I think we all can agree that household chores are the most tedious thing that we have to maintain. The more kids you have, the worse it feels. With each body, you have an extra basket of dirty clothes, more dishes, and overall just added chaos that will continue to grow until they inevitably leave the house.
To save some stress of the daily monotony, I have gathered my favorite ways to beat the constant clutter. Much of this lends off of the Teach a man how to fish, feed him for life model.
1.) Teach a child how to clean clothes… with their own hamper. ($10 from At Home)
First, let’s start with that laundry. Everyone needs their own basket for their own size. When they can walk while successfully caring a toy or two… they can begin carrying their own laundry baskets. Both my three year old and two year old have their own basket and they enjoy sorting their clothes. They will walk it to the laundry room when it begins to become full and ask to start their load. Encourage your child to throw clothes in and “help” while little. Teach them how to sort as they (and their piles) become larger. Show them buttons and soaps. Laundry is something that will never go away in their life. Teach a kid to clean their own clothes and the rest of their life they will have the means to maintain it themselves.
2.) Teach a child how to wipe up…. with their own towels. ($8 big pack from Costco)
Accidents happen; even more so when you have tiny hands and are trying to learn how to use them. Until they develop their fine motor skills, it’s best that we attempt to teach them the basics of wiping up after themselves. Get a fun color assortment of towels and make one designated area for them. This way the kids can locate these the second an accident happens. This will teach them the urgency and desire to clean up after themselves.
3.) Teach a child how to organize… with their own baskets. ($1 per at dollar store)
Baskets are all over our house; some are for our fresh produce, some are for particular toys, some are for shoes, some for socks. Investing in baskets and placing them in lower areas will make it easier for your child to sort/put away their toys. You can make it as simple as all toys in one or complex (small cars in one and large trucks in another/ red cars in one and blue in another, etc.). This will make it easy for them to organize and sort their entire lives, which is something we all can always use some practice in.
4.) Teach a child the tools…. with the Melissa & Doug “Let’s play house” Dust, Sweep, and Mop. ($26.99 at Target)
We use our mop and broom every day. Yes, the kids see these items and attempt to play with them, but until they are told what it is for and physically feel how to use the item, they won’t know the proper way to clean with it. This set comes with a child-sized broom, dustpan, mop, duster, and brush. This is the most money you will spend out of all of the products, but you will instantly see your child attempting to learn the tools. My daughter likes to sweep and then be followed by her brother mopping. She’ll even dust off the tv from time to time. I don’t force her, yet she wants to learn and try these on her own. These are habits we instill now that will lead to the knowledge for a lifetime.
Instead of spending an upwards of $40-70 dollars on a toy that will only teach them one skill, I suggest you invest your money in these four items to promote an independently responsible toddler. Your mind, body, and child will thank you over the next eighteen years.