It seems as though everytime I am trying to really get something done my kids are right there with a different plan in mind. Unfortunately, it is usually a plan that involves more time and a whole lot more clean up.
When it comes to getting things done around the house I have found the best response to a little face asking if they can help is to give them a job. I might add that it is very important to be clear in what the job is they are expected to do. Tractor Man tends to drift off if not given a very direct responsibility.
I would really like to add that Sir Swine and I are big believers in hardwork for young bodies. Both of us grew up on hobby farms and had our share of work in our youth. Responsibility for kids is a piece of character that needs to be learned early on. After all, it is so much easier for them to understand and take pride in things like caring for the dog and keeping their own room clean. Believe it or not but Tractor Man’s greatest joy is when we tell him we are proud of him.
Small children can really provide big challenges when it comes to trying to accomplish tasks. Here are some simple ways to allow your little ones to help you!
Cleaning the House
Buy a small hand held broom and let them sweep under the table, chairs and small places.
- Set and clear the table
- Five minute frenzy ( 5 minutes of cleaning as much as you can in each room-it’s a race!!! Kids love this one.)
- Make them the laundry gatherers
- Sorting and putting away their own toys
- Washing their own toys (we call this a car wash-prepare for water on the floor)
- Give them a damp rag and spot clean floors and furniture
- Mini vacuum for the stairs-this one is a huge time saver for me!
Gardening or Yard Work
- Have toys handy for this…outside only toys.
- Trucks for hauling dirt.
- Put them in charge of their own area for planting and tending to in the garden
- Swings, slides, sand and mud pies
- Pick up stick duty-our boys use their gator for this.
- Measuring cup man (teachable moment-fractions)
- Stir master
- Let them choose the sides and if safe get them from the freezer or pantry
- Set and clear table
- Buttering of the bread
- Saying grace-let them lead
- Shopping list check-off
- Sock matchers
- Dirty clothes pick-upers
- Sorting if they know colors and textures
- Help put away things that cannot be unfolded easily-socks, hanging shirts, etc.
There are several other things that you can add to this list depending on your child and your home needs. The key thing is not to be afraid to have your children help. They are part of the family and should contribute in thier own way -and that does not include only making messes.
Happy homesteading everyone!