I was happily going about our day and I realized, my kid helps me a lot. Sure, it sometimes makes the work harder, but much of my housekeeping is done with toddler in tow. Kids can clean, and kids SHOULD clean, since it helps the family and they will one day have to do it for themselves.
So here’s my list of seven ways that my toddler helps me clean up around the house:
1. Fetching something
My two year old can fetch diapers for her brother, her shoes, my water bottle if I’m stuck on the couch nursing… you get the gist of it.
2. helping unload the dishwasher
I take the knives and sharp things out first, but I do let her (carefully) help even with some glass items. If she has a stool to stand on, she can sort the silverware by herself.
3. wiping up a spill
Lots of spills around here. I usually come help or make sure that she’s done a good job. Miri knows where the paper towels and napkins are, and can usually get one herself and clean up.
4. straightening up
Probably our least favorite chore, but my toddler can definitely help straighten her toys and other household items. Especially if I tell her where to put them, and she gets to hold things that don’t belong to her. She likes fetching and putting away things that belong to others more than she likes to clean her own stuff, and I get it, other people’s stuff is cooler and more exciting.
5. throwing something in the trash or recycling
Goes along well with straightening up. We have full sized trash and recycling cans, but she’s mastered the art of stepping on the little lid flipper. I do still tell her which objects need to go in the trash can, and which need to be recycled.
6. assist in sibling care
I know people have lots of opinions about whether big sister or big brother should be allowed to help care for their younger siblings. My short answer is: yes, definitely, it’s great practice and we work and play as a family. It is hard not to squelch this little desire to help, but I’ve read about a million articles saying you shouldn’t, so I let my daughter do as much as she can.
This looks like assisting with onesie snaps or zippers, doing the velcro part of the diaper change, helping put baby’s socks on or arm through the arm hole. Sometimes I let her bounce the bouncy chair (with supervision, so she doesn’t bounce her brother across the room). Speaking of which, we love this bouncy seat. (Amazon Affiliate Link*)
7. help make a bed
Not that we make our beds every day at this stage of life, but when we do, my little one can help. She can take the pillows off and put them back on, and pull on or off one corner of the blanket. This actually IS helpful, and means I don’t have to do all the work on both sides, just go over it quickly when she’s done.
So that’s it! How do your little ones help around the house? This post is linked up with Kelly over at 7 Quick Takes.
*as part of the Amazon Affiliates program, if you buy something after going through my link, I get a small commission. All thoughts, opinions, etc. are honest and my own of course 🙂