Chores. They are the tasks that no one looks forward to doing around their home, but they have to get done! Around my home we get my little ones involved in some of the chores we have to accomplish. We let them help us around the house for two reasons:
1. It keeps them from making another mess around the house while we are trying to tidy up; and
2. It makes them feel more like a “big kid” to help out and do “big people jobs.”
We would never have them on their hands and knees, scrubbing floors or doing anything that involves using any household products, but we either get them to give us a hand or they ask us if they can help us do some of the things that we do around our home to keep it clean. Below are some of the chores our younger kids do to help us around our home.
Besides helping to clear their dishes after they eat, my kids love clearing the floor of the food that did not make it to their mouths. They like helping us sweep up their messes, and they love using the hand vacuum to pick up crumbs after crumbly snacks. For my daughter, this is the thrill of her day! Once that hand vacuum is in her hands, she is a cleaning champ! No crumbs escape her eagle eye, and our floors are thankful for her diligence.
I love loading up our dishwasher because, face it, washing dishes by hand sucks. But then you have to take the clean dishes out and putting them away. This is where my little tyke shines! As soon as he hears dishes being put away, he rushes into the kitchen, reaches into the dishwasher and starts handing me dishes to put away. Sometimes he becomes distracted by the trays and likes to watch them roll in and out of the dishwasher, but for the most part, he is an amazing helper to have around to get this job done!
Toy Box Fun
Sure, my kids may like helping us clean up at home, but they also like to make a mess. My little guy knows that there is no faster way to make our living room messy than by pumping their toy box in a dramatic flourish so its contents make a spectacular crashing sound and toys go spilling in every direction. When it is time for the toys to be put away, I ask my kids to put them away. To make this chore seem like less of a duty and more of a game, I cheer them on every time they put a toy into the toy box. They like hearing me clapping and congratulating them, and they work harder, scurrying around the room to look for more toys to put into the box. Once they are finished, they receive big hugs and we all cheer for a job well done.
It is great to have a washer and dryer to clean our clothes. Before moving into this home, we had to lug our laundry to the laundry mat in our neighbourhood, and then bring it all home. Now, the trip is infinitely shorter to get clean clothes, but having to fold it all up and then put it away still has to be done. My kids want to help with the folding, and love putting some of the laundry away. I have them put the tea towels away in the drawer where they are kept in the kitchen, and they put their clothes away in their drawers up in their room.
Our kids like to help us (by us, I really mean my other half) outside in the backyard as well. They like to help dig holes, rake with their child-sized rakes, and sometimes use the outside broom to keep our patio area (and sometimes our garden) clean. My son really likes hanging out in our garden as though he is a garden gnome protecting the plants from would-be intruders, and he also likes caring for our garden with his dad.
I love how my young children have taken to helping us with some of the chores around our home. We try to keep what we have them do things that are at their level, and we also try to keep it fun, so they will continue to want to help us as they get older. I think the best part about having our little ones chipping in on the chores is seeing the glee in their faces during and after the task is done. They have these huge grins on their faces and they are so proud of their accomplishment that it makes us smile, too!