Chasing after a toddler all day is tiresome. Add chores and cooking on top of that, and it is no walk in the park! Thankfully, you can turn your toddler into a little helper. They might not do the best job, but they will be occupied and can really help out! Here are some ideas for you:
Dusting is a favorite around here. We use these Swiffer Dusters! I don’t know if it’s a boy thing, but my son loves to wave sticks around anyways. Turning it into a cleaning game is even better!
Depending where you’re from, this could mean vacuuming or using a broom/dust pan 😉 L tries to use the big vacuum cleaner, but he’s still a little weak. I’m talking about a good old fashioned broom and dustpan. I bought a little hand broom, and it is perfect for him! Does he get all the crumbs in? No! Does he try to eat the crumbs? Usually! He is learning, though, and it is good for his coordination.
Let’s be honest–there’s no way my son is going to sit and fold laundry with me. He can, however, retrieve it from the dryer, put the dryer balls away, or help me sort it out! The best part is jumping into a pile of it, though…
If they can get it out themselves, they can put it back! I don’t expect L to clean up every single toy he gets out (his attention span is way too short!), but I do expect him to help clean up. You don’t have to wait until the kiddo(s) are asleep to get stuck with cleaning everything–model picking up, and encourage them to join you. The sooner you start, the better!
This goes with food as well. At 12 months old, it is cute to watch your child drop things on the ground. At 18 months, it is usually an act of defiance or just plain silliness. I don’t even need to ask L to pick up the food he has dropped anymore. As soon as I get him down from his seat, he starts picking up the food and putting it in the trash. I think it’s sort of a game for him, because he is usually not allowed to touch the trash can. Now if I’m too lazy to go throw something away, I give it to him and ask, “Can you put this in the trash for me?” He happily obliges 🙂
We have a few coffee table tops that L can reach, so I give him a rag and let him “clean” them. If anything, he just gets more crumbs on the floor to be vacuumed up…but I still like having him do this because it teaches him to help out.
If you haven’t already let your toddler do chores, there is no better time to start! A good work ethic starts young, and at this age you can make it into a game they will enjoy! Are there any other chores you have your kids help with?