Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Toddler Chores

One thing that struck me a few months ago was that I could start doing some things with Bug that I found myself waiting to do until she was older. I remember having a chore chart growing up (it might not have been consistent, but I do remember having one stuck to my bedroom door at one point), and let's face it-- the hibernating second grade teacher inside of me loves charts with stickers as much as a muddy elephant loves a bath on a hot day:So I decided to make Bug a chore chart. She was maybe 19 months old when the chore chart first made an appearance, and she was thrilled to get stickers on a daily basis. She's her mother's child.When I first made her chart, she only had three "jobs" and you can see she's worked up to five. Having jobs shows Bug that she needs to be an active member of our family, and helps her take responsibility for herself. I admit that often I would let the child go all day without brushing her teeth because there are about 10,000 other things more pressing on my mind. Since the chart is in plain view at her level (it's on the bottom of a door in the kitchen), she will tug my hand toward the bathroom telling me, "I need brush teeth, get sticker." It's a handy reminder for me!

I did only have one "pick up toys" slot on the chore chart, but having two has really helped cut down on the mess of toys and books in the living room. Ideally, if we follow the chart, we'll have a clean living room most of the time!

You might have itty bitties like me, or maybe your kids are older... if you have things for them to do on their own to build responsibility and make your life a little easier, I encourage you to make a chore chart. It'll take a matter of minutes in Word and summer is a great time to start the chore chart since the kids are home and ready to have routines in place!

Some job ideas:
  • make bed
  • set the table for dinner
  • empty the dishwasher
  • pick up toys before nap time
  • pick up toys before bedtime
  • help mom get lunch ready
  • entertain sibling during dinner preparations
  • read for 15 minutes
  • water flowers
  • brush teeth