Household Chores: A Natural Part of Childhood Development?
If you have young children, you may have noticed that they love helping out at home. This desire to be useful is actually a normal and natural part of childhood development, and by providing our kids with a few simple tasks to complete, we could actually be helping our little ones to flourish and thrive.
According to research, this desire to help first kicks in at around 14 months, when children may reach to retrieve a dropped object, for example. This kind of behaviour helps them start to figure out how to respond appropriately in a variety of situations, which is useful in building early social skills; it can also help to boost dexterity and co-ordination. So what are some good chores to delegate to little ones to help them progress, evolve, and grow?
Fun tasks for kids
While tasks such as helping dad clean out his beard trimmer and emptying sharp knives from the dishwasher aren’t advised, there are many other ways that young children can help out around the home. In fact, one of the very best ways to get the kids involved is asking them to help out with the laundry. From gathering laundry to looking at different laundry symbols, there are many areas where kids can assist.
- Gathering laundry
Gathering laundry may sound a little dull, but it can easily be made into a fun game for kids, and it gives them an opportunity to show off their skills. Before getting started, ‘accidentally’ drop a few items of laundry around the house, and ask your little ones to help you find them and bring them to the washing machine. It’ll be just like a game of hide and seek, and your children will love searching for the missing laundry.
- ‘Reading’ laundry symbols
It doesn’t matter if your kids are still too little to read — you don’t need to be able to read to understand laundry symbols! Laundry symbols are picture-based, which means you and your kids can sit down together and take a look at all the different symbols on the clothing. Once your kids understand, ask them to put clothes with the same symbols into piles, making it easier for you to sort your washing.
- Adding detergent
It’s best to keep smaller children away from laundry detergents, but bigger kids can help out with this if they want to. Whether you use a liquid or powdered detergent, put the correct dose into your dosing cup and ask your children to carefully pour the detergent into the right compartment in the washing machine. Don’t forget to make sure they wash their hands afterwards to keep everyone safe and healthy.
- Sorting socks
Once your laundry is clean and dry, ask your little helpers to assist in sorting out the clothing. Let them work their way through the pile, placing the correct items of clothing in the pile for the bedroom of the person they belong to. To make this even more challenging, you could ask them to sub-divide the bedroom piles into types of clothing, too, such as socks, trousers, shirts, and so on. Your kids will have worked hard, so don’t forget to give them a little treat afterwards as a thank you!