It has been about a year since I wrote my first post about my philosophy regarding kids helping out around the house (here). Now that Taz is 2, he is still very enthusiastic about helping me around the house, and he’s big enough that he can actually be helpful! It’s pretty fantastic. Here is how he helps me on a daily/ weekly basis:
Washing the Car:
- Clean the rims
This is basically the most adorable thing ever. Bryan spent some time teaching him how to carefully wipe all of the parts of the rims, and that is now his job. He actually does a surprisingly good job, though Bryan goes back and does touch ups.
- sort clothes in piles for light and dark
- put the dirty clothes from the basket into the washer
- put the wet clothes from the washer into the dryer
- put the clean clothes from the dryer into the basket to go upstairs
- Put away tupperwear and kid dishes
We have all of his kid dishes in a box in a cabinet at floor level, and the tupperware in another floor level cabinet. When I’m unloading the dishwasher, I put all of the kid dishes and tupperware on the open door for him, and he puts them away. He’s 2, so it’s not neatly stacked, but I don’t really mind that at all. We have a box in the tupperware cabinet for lids, and just stack the containers, and we don’t have a ton of kid dishes, so it doesn’t bother me to rummage through the box to find something.
- Clean handprints from french doors
I make a homemade window washing solution out of white vinegar and water. We have several sets of french doors, and it would be a constant battle for me to keep them finger print free at kid height if I cared about it. I don’t really care, but it’s nice to scrape them off once a week or so. So, Taz gets a rag with some of the cleaner on it, and he knows how to scrub off the finger prints.
- Pick up toys and put in bins
I still keep all of their toys in square Ikea bins. He helps me throw everything in bins when it’s time to clean up.
- When I’m making dinner, he stands on a stool in the kitchen to help me wash veggies. He knows how to use the scrub brush on carrots and potatoes. Of course, I always double check his wash job.
- He can also tear lettuce for salad and put it in a bowl. I find he’s much more enthusiastic about eating the veggies if he plays a part in making them.
- After dinner, he takes his dishes to the sink and wipes off his chair and spot at the table.
It constantly surprises me how helpful he can be around the house. Additionally, if I can put him to work for me doing a specific, helpful task, he’s much less likely to find something mischievous to do when I’m occupied elsewhere. For example, since he can understand and complete simple tasks, I’ll ask him to throw a dirty diaper into the pail, then wash his hands after he does that. It buys me enough time to finish dressing his little brother after a change. I often ask him to pick things up, throw things away, or go get the newspaper in the morning (yes, we are one of the five households in the US that still subscribes to one) just to name a few things. I hope this gives you some ideas, too!