You may have noticed your toddler expressing a desire to help in household chores! Even though they might not be able to successfully complete the task yet, involving them in what you are doing helps them feel valued. At this age, focus on the process and not the product. Household chores also help develop several age appropriate skills without you having to set up an additional activity and it’s easier to keep an eye on them if they are working alongside.
1. Loading and unloading the washing machine is always fun for a toddler to do right from 10 months onward. Putting the freshly washed clothes in a basket and then dragging it to the drying rack strengthens their core and upper body.
2. At around 15 months your toddler can attempt to hang the clothes to dry
3. By 24 months they will explore pegging them which develops fine motor skills and hand eye coordination.
4. After 2 years they can also practice folding, sorting and putting the clothes in the right place.
5. Initially, your child will observe you but by 15 months you will see them beginning to do it themselves - focus on the attempt and not the finished product. They may not master these skills until they are 3 years!
Cooking ( 12 months+)
Your child can now start mixing the ingredients, pouring, scooping and even tasting items like a sour lemon, sweet cherry tomato, crisp cucumber before mixing in a salad. This develops fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, sensory skills, early math concepts and language!
2. When your child is involved in the food prep, they are more likely to eat the food. Keeping a learning tower in the kitchen makes it easy for the child to participate while being safe.
Cleaning ( 15 months +)
Whether it is mopping up a spill or sweeping, encourage your toddler to clean up after themselves. A child size broom and pail as well as a mop that’s easy to manipulate should be hung at their eye level so that they can get what they need without asking an adult to help.
Laying the table ( 15 months +)
1. If your family eats together at the table, ask your toddler to help put the placemats, napkins and utensils if you do not want them handling the fragile plates yet.
2. They can also fill everyone's cup with water. There might be spills at first, but they will soon learn the art of pouring, afterall, practice makes perfect.
3. You can use a learning tower that will help your child easily reach, if not, you can simply carry your child in your arms.
Feeding pets (15 months +)
1. If you have a pet in your house you can ask your toddler to feed him food
2. Use a small pitcher to allow them to pour food neatly in the bowl. Initially their will be spills but soon they will master
3. It teaches them responsibility and importance of taking care of others
4. The pitcher used in the image is from level 9 Montessori box
Dishes (15 months +)
1. Whether it is loading and unloading the dishwasher, or soaping and rinsing dishes in the sink, involving your child in doing the dishes teaches them responsibility and gives them ownership.
2. A step stool in the kitchen that helps your child reach the sink easily can be beneficial.
3. You can start by providing metal dishes for them to handle.