Preschoolers love to help. They are eager to do whatever you are doing. Even household chores look like fun.
When you have your child help with things like shopping, cooking and household chores, you are building your child’s self-confidence. Helping with chores also teaches your child about being responsible for tasks while learning life skills. Assisting you with simple daily chores helps to instill the habit of helping out.
Tips for success
- Make the jobs doable for your child’s age. If a task is too complicated, your child might feel frustrated or overwhelmed, which can result in diminishing self-confidence.
- Do not undo your child’s work just to meet your adult or perfectionism standards. This can undermine the development of self-confidence as this sends the message that your child isn’t able to do it well enough for you.
- Make cleanup more fun by setting a timer, playing music or inventing a game such as “Find all of the red things to pick up.”
Here are easy ways for preschoolers to help out with “grown up” tasks.
In the kitchen
- Help unpack the groceries. Ask your preschooler to put the cereal away in the cupboard or the carrots in the refrigerator.
- Let your child set and clear the table. Use unbreakable dishware and no sharp knives.
- Enlist a chef’s assistant. Have your child help with mixing batter, tearing lettuce or using a cookie cutter.
Around the house
- When dusting or wiping surfaces with a damp cloth, draw a face on a sock and let your child use it to help you out.
- Let your child help with sweeping with a small broom and dustpan; even a hand broom will work.
- Practice learning colors by sorting the laundry into color piles.
- Assign your child the task of unloading the clothes dryer. Wait until the clothes cool so buttons, zippers and snaps won’t be too hot to touch.
- Let your child water the plants. Use a small pitcher or cup. Be sure to monitor how much water the plants get so they are not over watered.
- Give your child the responsibility of putting their clothes in the hamper each day.
We all know the sense of pride in a job well done. Although at this age, it isn’t about how well it is done; it’s about the feeling of accomplishment. “I did it!”
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