Don’t you love making your little one think something is so fun that they instantly want to help…and they don’t even realize they are helping?! As a stay at home mom, that’s the best way for me to get things done around the house. I love secretly playing that game with Maggie (my almost two year old). She’s always so eager to help me do things, little does she know that it’s actually a chore! Here are some ideas of what works best in our house for incorporating fun, all while marking things off the dreaded ‘to-do’ list.
Maggie is already a ‘foodie in training’, thanks to her Dad. She gets so excited to help make breakfast for herself. We let her put the bread in the toaster and I sing to her while we wait and then we both get the giggles when the bread pops up from the toaster.
Grocery shopping is always such a chore for me, but with Maggie it is fun. We stop at the deli, the bakery and the seafood counters to say hello to all of her “friends”, she’s such a friendly girl! We also collect all the coupon booklets as we make our way through the store and she ‘reads’ them to me. She likes to hand them to the cashiers when it is time to check out, almost as if she’s trying to buy them!
After dinner each night, Maggie stands guard by the dishwasher ready to help put the silverware in its proper spot. Except for the knives (of course), she places the forks and spoons into the holders. She is so proud of herself for helping and I’m just happy I don’t have to bend down to reach each time!
For exercise and getting rid of all that two-year old energy, we have dance parties. I love turning up the radio and dancing along with Maggie. We wave our hands in the air, shake turn around in circles and just have fun! It’s a great stress reliever for this mommy too!
Laundry seems to be the never ending job at our house. I like to get Maggie involved in sorting the clothes out by colors. One at a time, I hand her the clothes and help her decide which pile to place each piece. I always make a big deal out of it by clapping and cheering when she gets it correct. Her happy squealing is priceless!
When it comes time to fold clothes, I let Maggie help by putting her in charge of the socks, underwear and washcloths. She watches so closely and tries to fold them just like Mommy. The only bad part is that she loves to knock over the stacks of neatly folded shirts..every time.
Two-year olds are great at making big messes with their toys! We work as a family to clean up “Maggie’s tornado”. We sing a fun cleanup song and work on our manners (Can you please put that away? Thank you, Maggie.) while putting toys away. She’s so busy putting toys away so she can say ‘thank you’, that she doesn’t even realize she’s cleaning up!
Bath time means playtime in our house. My little one starts her own personal monsoon in the bathtub each night. She loves splashing and is always sad when it’s time to get out. She calls out “bye bye” and waves to the water each night as it goes down the drain. (So cute!)
After bath time, Daddy carries Maggie around the house to turn off the lights in most rooms. She reaches out to turn off the lights and says “night night” to the room. It’s part of our routine in getting ready for bed.
What type of activities do you like to play with your little one around the house? Keeping things fresh and exciting for kids is so important – when it involves fun, exercise and quality family time, everyone wins!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and The Hub blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.