Getting your Preschooler to Help OUT around the House
Even very young children can do household chores. The key is to involve them in your daily activities and teach them along the way. While some children are more “helpful” than others, even the most stubborn child can find a job to do. Here are some little ways you can get the housework done WITH the kids instead of fighting them!
- Teach your preschooler to help you unload the dishwasher. Have her hand you the cups, spoons, forks etc as you pick them up. As she gets older, she will learn where the dishes go and she can begin to unload the dishwasher herself
- Teach your preschooler to help fold and pick up laundry. Even the most stubborn child will enjoy learning how to put shirts on small coat hangers. Managing this task is also helpful with fine motor skills and eye and hand coordination. Once they put several shirts on their hangers, have them help you fold socks. If their dresser drawers aren’t too high, they can be taught to put their socks away!
- Pick up toys. Some children are overwhelmed by the phrase ” clean your room”. Small children aren’t always able to know exactly what that means, so try to be very specific at first. Have them pick up on group of toys at a time. Example: Put all of your dolls away, pick up your trains and put them in the train box…
- Teach your preschooler to clean the windows. With your supervision, spray the windows with Windex or another solution. Have your child clean the bottom of the glass while you clean the tops.
- Give your child a wet wipe and have her wipe off the bathroom countertops. If you are supervising, most children LOVE to clean toilets with the toilet wand. Just be sure to watch them or you may end up with toilet water all over your bathroom and a bigger mess than when you started.
- Teach your preschooler to get the mail. Have them help you carry bills in the house and sort the junk mail into a pile! Read this if you want to Eliminate Junk Mail. Otherwise, let them open letters, sort mail and place stamps on envelopes to mail again.
- Your preschooler can also be taught to sweep the kitchen. Find a small broom or cut a longer one to make it easier for your child to sweep. Show her/him how to sweep the floor into a pile. If sweeping isn’t your child’s forte, let her hold the dust pail after you have swept and throw away the dirt.
- Make their beds. Children can learn how to crudely make their beds even at 2 years old. Of course, it won’t be perfect, and at first it may just be pushing their blanket over their pillow, but in time, they will become very good at it.
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