My older two kids are in school all day so most of the time it's just me and the Babes at home. So by default she becomes my housework helper. She's at the age where she loves to help anyway, and I'm not one to say no to help, especially when I want her to help.
But what chores can a two year old do?
Granted a lot of things aren't helpful, like when she helps me fold laundry by unfolding and handing me the pieces I've already neatly folded. And some things take longer when she helps, but getting her into the habit of helping is important, so I'm willing to take the extra time, and re-do her work when necessary.
Here are 3 ways my 2 yr old likes to help:
One thing she begs me to do is put away the dishes. While I don't let her grab the glass cups and ceramic bowls, I have found her to be helpful in putting away the utensils. I set the utensil rack on the counter, pull up a chair for her to sit on and open the drawer. She does the rest.
It's also a great way for her to practice her matching skills.
And while she doesn't always get it right, the point is that she's helping. In another year, she'll be able to do this without any assistance and I won't have to double check her work. At least that's what I'm hoping for.
Last summer when I posted about my Laundry Tips, she loved to hand the clothes to the person putting them in the washing machine.
Now that she's older, she insists on putting the clothes into the washing machine herself. She is a little short for that so big brother helps her out. When I'm doing laundry, I enlist her help with transferring the clothes from the washer to the dryer. She helps shove the wet laundry into the dryer. To make it fun, sometimes when I'm taking the wet laundry out of the washer, a sock lands on her head. As she gets older she can help fold, and put away clothes too. And then she can start doing her own laundry like the two older kids. See how getting her to help out now, and liking to help out, will make my life easier in the long run? Oh, and it will make her a better person too.
Whenever I go to the store and have to bring in bags from the van to the house, I always make sure she brings in something too. Usually it's one of the lighter bags, or if none of the bags are light enough, I'll take something out for her to carry in. I want her to get in the habit of helping, so that she will naturally help bring in the groceries without even being asked.
Once all the bags are in the house, I have her help take things out and put them away. Although my pantry used to be nicely organized by type of can, it is messier now because she loves to 'help' put away the cans. That's a price I'm willing to pay for raising a helpful child.
Hopefully by getting her in the habit of helping while she's young, she will continue to happily help when she's older. Unfortunately I started this too late with my older kids and they aren't so willing to help out. I should have done it when they were younger but I didn't have the time or patience since I was dealing with a very active and non compliant toddler when Sweetie Pie was born, and then when Sweetie Pie was a toddler I was dealing with the Spencinator's autism diagnosis and running around to the various services and social skills groups for him. I'm not saying the two oldest don't help out, because they do. It's just that they aren't so happy or willing to help. So I've learned my lesson, and am determined to have at least one kid who helps without complaint. At least I'll give it my best shot.
What are ways you get your kids to willingly help around the house?
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