Saturday, 21 September 2013

child development - getting your toddler to help

photo courtesy of Mark Skipper

Giving your toddler little jobs to do around the house is a great way to encourage them to be independent, and will build their self esteem.  Having a little helper around the house may mean that you have to follow them around and re-do what they have done but at least they are helping and you are teaching them valuable skills in helping themselves.

Both of my children love helping out with little jobs and I am happy to let them, there are many ways your toddler can help you out that they will enjoy

  • help with the washing - ask them to help put the washing in the machine and when it's done empty it.  Sorting clean washing is great as they are learning to sort things into categories, so pairing up socks or making a pile for everyone's clothes is a good idea.
  • show them where the rubbish goes - Isabelle loves putting her rubbish in the bin ( I would supervise this as I have discovered many items such as socks bowls spoons etc in the bin).
  • ask them to get their shoes, coat out and put them away later.
  • help with cleaning - I can guarantee any child will love helping dusting or sweeping.
  • show them how to make their bed - this is in toddler terms putting soft toys etc back on the bed and straitening the covers.
  • tidy up their toys - We have a ten minute slot before dinner where the kids have tidy up time and with Isabelle I also do this throughout the day (before we pick Josh up from school or go out).
  • help set the table - Josh has always loved helping get everything ready for dinner.
there are also some fun ways to get your child helping that they may not even see as helping.

  • give them a bucket of soapy water and some cloths, sponges and brushes and let them wash their garden toys.
  • helping to care for pets is a good way to show your child how to be kind and caring but also that it is important to look after animals.  So letting them feed the cat or help clean out the rabbit will encourage this.

If your toddler does help with any little jobs remember how much they thrive on praise, Isabelle will do almost anything for a 'high 5' and a sticker.  

Do not try to get them to do too much, they will just get bored and grumpy.

Does your little one help out at home ?  Have you got any fun ways to get them to help ?

Emma x

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