Last week I introduced my new series Toddler Time to you. This week I’d like to give you a fun idea for keeping your toddler occupied while you do an activity that demands your attention and focus. (For me, I find these activities most helpful and sanity-saving during our homeschool time.)
This week the activity is one I call Tiny Chores.
Now, they’re not really chores at all – nothing helpful is actually getting accomplished at this point.
But I have noticed that one of Ryah’s favorite things to do is to imitate me as I do things around the house. She loves to sweep and is the first one on the scene to wipe up a spill (not surprisingly because she is usually the one who spilled it). So, I’ve come up with a few things that Ryah can play at to be just like Mommy:
Wash dishes. One day I put several towels on the floor, filled a dish tub part way with warm soapy water, and set it on Ryah’s little play table. I got out her plastic play dishes and gave her a wash cloth. She spent forever pretending to wash those dishes over and over. Yes, she was drenched when it was all said and done, but all I had to do was slip off her dress and she was ready to keep going.
Sweep, mop, or vacuum. Of course Ryah isn’t really able to clean the floors, but she sure does like imitating the motions I make while I do these things. I’m currently on the look out at flea markets, garage sales, and on Craigslist for a set of kids-sized cleaning toys. In the meantime, though, I let her pretend with the real stuff. (I don’t usually give her water, by the way. In this picture, I had actually been doing the mopping, and she joined me for a few minutes.)
Put laundry into or out of the drier. Our laundry room is directly beside our school room, so occasionally I give Ryah a small basket of clean clothes and let her transfer them back and forth from the drier to her heart’s content. This isn’t usually an activity that last for more than 5-10 minutes, but she enjoys it just the same.
Dust. I’ve written before about how much I like the Swiffer 360 Dusters. They are easy to use and don’t use any sprays or other product, so Ryah can easily take one and spend a few minutes “dusting” all her toys… and Mommy… and the dogs… )
Organizing silverware. This is one I’m looking forward to trying with Ryah this week! I have a set of plastic silverware and an empty silverware drawer organizer. While Will is doing some seat work, I plan to talk to Ryah about the names of the utinsels and show her where each type belongs. Then, I hope that she will work on dividing all the silverware up in its appropriate compartment.
Do you have any “tiny chores” that your toddler enjoys doing?