Helping Little Hands
With little ones at home all day, I wanted to write todays blog about the importance of getting little hands involved in helping out around the home. Not only this, but how we can make it fun for them, so they want to help! Of course as always, there is a fun activity to do too (see below), that will help with this!
“ In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and - SNAP - the job's a game! ”
The key to getting children to help is to be consistent. Decide what you would like your child to help more with, whether its setting the table, opening their curtains or making their bed etc. Then this should be completed everyday, and become part of their routine. If it is not consistent, you might come up against, why? Why did they not have to open their curtains yesterday, but do today? Children thrive on routine and when they know what is coming next, you will be fac will a lot less confrontation.
The next step is to choose when you want the child to help, for example, if you wish for them to open their curtains, then maybe add this to the routine of getting dressed. Such as, they have breakfast, then go to their rooms to change and then they open the curtains before play. Otherwise, "Oh no! It's too dark to play!" If it is at the same time every day, it will help reduce conflict, as stated above, the child will know what to expect.
If you are introducing a new 'task' to your child, such as you would like them to start helping you empty the dishwasher, explain to them how proud you are of them for the things that they do. Then move onto, now you are even bigger, do you think you could be even more super and please help me 'empty the dishwasher? That would be Amazing!'. Praise them for the great work they do, this will encourage them to want to di it again.
The key is, to do these activities with your child and be a role model, this will also teach them about team work and of course, it shows support. In time, they will be able to do these activities by themselves.
By helping out around the house, not only will it give the child a sense of responsibility and pride, it will boost their self esteem. They are now considered big enough to do these really Big Kid things! You can't match all the socks can you?!? Oh my goodness, you are So clever!
By helping you cook and helping with washing can actually develop the child cognitively. I have written about all the learning possibilities of baking in my blog about making British fairy cakes: https://www.wwsdblog.com/post/britishfairycakes. Learning to cook is such an important life lesson, in addition to this, it teaches them how much time and effort goes into the meals. Also by getting kids involved in cooking, I find the child is going to be a much better eater.
Helping With Washing
Sorting clean washing and finding all the socks is a GREAT matching game! Which will develop them cognitively.
Putting Away Toys
This is something that can always cause a little bit of a struggle.
It is important the child understands why it is important to tidy up- so their toys don't get lost or broken, or if you are outside, blow away or get ruined by the rain. "That would be really sad, because then we wouldn't be able to play with them again".
Of course sometimes they don't want to clean up, but maybe you can have a rule. For example, if you know they spent a long time lining up all the cars or has built a brilliant dinosaur town out of blocks, then you can have a '1 toy out rule', but the others need to put away so we have room to play with other toys.
You may still get confrontation, at this point, I find it works if I get toys involved. Could you find a bear and show that he is tidying up? Can your child find a toy who can help pick up too? "Well done (toys name), you put a blue brick away! Can you find a yellow brick?!?" There are other little tasks that children can get involved with such as making their bed or dusting. Giving little hands a cloth and letting them dust away and make everything shiny can be a super fun activity. Or maybe it's washing the car and having fun with bubbles and water!
I don't want to write a list of activities that children can do at different ages, because every child is unique and an idividual and you know what is right for your child. I'm sure you all have different things that happen in your homes, but I simply wanted to offer some ideas and tips that I have found to be useful.
Setting The Table
This is an activity that my 2 year old charge assists with, and does a fabulous job! So I wanted to do this activity for her.
Spring is in full swing, and we have loved learning about buds and seeing them grow and bloom. Smelling the sweet roses has definitely been one of our favorites! To remember this magical time, we decided to pick some roses and dry them.
How I dried the flowers:
To dry the roses I wrapped each one in a paper towel. Then one at a time I placed the rose on a microwavable plate and covered it by another plate. I started off at 30 seconds, *microwaves will vary*. I then added 10 seconds at a time and went up to 50 seconds. The flower still felt soft, but the paper towel was moist from the water from the flower.
I then left it for a couple of hours and it crisped up.
I like this method as the colors remained beautiful and vibrant.
These are made from toilet rolls cut to the size you like, and then wrapped in cooking string, but you can use twine or wool.
When starting off, hold the end with your finger and wrap string around 2-3 times over the end.
Go all the way around your toilet roll. I went round the toilet roll twice with the string just to fill in any gaps.
Tie ends together to stop unravelling or glue.
Glue flowers onto your napkin rings.... and... Voila!
If this technique is too tricky for your little ones hands, they can simply paint the toilet rolls and decorate with their favorite stickers and/or glitter! They will still love producing them when it comes to meal times and choosing who is going to get each napkin ring! You don't need cloth napkins if you don't have them, paper towel works wonderfully to!
This will be a great conversation starter at the table and you will all remember those lovely fresh spring walks for months to come!