More One Tough Maid
By Julie Barnhill
Choose age-appropriate chores and don’t underestimate what a 3-year-old is capable of doing quite well! Preschoolers can handle one or two simple daily chores such as:
- Making the bed (the fun of de-flumping sheets, the challenge of tugging on a comforter and lovingly placing beloved stuffed animals on pillows)
- Searching for dirty clothes behind a bed skirt and enthusiastically plopping them in a laundry basket (one sturdy basket per child per room works well with little ones)
- Filling the pet’s food dish
- Stacking books or magazines (well, sorta, this is where the grace thing comes into play)
- Setting the table (be sure to put away Aunt Maple’s priceless china that means the world to you and opt instead for preschool friendly Corelle). You can place knives on the table yourself until those little hands are a bit more reliable.
- Carry groceries from the car
- Place canned and boxed goods in a reachable cabinet or pantry shelf
- Fix simple snacks
Take the time to train and teach your preschoolers how to do chores:
- Be very specific in your instruction and allow them to observe you, step-by-step, as many times as you feel it takes for her to understand.
- Draw a “How to Do Your Chore” diagram and post it in the appropriate room. Pictures are easy to look back at if he finds himself forgetting what you've said or how you did it. It’s also gives your child an element of independence and self-initiative.
- Use a pegboard made for hanging keys as a holder for tags that list a daily chore on each one. Your child can flip the tags over as they complete each chore. Works well for readers and non-readers alike. (Purchase online at: http://www.familytools.com)