I believe in child labor. Call me Scrooge, but I figure everybody should have to work for their food, y’know. I mean, if my 2-year-old wants to keep eating her weight in fancy yogurt, shouldn’t she have to work for it?
When I was a young and naive mother (a couple of months ago), I thought I had to occupy my child with complicated crafts and college algebra in order to keep her brain from rotting. I remember lamenting that I couldn’t get anything done around the house because I was too busy being Schoolteacher or Janitor for Tibb (The Itty Bitty Boss). But then I realized that since she wanted to do everything I was doing anyway, I should make cleaning the house our activity.
I started giving her small chores for short periods of time and she loved it! Even though they love turning the house into a tornado, most kids love being little helpers. I think it makes them feel powerful and important (and if you’ve ever seen a toddler tantrum, then you know they’re all about me me me). The key is that they should do the chores with you. I can’t just tell my daughter to go mop while I hop on the internet. No, usually she’ll mop, while I cook or clean the rest of the room. If I stray too far, Ms. Diva will feel like she’s wasting her performance.
At this age, children may already be familiar with the “Clean up, clean up” song and putting all of their toys away. The chore list I created goes beyond that. In the free printable below, I’ve compiled 11 chores that your 2 to 5 year-olds can do (and hopefully make them want a nap). It’s a great little sheet to pin or put on the refrigerator as a reminder.
Do you give your little ones house work or do you think it’s too much for them? What would you add to or delete from my list?
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