Age Appropriate Helpers

One of the things I am looking forward to most as our children develop is their ability to help around the house!  I mean there is a LOT of cleaning going on around here.

All joking aside, we think it is important to teach our kids to do things around the house to help out.  We may just have hit the jackpot with G because right now she is very amenable to helping mommy with age appropriate chores.

She has two basic chores to help out with:

Cleaning up her toys – At this stage, she really likes to pull everything out of her toy baskets and put everything back in.  This works very well at the end of play time because she is excited to put everything back in.  We are using this opportunity to work on her vocabulary skills by identifying each item we put away with a particular name or description (i.e. color, size).  We are also saying please, thank you, and good job a lot in order to teach her manners and encourage her in her cleaning pursuits.

Laundry  – Along with wanting to pull everything out and put everything back in, G also enjoys repetitious movements and activities.  She is very helpful putting all the items in the washer into the drier, one item at a time.  She also puts the laundry into the basket and into the washer one item at a time.  She helps to pull the laundry basket from the laundry room into the living room and enjoys handing me each item to fold.

I know it is very early in her development, but I have been impressed to see her imitate my repetitious actions throughout the day and I have been encouraged by her willingness to help.  One of my parenting philosophies is to begin as I mean to go, so it helps that I am teaching her the right way and gently correcting mistakes as we go along.  This hopefully will prevent some frustrating moments where the “help” she thinks she is providing is more of a hindrance.  This is truly a practice in patience, but the reward for my patience is help around the house.

Uh, oh…I can see that we are going to have to start paying her pretty soon!  Ahhh!

What are some age appropriate “chores” your kids help you out with?  When did you introduce these things to them?

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