Your little one can have a blast while learning responsibility.
Since the moment your little cherubs were born, you did every single thing for them. But, oh, happy day! Your little infants have grown into toddlers and preschoolers who are now capable of pitching in around the house. These early childhood years mark the ideal time for your little ones to start doing chores. Preschoolers are mastering the gross and fine motor skills necessary to complete their tasks and they naturally want to please their parents. The secret to raising helpful and effective chore soldiers is to keep the cleaning fun.
1Set realistic chore expectations. Your 2-year-old cannot hand wash your china, but he can help put his toys away and help water the plants. Preschoolers can put books away, dust cabinets, wipe down counters, put dirty clothes in the hamper and help feed the family pets.
2Show your child how to do each task. He won’t know how to accomplish the chore without your guidance. Start with just one chore and add a new chore at a later date. Demonstrate the job with a positive attitude. Your little one will expect chores to be done with a pouty face if that’s how he sees you clean.
3Provide your children with their own special tools. Stock a lightweight bucket with a sponge, spray bottle of water and a sock. Your preschooler can wipe down the counters with the sponge and use a damp sock as a wearable dust rag. Your preschooler can decorate the bucket with markers.
4Create a chart, listing the required chores for each of your children, on a poster board. Use colorful markers to make it bright and cheery. Your littlest chore soldiers will appreciate pictures representing their tasks. Your kids can place a sticker on the chart for each completed chore. Consider offering a reward, like a family movie night or pizza party, each time a chore chart is filled with stickers. You might be surprised to find your preschooler morph into a little businessman when he realizes he can earn prizes!
5Have fun with your chores. Invite your little ones to a family dance and chore party. Set the timer for short intervals – like five minutes – and blast some dance music. Your munchkins will move and groove their way through chores in no time.
6Turn chore-time into a race. Tell your preschooler that you challenge him to a chore race. Whoever finishes their chores first, wins a prize! Complete your tasks in slow motion and watch your child’s face light up when he realizes that he won.
- Don’t expect perfection. Your little ones will not clean with the precision of a hired housekeeper. Reward and praise your mini maids for good effort even if your house doesn’t pass the white glove test.
Things You'll Need
- Poster board
- Spray bottle