E's new repetitive saying is, "Can I help?" He loves being involved in everything we are doing around the house and I have taken this opportunity to teach him some valuable life lessons. I think it's important for children to learn that they need to contribute to the household and do their part. While E may seem too young, I believe it is a perfect age to introduce these little tasks when he is so young and willing!
Cleaning up after himself
Before we head upstairs for a bath and bed, E is reminded to bring his toys back to his play room or to tidy the toys off of the floor of the playroom and placed in the toy bins. I don't stress about the toys being around the house during the day, but at the end of the day we've started a great routine of tidying up. It's even better when we sing the clean up song! And so much better than having to do it all on my own.
Tidying the shoes
E knows that shoes are not to be kicked off anywhere in the house. He has gotten in a great habit of placing his at the front door beside the rest. He has started a new skill of lining up his toy trucks and puzzle pieces and so our shoes have now followed. If he notices a pair of shoes lying around the house he is quick to return them to their proper home.
Setting the table
When eager for dinner to be ready I have recently distracted him in helping me set the table. Now he asks to set the table as soon as I start cooking. While I don't usually pass over the breakable plates, he can easily set the utensils and condiments on the table and is so proud to help.
Putting the dishes away
We keep the non-breakable and plastic tupperware dishes in a low drawer for E to access. When emptying the dish rack or dishwasher he loves finding a home for each dish I pass on to him. I've recently let him help him put the utensils in each of their specific spots and it has turned into a great matching game.
Feeding the dog
After watching me go to the cupboard as soon as we got home to get the dog food everyday for almost a year, E decided it was his now his reponsibility. One day he went straight to the cupboard, dragged the dog food bag over to the dog's dishes and starting scooping the food out. It's something I let him do everyday now. He has gone from grabbing handfuls of food to now slighty tipping the bag just enough to fill the bowl.
Doing the laundry
When getting changed in the morning and at night, I encourage E to put his clothes away or in the dirty hamper. In the evening he helps me carry the dirty clothes down stairs and stands on his stool in front o the washing machine to load it with the dirty clothes. I just need to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't throw and darks in with the lights!
E is such a good little helper and although my chores can sometimes take a little longer when I let him help, knowing that he is learning so much through these simple tasks makes me so happy. How do your children help out around the house?