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I didn’t do a Mommy Monday post, since yesterday was a holiday and I chose to veg out and hang out with my little fam- but I still have some “mom-advice” to share with you this week…
Some toddler cleaning tips on how to get your little one to help you clean!
My little guy is 3 1/2 and he helps out more and more as he gets bigger. We started out with the little things:
-Pick up your toys and put them in your toy bucket
-Pick up Legos
etc, etc, etc.
And we just keep moving up from there.
Now, my little guy stacks his books up and puts them away. Puts his shoes by the door and lines them up. “Helps” me dust. Puts laundry into the dryer. Puts dirty clothes in the basket. Helps hang clothes up. Puts away his puzzles. “Sweeps” the floor, and so on.
The best way to get your toddler cleaning is to start them young. Like I said earlier, at a very young age you can teach your kiddo to put toys up when they’re done with them. My little guy knows he has to put one toy up before getting out another.
Lead by example. My guy follows me everywhere, so he started wanting to help with laundry on his own. I started handing him socks and his clothes to throw into the dryer for me. Or handing him shirts on hangers so he could hang them up in the closet. It sometimes makes my jobs take a little longer, but it’s teaching him responsibilities and will pay off as he gets older.
A new thing we’ve started doing is a “Job Chart”. I have a chart hanging up on my son’s chalkboard with his everyday tasks; put shoes up, pick up cars, stack books, pick up blankies, etc. He really loves getting to mark off each task every day. It’s a tiny thing, but to him it’s a huge motivation. It may not work for every child, but give it a try.
If you want your little to help out more often, think about investing in some child-sized tools. My little guys loves his little broom and dust pan. And for kids who are slightly older, you could even have them use a handheld vacuum to clean up small messes.
Make sure everything has a “place”. My son has his own shelves on my big bookshelf for only his books. He has a drawer for his cars. Another drawer for playdoh. He has a special area for puzzles, and another for his dinosaurs. By designating specific areas for certain toys, you are taking a lot of the guesswork out of where your kiddos should put their toys- “a place for everything, and everything in it’s place.” This will help them clean up faster and more efficiently, and help you not have to spend a whole lot of time you don’t have telling your little one where everything goes.
The hardest part for me, as a recovering control-freak, is actually allowing my child to help. Sometimes I want to micro-manage and just take over and do everything for him. But, teaching him how to clean up after himself is my job, and I want him to be a responsible adult someday…sometimes it’s easy to forget he won’t always be a toddler.
So, hand your kiddo a microfiber cloth and let him get to dusting. Let them help you rinse the dishes. They may not get all the dust, and you may end up with a broken dish or two, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
What are some ways your toddler helps around the house?
Check out some Super Quick Cleaning Tips to get you started.
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