Recently, I came back from a family vacation and visiting our good friends. Their 5-year old daughter (who is a little genius) helped her mom cut vegetables for a salad. She used a real knife and did it as a pro. Meanwhile, I almost had a heart attack watching her. "Montessori" - her mom said. My 4-year old is not that advanced. But he is surprisingly helpful around the house. I started experimenting on things he can actually do. And here are the top 8 house cleaning chores that a toddler can do:
- Clean his toys. Many times moms and dads look at the entire floor covered with play dough, Legos, papers, balls. There is no way a little kid can clean all of that up properly, right? Wrong. He can. Just try asking him a few times or offer a small reward. You will be amazed at the results.
- Water the house plants. Our son enjoys watering the plants (and the ground) in our garden with a hose. But even the house plants can be watered by a toddler without drowning them. He can use a small water bottle and have fun with it.
- Line up the shoes in a shoe cabinet. Toddlers are close to the ground. We can use it to our advantage! It's educational to pair up shoes, too, right?!
- Fold the laundry. I know, the laundry folded by a toddler looks very similar to the laundry that was not folded at all. But it's very cute. And teaches them important habit of keeping their clothes neat and organized.
- Get and open the mail. This one is just fun.
- Run the washing machine and a dryer. Toddlers love the buttons and have great memories. You can teach them to run the washer and dryer. Just watch out so they don't add a cat to the drying cycle.
- Unloading the dishwasher. OK, we don't use the dishwasher. But my friend's daughter unloads her dishwasher.
- Put away the groceries. This is an easy task. And a lot of fun. Plus, your little one will remember where the marshmallows are and can get them himself, without asking you. Not sure it's a good thing though ;).