Age Appropriate Chores for Getting Toddlers and Preschoolers to Help Around the House

boys doing dishesKids play at our jobs.  They pretend to have adult jobs, to be moms and dads, to do every job and activity they see around them daily.  Although we, as adults, feel like most of the chores around the house are things that only we can do, our children want to help. Just as adults need to feel like they’re making a contribution around the house, kids do as well. It is important to include your child in a few daily chores. Although many household chores aren’t appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers, there are still several things that they can help with. Chores for Kids Ages 2-3 It is great to start letting kids help at this age because they actually want to. Toddlers are eager to do jobs that they see mom and dad doing. And there are a surprising amount of chores that you can assign to these little ones, as long as you’re helping. If you want a toddler to participate, you need to make it fun!

  • Dusting. While you are dusting higher areas, allow your child to dust baseboards and smaller furniture. Sing a song while you’re dusting and always praise your toddler for his great work.
  • Assist in making beds. At this age, your toddler may have just transitioned from a crib to a toddler or even a big kid bed. By starting this task early and repeating it daily, it helps your child to get into the habit, which will be nice for when he’s older!
  • Put toys away. At the end of the day, you should not be left to do all of the picking up. If your toddler gets bored with a toy and wants to move on to something else, have him put the toy away first. It’s good to reinforce the importance of picking up after ourselves.
  • Help with laundry. Have your toddler put dirty clothes into the hamper or even help with moving laundry from the washer to the dryer, etc. Toddlers might even manage some easy folding, such as washcloths.

Chores for Kids Ages 4-5 Asking kids at this age to “help” is very important. They’re a lot more capable than most of us give them credit for, but we also want to be actively participating in the job with them.

  • Set the table. As long as you’re supervising, allow your child to put plates, napkins, and silverware on the table before dinnertime. This also will give you a chance to teach your child the correct order for silverware.
  • Feed the pet(s). Especially if the pet was a gift to the child, this is a great way to teach them to be responsible for their possessions.
  • Use handheld vacuum. If you’re vacuuming, help your child to feel like he’s in on the action by giving him a handheld vacuum to pick up crumbs.
  • Empty small trash cans.
  • Water plants or pull weeds. Children love to play outside and get dirty anyways. Why not recruit some help in the garden?
  • Sweep floors.
  • Unload utensils from the dishwasher. Your child can even help to load and unload plasticware or small plates from the dishwasher as well!
  • Make bed. At this age, your child should be able to make his bed all on his own!

We don’t give our children enough credit sometimes, but there are a number of things that they can help us with! Assigning chores is great for teaching practical skills to preschoolers and toddlers alike.

Advertisements

Festival fun and safety with young children

festival

 

Many families love to attend fairs, festivals, and carnivals with their babies and young children during the warm summer months. These events often include activities that are fun for the whole family. It is important to take the necessary safety precautions to ensure that everyone has a good time at these events, including you.

Do your research

Look up information about the event ahead of time so that you know what to expect. Check out the size of the event, the attractions and vendors that it includes, how the parking works, and whether or not strollers are allowed. Everyone in the family will be less stressed and better prepared if there are clear expectations. If your children are old enough to understand, talk to them about the event. For example, it can be helpful for them to know that it may be crowded and noisy and that they need to stay close to Mom and Dad at all times.

Be realistic about how long you should stay

The last thing that you want to do when you attend an event is set your children up to fail. Even if you regularly attended festivals multiple days in a row for long stretches of time each day before you had kids, your little ones will not be up for this type of schedule. Plan to avoid the busiest parts of the festivities and to take breaks from the action as needed.

Pay attention to the weather and plan accordingly

Most likely the festival or fair will include a lot of walking. Make sure that everyone wears sturdy, comfortable footwear that is suitable for lengthy periods on your feet. Check the weather before heading out the door and choose appropriate clothing. If it is chilly or there is a good chance that the temperature will drop later in the day, dress in layers. Bring hats, and make sure to apply sunscreen.

Keep in mind that thunderstorms can spring up unexpectedly during the summer. Have a plan of action in place so that you can seek shelter at the event or make it back to your car in a timely fashion in case there is lightning in the area.

Make smart decisions about meals and snacks

You want to make sure that your children are not hungry during the event, but you also want to avoid having anyone getting sick from the rides. If there are carnival rides, plan to ride them before you eat anything heavy or greasy, such as corn dogs and funnel cake. If your kids need a snack before going on the rides, stick to lighter options such as crackers and popcorn.

Drink lots of water

If possible, bring in your own water. Most festivals charge a premium for beverages. You don’t want to skimp on the water because it’s expensive. Keep in mind that when you feel thirsty, you’re already getting dehydrated. Keep the water flowing while you’re at the event so that there is no risk of this happening.

