Life is busy and for many years there are little ones under foot. They are curious and energetic little things for sure. It is hard to keep them occupied and if you are not careful, faster than you can clean they are tearing up right behind you. But on the other hand, if you can harness that energy and drive it can be quite helpful. I love to work along side my toddlers. Their jabbering is so cute and entertaining and they are just sponges for knowledge. In a toddler’s eyes mom can do anything, and being a hero in someone’s eyes is just the pick me up I need some days. There are lots of toddler chore ideas out there but I find that almost any chore that I am doing can be adapted to allow my toddler to help.
If I am cooking I try to include my toddler in as much as I can. When children help cook, they tend to eat more. They also love to help put forks and napkins on the table for dinner and to help carry condiments and such as well. With a little water and soap in the sink another toddler chore idea is washing dishes. They may not be completely clean but it will keep them busy and they will be so proud of themselves. And while the dishes are getting “washed” no other toys are getting dumped out and no other messes are being made.
Toddlers also love to “clean” anything as long as you give them a spray bottle and a towel. There is something that must just be purely magical between a toddler and a spray bottle because I have seldom seen my children happier as when they have a spray bottle in one hand and a towel in the other. I just fill the bottle with water so it is totally safe in case my little one decides to spray it on their skin, in their eyes, or any other of the countless places that chemicals have no place. And then I just turn them loose. Windows, doors, table legs, baseboards, and more. Anything that is on their level would probably require me to stoop and bend so it is a total win in my book!
During this season of little ones under foot also means that there is laundry piling up. Little guys create a lot of laundry. But they can also learn to help fold some of that laundry. By about age 2 1/2 or so your little helper can fold washcloths, hand towels, and even their own pants. They will not be perfect but it is a start and it creates the habit of helping with the laundry.
And while many chores are not fun, yard work can be a blast for a toddler. What is not to love about digging in the dirt, pulling up weeds, and dragging wagons full of clippings to the woods. After a full day’s work (or when my help is all “helped” out), watering the garden is grand fun in the heat of the summer!
Keep it fun.
Laugh a lot.
Let them learn.
Watch them shine and grow.
A little bit of extra time and attention now will reap you years of willing helpers in the end. But as momma’s we must show them that we enjoy working beside them and that they truly are helping. Going behind them to “fix” jobs must be done carefully or you will discourage them from wanting to do it all. Nothing is worse than watching your toddler’s bubble of pride over their work burst when they catch you redoing their hard work. There years pass quickly so use these toddler chore ideas and start enjoying having them under foot while they are young.