Little Helpers

Speeding through the house pushing the vacuum cleaner before the kids catch me and attempt to help.
Keeping folded clothes in the laundry basket before a child tries to model clean underwear on their head or scatter clean clothes around the room.
Emptying the dishwasher before a toddler tries to climb inside of it.
I feel like I am stuck in a video game when I clean my house with my kids around.
I try to get most of the cleaning done when my little helpers are preoccupied, contained in their high chairs, or better yet when they are not around.  For example, while they are eating, I empty / fill the dishwasher, clean the kitchen, and sweep.
If I remember some simple rules to the cleaning game, I feel like a winner.  When I let my kids help me, they feel like winners.  The reality is that toddlers get some great satisfaction from helping.  They want to be a part of what is going on.  Teaching them to help at a young age sets the stage for having good helpers in the future (I hope.)

Things I allow my little helpers to help me with:

-Water plants
-Dust tables
-Put clothes in the washer / dryer
-Wash their highchair trays and dishes that they cannot break
-Cook and bake with me
-Pack their lunch for preschool
-Pick up toys and books and put them away
-Put food in the cat’s bowl
-Put dishes in the sink
-Put clothes in their hampers
-Help with the garden
This list continues to grow on a regular basis as my kids express interest in helping with certain tasks or as I am in need of a couple extra little hands.
Sarah Cole is a stay at home mom of two toddlers who like to make messes while she is cleaning other messes.

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