/**/ The Purposeful Wife: 20 Ways My Two Year Old Helps Around the House

Thursday, September 24, 2015

20 Ways My Two Year Old Helps Around the House

W just turned two in July. My exuberant, high-energy boy is delighted to help mommy with "jobs" in whatever capacity he is able... so I'm always trying to think of new ways he can "help." This sweet attitude and willing spirit seems to quickly flee from children as they get older, and I want to capitalize on it while he's still got it ;).

While a lot of these jobs are highly supervised and still work for me, I am amazed at the tasks he is already perfectly capable of accomplishing. If you're looking for practical ways to get your two year old involved in housework, here's a list of ideas to get you started. You might be surprised by what your little one can manage too!

1. Picks up toys. I assign one simple job at a time- put all of the Lego in the basket, or Noah's animals into the ark, or the stuffed animals onto the shelf. Sometimes he is speedy, on-task and efficient... and other days I find myself constantly reminding and instructing until the task is done. C'est la vie with a toddler.

2. Takes dirty dishes to the sink. After meals he is responsible for dropping his plate, cup, and utensils into the sink. Highly recommend only plastic dishes for this, as he is not the most gentle yet.

3. Throws away garbage. After a diaper change, if his sister doesn't beat him to it, W throws away his own diaper. As well as tissues and recyclables when he is helping in the kitchen.

4. Waters plants. Theoretically, if I actually owned plants that needed watering... but when we were at my mother's house this summer, he loved helping her water hers. And at the beginning of summer he had his own little potted plant that he watered... which happened to die while we were on said vacation.

5. Dumps measuring cups and spoons. He is very good at adding ingredients to whatever I am baking. I just have to remind him not to drop or dip the cups and spoons into whatever it is we are working with.

6. Puts away groceries. Possibly my favorite thing- W now takes care of 90% of the groceries after my weekly shopping trip. He can't reach the freezer, and I help him get the cans on the highest pantry shelf, as well as opening the drawers in the fridge. But otherwise I'll just tell him where something goes and he loves the game of putting it away.

7. Peels hard-boiled eggs. This was a shocker to me, but he grabbed an egg off the breakfast table one morning and did it all by himself. It was neat as a pin- not a single bit of the shell left. We eat eggs several mornings a week for breakfast, and I can always count on W to take care of peeling them.

8. Puts dirty laundry in the hamper. Every morning after dressing, and at night when we put on PJs.

9. Pushes the vacuum with me. He isn't strong enough to push our Dyson on his own, but he enjoys helping me. I wish we had a working lightweight hand-vac, as I'm sure he would love playing with it and clean our floors pretty well!

10. Wipes surfaces. I give the kid a wet wipe and he is happy to go to town on doors, walls, baseboards, etc.

11. Switches laundry. He loves to add clothes to the washing machine, then help me put them into the drier, add drier sheets, and shut the door.

12. Puts books on the shelf. Gently, with the spine facing out.

13. Picks up crumbs/fuzz from carpet. Don't feel like vacuuming? Having a toddler pick up the most visible specks off the floor is great hand-eye-coordination practice. And saves you from bending over {something I really appreciate at 38 weeks pregnant}.

14. "Makes" beds. Not capable of doing this quite neatly enough on his own, but he likes to help me pull and straighten blankets and sheets over the beds.

15. Stirs pots and pans. With extremely close care and supervision, I allow him to stir whatever is on my stove top.

16. Grabs the diapers and wipes for me. Pretty much anything he can reach that I need, I ask him to get for me.

17. Puts clean clothes away. After I fold a load of laundry, I'll open the appropriate drawers and have him put away socks, underwear, pants and tee-shirts.

18. Returns shoes to their basket. We tend to drop our shoes by the door when we get home, but periodically I have W take the shoes back to their baskets in the bedroom closets.

19. Helps Daddy with projects. When Niall put together our new Moses basket stand, W got to help Daddy with this "man job." Niall pointed out which hole to stick which screw in, and let W place them and then turn them. He hands Niall the tools he needs, holds materials, and in general thinks trailing after Dad is a blast.

20. Dusts. Put a sock on your little ones hand and let them go to town with you when you dust. Good times to be had by all!

How do you get your little people involved around the house?

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