Category Archives: Cleaning and Children

Age Appropriate Chores for Your Toddlers and Preschoolers

Baby boy with vacuum cleaner

No longer an infant, our toddlers and preschoolers seem to grow and mature, right before our eyes. While many are shy and reticent as they approach their second birthday, most become much more curious and outgoing by the time they reach the age of five.

During this time, they will not only grow physically, they will also master fine motor skills, learn to think and reason, develop a well-rounded vocabulary and become more socially and emotionally mature.

Challenging kids with age appropriate tasks around the house during the toddler and preschool development  years is a great way for parents to help them master new skills and develop the self-confidence that will help them become successful as adults.

For the Two Year Old

The second year of life can be frustrating for your toddler because their emotional development and communication skills are not yet as advanced as their thought patterns. Children of this age enjoy chores such as picking up toys and placing them in baskets or bins and wiping surfaces with a damp cloth.

For the Three Year Old

Three year olds typically know more than 200 words and are beginning to speak and understand more complex ideas. Colors, shapes and textures are increasingly interesting to this age level and they can become quite adept at household chores that include sorting, stacking or simple folding techniques, such as folding washcloths. They can also master more complex tasks, such as using a small watering can to water flowers or put food into the family pet’s dish.

For the Four Year Old

By the age of four, children are much more physically adept and are able to easily memorize songs, stories and basic knowledge such as the alphabet, numbers and colors. They understand the concept of matching objects by color, such as pairing socks and like to help perform simple cooking chores, such as tearing lettuce for salads, peeling hard boiled eggs, stirring batters and rolling out dough.

For the Five Year Old

Five year olds are able to carry on complex conversations and express multi-faceted ideas and are beginning to have a good grasp of right and wrong. In addition, this age group is much more social and is beginning to develop caring relationships with siblings and playmates. Their more advanced physical capabilities, along with more mature thought patterns will allow them to excel at more difficult tasks such as measuring ingredients when cooking, loading the dishwasher correctly and assuming responsibility for specific daily chores, such as pet care, checking the mail or picking ripe produce in the garden.

In every age group, parents should be patient and expect an occasional tantrum or display of stubbornness. However, by keeping the sessions challenging and fun, both you and your child will reap the benefits.

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Turn Household Chores Into a Fun Learning Activity for Kids

5-Tricks-for-Keeping-a-Surprisingly-Clean-Home-with-KidsOne of the most important parts of parenting is teaching our children how to be resourceful and self-reliant and taking care of the family home is a great way to hold these lessons. If you would like to help your child develop these beneficial skills and garner some help with the household chores in the process, the following tips may be just what you need.

Forming a Clean Team

Children are often eager to help Mommy, but have no clue how to perform many common household chores. By forming a cleaning team with your child, they will be able to mimic your actions to learn how to correctly perform the task, and you will both benefit from the interaction of working together.

When working out the details for your home cleaning team, remember that children of different ages have different attention spans, as well as different skill sets. To maximize the lessons (and the amount of housework that gets accomplished), plan frequent, short sessions and make them as enjoyable as possible by using some of the following suggestions:

  • Use age appropriate, upbeat music and mix up the genres to make it fun. For example, consider breaking out some 80s disco tunes for your teenagers and alphabet songs for the toddler crowd.
  • Incorporate physical activity into cleaning chores to get a clean house and a fun workout by practicing your dance moves with your kids while mopping the floor or scrubbing walls.
  • As the kids become more proficient with their tasks, create a lottery to assign the chores for the week. This adds some excitement while making sure that no child is stuck with the same chores again and again. To do this, write each chore on a slip of paper and have each child draw them from a fishbowl. Keep track of the completed chores on a dry erase or chalk board and award a prize each week to the child who successfully completes all their tasks – even your prizes can be family oriented, such as a trip to the movies.
  • Institute a nightly scavenger hunt to find and put away items that have been strewn about through the day. To add excitement, set the kitchen timer for five or ten minutes and have all
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Fun Ideas to Get Your Kids Involved In Cleaning

An old saying goes that Rome wasn’t built in a day – the same can be said of your quest to transform your home into a green and clean place for everyone inside. Though the steps required to live a more efficient lifestyle aren’t necessarily difficult, they can be dramatically easier if you get the entire family involved. Fun ideas to get the family involved in cleaning can be broken down into a few different categories depending on the situation, as well as ages.

Baby boy with vacuum cleaner

One great way to get the family involved in cleaning is to turn chores into a game. If you’re trying to teach your young kids the value of cleaning up after themselves, for example, see who can organize a toy shelf or a bookshelf in the best possible way in the fastest amount of time. Don’t necessarily emphasize speed over quality, but instead emphasize efficiency or doing the best possible job in the quickest amount of time that job will allow. When everything is organized you can pick a winner for the day, which will give kids something to aspire to the next time the “Cleaning Game” is played.

Another fun way to get the family involved in cleaning also allows you to create a learning opportunity at the same time. If you want to get your children involved in cleaning the kitchen, for example, you might make them more involved in the general cooking process. Talk about the items that you’re pulling out of the pantry or the refrigerator and discuss how all of these items eventually blend together into the wonderful meal that you will all enjoy together. Take this opportunity to also educate your children on the health and nutrition benefits.

You can also use the opportunity to teach kids about the items you’re cleaning up at the same time. For instance, explain the difference between a glass bottle and a plastic bag, and the importance of properly recycling the items in order to obtain the best environmental results. If you take the opportunity to involve your family in some of the more “fun” aspects of home life (i.e.: cooking), they’ll naturally become a larger part of the cleaning process as well.

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