Wednesday, April 7, 2010

WFMW - Tips for Toddlers

How to get a toddler excited about house/yard work and other tasks?
I'm no expert, but at this age they want to do what we do and feel "BIG" so why not include them in on the things we have to do around the house too, to help them become a full member of the family!

Make it fun. 
Let him do it "his way." 
Do it together. 
Don't offer rewards (or they will always be expected and it will become about the reward and not about helping).
Offer praise and encouragement.

washing the car
being okay with the car not being perfect, with the toddler getting soaked, and with it taking 3 times as long as by yourself....but creating memories and bonding in the process

vacuuming the house
being okay with missing a crumb here and there, being willing to make the vacuum kid-size, being willing to let it take longer than normal....but helping your toddler learn how to be a contributing part of the family

Other ideas:

putting trash in the trash can (make it a race)
helping clean up after a meal (make it a part of each meal)
helping with younger siblings (tell them how much of a help they are)
Do you have other great ideas of things to get your kids to help with? I'd love to hear more as we are more at the beginning of this helping process. Got tips for me?

For lots of great tips and ideas, head over to We Are THAT Family today.


  1. Great ideas! I never thought to have my toddler help clear the table, but I think I'll try it tonight (one step closer to washing the dishes... which is really the goal of having kids anyhow).

    It sounds gross, but my two year old likes to throw out diapers, both his and the baby's. Requires more handwashing, but he feels like a big help!

  2. I have some non-toxic spray cleaner that I use on the kitchen table. Lately I have been spraying a LOT of it on the table, handing a clean, damp sponge to my two year old and letting her scrub to her hearts content. She loves that the spray makes bubbles when she takes her twenty minutes to wipe the table, but it is really and truly clean when she is finished!
    Also, while I load the dishwasher and take care of the dinner dishes, my four year old and two year old take turns swiffering with a swiffer that I shortened to their height. They are being incredibly helpful and they love that they are working with Mommy! I love it!