Saturday, November 15, 2008

Introducing Charlotte to the Kitchen

Admittedly, I've done a poor job of involving Charlotte with tasks around the home. She is at the stage now where she wants to be involved with everything I do. It doesn't matter to her that the tasks take three time as long with her in my arms, or are simply impossible while I am holding her. It is just easier to do things myself most days.

Inspired by an article about age appropriate chores, I've been working on letting her participate more thoroughly in what little I do to keep our household from running out of dirty clothes or food to eat. (Because I don't want to end up like Tonggu Momma.)

The first chore I involved Charlotte in learning how to do is move the clothes from the washer to the dryer. When well supervised, she really likes to do this. Probably because she knows I'll let her push the power and start buttons when we are done. And if you knew the girl in real life, you would understand that she LOVES pushing buttons - figuratively and literally.

Then, during my once a month floor scrubbing, I decided to give her a rag and see what happened. She happily pulled her rag out of the bucket sopping wet and rubbed it all over her little tile. Fun indeed. She ended up soaked, but laughing. So, I'd consider it a win. It made me realize that we should do more water play during the day, and not just at bath time.

And in the kitchen I want her to learn to help as well. I recently tried a new vegetarian recipe that required a lot of mashing. After I got things started and let her watch for a bit, I handed the mashing duties over to Charlotte. She didn't do a bad job and was upset when I finally had to put her down. The masher became a favorite toy for the next day or so (after I washed it of course).

I am sure there are other chores around the house I could involved a 15-month old in, but am at a loss as to what those might be. The article I mentioned above, suggests "simple help with groceries, such as: putting items in shopping cart, helping put items on the check-out conveyor, handing items to you to be put away at home." But, I'm not so sure.

What chores do you think a 15-month old can help with around the house?


  1. One thing I promise you - it won't be easier or better at this stage than doing it yourself! But I think it will reap rewards in the long run...

    I've been looking into life skills training and in addition to the simple stuff - putting trash in the garbage, dirty clothes in the hamper, carrying things around, etc., we're starting on a few other things:

    Setting up a dish of soapy water on a kiddy table and letting her wash her own dishes. If I let her do this a long time, then it results in mopping the floor and a clothing change, too.

    Carrying dishes to the table in a basket to help set the table.

    Sweeping (she has a broom her size) and helping put the stuff in the dustpan.

    Wiping her high chair tray with a cloth before she gets out. She also wipes up her kiddy tables. I always double do it, of course...

    Taking her bathtub toys out of the tub before she gets out.

    Dusting with a feather duster.

    Carrying the pet food when we go to feed the dog and the bunnies.

    Helping rinse out the pet food bowls.

    I've heard of having them swish the toilet, but haven't started that yet. It scares me!

  2. i have a 2-year old, and ever since he started following instructions, his chores have always been putting his toys in the box, throwing away wrappers and other non-messy-trash to the trashcan, and dropping his bottle to the sink when milk is 'all done'.

    he also has done transferring laundry to the dryer, but since we moved here, the dryer is too high for him to reach.

    mashing food would be easy for him, but i don't think i will let him do that just yet! i just know it will be too much mess for me to handle! but i let him vaccuum the carpet and couch all the time ...

    you have a really nice blog! i can see that you like my name ;) ... good luck with your baby.


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