How to introduce your toddler to chores

Helping out around the house supports learning and development. Here's how to introduce your wee one to chores.

By Invest in Kids

Help ease your child into chores
©iStockphoto.com/dejanristovski
Chores can help your child learn to organize their time, handle responsibility, set goals and learn skills.

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
 
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