Post shared with: Mom on Timeout, The Epic Adventures of a Modern Mom, Two-in-Diapers, Little Becky Homemade, Six Sisters Stuff, For the Kids Fridays, Cheerios and Lattes, I Can Teach My Child, Healthy Mommy, Healthy Baby, Kids Co-op