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It's a routine you can start with your child as soon as they reach the toddler years, between 18 months and 2 years of age. This is when children begin to demonstrate greater independence and want to do things by themselves. At this age, your child can put dirty clothes in the laundry basket and put toys away.
But just because children can do chores, doesn't mean they'll want to. To help ease your child into chores, Invest in Kids suggests a few fun activities that will also support your child’s development.
Where Does This Go?
Here's an activity to support the development of your child's intellectual, social and fine motor skills.
What you'll need:
• Dramatic play toys such as dishes, plastic food, clothing
• Baskets for each group of play toys
• Pictures of dishes, food and clothing cut from catalogues or magazines
• Index cards
• Glue stick
• Permanent marker
Cut out pictures of toys, food and clothing and glue each to an index card. Write the word for each item under the picture. Attach each card to a basket. Provide your child with a variety of dramatic play toys. As he plays with the toys, ask questions about each one, e.g., "Is this something you eat or something you wear?" "Which basket does this belong in?" Your child can look at the pictures on the baskets and place the play items in the correct basket.
By talking with your child about what he's doing and labeling the toys and baskets, your child will be encouraged to listen, read (with your help) and respond. He will develop emerging literacy skills as he learns to connect spoken words with the written word and with pictures. Your child will also practice important thinking and problem-solving skills as he learns to sort and match objects by common properties. Extend this fun activity in your everyday routines by naming objects and labeling storage units with pictures and words to help your child put things where they belong when playtime is over and also to reinforce these important developmental skills.
Page 1 of 2This activity will help your child become aware of some of the ways that people take care of responsibilities at home and in the classroom. Picking up toys and putting them away requires eye-hand coordination which your child will practice as you play this game together and as he helps tidy play spaces around the house.
This activity also provides Comfort, Play & Teach® time. Comfort, Play & Teach are three parenting actions that work together to generate responses from children that transform everyday interactions from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
Comfort – Your child will show pride in his achievements as he begins to recognize differences and relationships between the things in his environment.
Play – Using and manipulating materials allows your child to name objects and discover their characteristics through play.
Teach – As your child sorts familiar objects, you will observe how he makes comparisons and groups things according to differences.
Other everyday moments to enjoy together:
• Have your child provide her own rationale for sorting her toys or other things around the house (sorting by type of clothing, or colour, size or shape of object).
• Involve your child in activities where she can help put things away, like laundry or groceries.
• Read books together like Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gilman and Jonathan Cleaned Up and Then He Heard a Sound by Robert Munsch. Your child will enjoy hearing stories about tidying up and will talk about what she likes and doesn’t like about putting things away.
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