Take measures to prevent separation

Identify the security guards and stations at the event and point them out to your kids. Equip your children with contact information. Keep a piece of paper with your name and cell phone number with each child that he or she can give to an adult if needed. Stick together as much as possible. Any time a family member separates from the group, there is a greater risk of someone getting lost.

Why Cooking With Kids Has Many Benefits

Style: "Agfa"

 

When it comes to ideas for things to do with young children, cooking might not be high on the list. For many people it’s just another part of daily life rather than an activity to really get into, finding the time can be a problem, and most of us look forward to occasions when we eat out or order food in.

This is missing a big way to help your kids and your relationship with them, though. Cooking with kids is a wonderful idea that has a variety of benefits for both yourself and them. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons finding the time to do some cooking with your kids is a sound idea:

  • It’s a vital life skill. This is the most obvious starting point. Being able to cook is a supremely important skill that many people sadly lack. Now, obviously you’re not likely to be turning a young child into a world-class chef, but helping them learn the basics of cooking from an early age will place them in a strong position for learning more as they grow up. Cooking your own food gives you much more control over what goes into your body, and it’s a great skill for social occasions as well, so a good grounding from a young age is good for later life in more than one way.
  • It can be lots of fun. Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore, especially if you bow to a kid’s inevitable wishes to make something really fun. Suppose you bake a cake together – they can have a whale of a time helping to decorate it. Or maybe you’d like to make some cookies, which could be cut into all kinds of neat shapes from animals to sci-fi aliens. Even less ‘exciting’ dishes can still be made fun, the classic example being making a face out of bacon and eggs for breakfast.
  • Time spent together. We all know that spending time with the little ones is important but between jobs, chores, and time for yourself, finding that time can be a real challenge, especially if you’re a single parent. Well, one solution to this is to combine something that has to be done anyway with time spent together, and cooking is one of the best ways to do that. Your kids can contribute as appropriate for their age, perhaps by kneading dough or whisking eggs, while you take care of things involving the oven, and you’ll be in the same room doing something together. That’s a powerful way to grow closer and give you both the opportunity to talk to each other.
  • A sense of pride. Finally, the act of creating something is a source of pride, even moreso if it’s something that can be shared with other people. It may only be a small way, but if you cook something together and can enjoy a meal, or maybe share cookies with friends at school, it can really help your child understand the value of working on a task and seeing it through, and taking pride in their accomplishments.

These are just some of the benefits you could get from taking the time to do some cooking alongside your kids. Just remember to ensure they act safely and that you keep them away from hot or sharp objects, and you’ll be able to spend time together on something productive and rewarding!

Make summer reading a FUN priority

siblings readingWith your children home for the summer, you are probably trying to find ways to keep them busy, and engaged.  Why not try to make reading both a priority, and fun?

Did you know that during the summer, your children could experience was is called “summer learning loss”  if they are not involved in activities that use their math and reading skills?  It is true. This “loss” means that your kids could forget up to two months of math and reading learning.

Tools for keeping literacy alive this summer:

One great thing that parents and older siblings can do to keep the young ones interested in reading is simply lead by example. If your children see older children and adults reading, they will want to emulate you.

Always have a book on hand, for you, and for your children. Rainy afternoon?  Pull out the books! If you have to run errands or go to the doctor, dentist or eye doctor and find yourself sitting around a waiting room, pull out your books.  Leading by example really makes your children see just how great reading can be.

Another fun way to get your kids involved in reading is to make it a game.  Hang a chart in your kitchen or other high traffic area. Put everyone’s name on it, and then track progress. Give out gold stars for finishing a book, and set goals. First person to five books gets to choose dinner (or dessert!), first person to ten books picks where you go on Saturday afternoon, etc.  Having goals, and prizes, is a great way to instill a desire to read!

Finally, do not limit your young readers to ‘just’ books.  If your kids love comic books, encourage them to read on!  Every piece of ‘literature’ has value, even if they are just reading the back of their cereal boxes in the morning.  Magazines geared towards kids, comics, the newspaper, whatever they want to read, encourage them.

There are even a number of free e-books online as well as free children’s magazine subscriptions.  Find those and increase your kids’ libraries.  Speaking of library, this is the perfect summer afternoon outing!  Pack up the family and head over. Typically summertime at the library includes fun activities for kids, so grab a schedule or call your local library today!

Preschoolers

Have preschoolers at home?  Making reading fun for preschoolers is actually very easy and will keep parents (and siblings) entertained, too.  At the preschool age, reading too your kids is key.  Enlist the entire family.  Maybe take turns reading to your preschooler (brother or sister takes one night, you take a night, and offer incentives to the older siblings for helping out), find fun new books they will love, or take them to story time at the library.

The key here is fun.  If you make reading fun at an early age, they will never forget it!