As your baby grows, you'll quickly notice how hands-on toddlers like to be. Whether you're washing the dishes or putting laundry away, your little one will likely follow you around as much as they can. Are you surprised when they complain if you insist they go play with toys while you're trying to tidy? Well, maybe it's time you switch that perspective into a grateful one, considering there's a lot of learning that can be done teaching your toddler the importance of home tasks and work.
Toddlers love to help. Period. So, we have compiled 10 adult tasks that your toddler can help you with. It may take longer than usual, but practice makes perfect. They'll be your little helper in no time!
10 TURNING THE COFFEE MACHINE ON
Though most machines are prohibited for a child's use, this one can be a simple and fun experience for your child to partake in. Considering keeping the machine far out of reach in case (age depending) the child tries to turn it on and off at a later time; but, for your morning's cup of Joe, allow your child to assist. It's always nice to have them enjoy helping out with your life's simple pleasures. Consider having them place the 2 TBS of coffee grinds into the filter, pouring the water, pressing the french press down or even pressing the button; whichever way you make your coffee have the kid help.
9 WASHING THE TABLE CLEAN
Firstly, it's incredibly important to have your young child help out where they can; especially if it's in a very practical and every-day example. You want to represent the kind of individual you'd like them to grow into one day, too. So, even if just wiping down the table after each meal becomes their norm, you've taught them a very great lesson in your day. It's always great to have your child assist in meal-time preparation and tear away. So, encourage them to have their own spray bottle and cloth- their very own. It'll be more rewarding than you think.
8 WIPING THE WINDOWS
Window cleaning may seem like a far more frequent activity around your house, now that you have children. Well, they sure like to put their hands on everything- and leave their trace. So, why not ask for their help to clean up after their own mess? Mix a spray bottle of half water and half white vinegar together- we promise you this will be the most eco-friendly, non-toxic, inexpensive cleaner you've yet to use.
This concoction will likely clean better than your average window-cleaner. When you demonstrate spraying the clear liquid on the window as you wipe, they'll be addicted. You're welcome for giving you a trick to keep your toddler busy for hours.
7 WASHING THE CAR
Again, this is a little trick to keep the toddler busy for as long as you allow it. Add water to any situation, and you've got a happy-go-lucky kid for as long as that water's on. So, why not show them the ropes to getting your car sparkling new? Give the child their own bucket, their own sponge and potentially a small, cleaning painting brush- that way they can get into the small cracks and crevices of your car's tires.
Toddlers love doing what their parents do. Even if that means vacuuming. Have you ever noticed their little pitter-patters falling behind every step you make while you sweep or vacuum your floors? Perhaps it's time to show them how to use a smaller dust-buster so they feel like they're joining in! Toddlers want to help wherever they can- it's as if it's a game in their minds. Enjoy it while it lasts!
5 MAKING THE BED
Making the bed can be a painful task when you have to run after a little one. Doing any task, might we add, be a bit hard to accomplish once you welcome parenthood. So, it's important to encourage their help when you have a very mediocre yet important one to do.
Either have your toddler help pull down the fitted sheets on each corner of the bed, or give them the naked pillows to be covered with their cases. Use your discretion as to what your child is prepared and ready to do. Then, see and celebrate their accomplishments.
4 WATERING THE PLANTS
Watering the plants can be an incredibly rewarding job to do. When the children see how incredible it is to take care of a living thing- even a plant- it's an eye-opening experience; one that truly humbles you. So, even if it comes time to purchase a plant of their very own to water, feed, and love, it may be a great opportunity to teach them true responsibility. Don't forget: baby see, baby do. Toddlers are fully capable of watering a plant each and every morning. They love routine. This a great habit for them to get into.
3 PREPARING MEALS
Food is a great object to spark joy, opportunity, and creativity. It's great to have your toddler help in the kitchen- especially when it's in preparation for their own meal. Encourage your child to help choose a part of their meal to prepare; even if this means pulling crackers out of their box and laying them one by one on their plate.
As long as they're participating in the preparation for a meal, it will be rewarding for both child and parent. Down the road, this may even be a great treat for you once they learn how to make their own meals independently without the help of their parent/caretaker.
Gardening is a great opportunity to get outside and get some very practical and rewarding work done. Children love to play in the dirt. It's a great way to experience new textures, smells, and colors. Children love to be hands-on and what's a better way to be hands-on than by gardening with their parent and/or guardian? Gardening is a great way to encourage creativity and imagination. It's also a great way to provide a learning experience when it comes to earth's offerings. So, when it's time to spend an hour or two picking weeds, grab your toddler and a bucket. Show them how it's done!
1 ORGANIZING THE FRIDGE
We all love food. It brings us together and it allows us to learn about others and ourselves. Food nourishes us and makes us strong. It allows our little ones to grow into independent, incredible people. Children love to be involved in the process of where the food comes from and where it goes. Allow them to learn the mundane part of putting the food away, too. Because life's not all about the highs and the lows. There's a part where not everyone really enjoys no dreads- just like putting the food away and organizing it for when it's ready to be eaten. Children also love to be organized, so this is a great chance for them to put their skill into good use.