The girls have recently become more interested in practical life skills. The other day I was going about cleaning, as I normally do, when V suddenly started to take an interest. This was new for her. The girls will call out for me, checking to see where I am, but they generally don’t take too much of an interest in what I’m doing.
There are times they want to be in the same room with me, like in the evening when preparing dinner and baking, but not really trying to participate. This particular morning, she was army crawling right along while I was mopping. She would crawl closer and closer to analyze. My first instinct was to pick her up and bring her back into the sitting room, so that I could finish and she wouldn’t get wet, but I’m glad I didn’t. For a bit, I just went around her. Then I could still get the chore done but she was able to watch up close. Then E rolled in, wanting to watch as well. It’s so wonderful to see them become so interested in what I’m doing around the house. So I grabbed them each a clean ‘rag‘ (something I knew would end up in their mouth) so that they could participate.
We’ve been slowly setting up their own kitchen area. Currently, they have two counters with shelving that is perfect for their height. The lower shelf is where their rags and squeegee are now located. Next to their shelf is their Swiffer, a middle section taken out so it the perfect height for them to maneuver. Having these items available makes it so that they can join in cleaning whenever they would like. In time, I will provide them with a squirt bottle with a vinegar and water solution, like what I use, so they may have that to clean with as well.
When I do laundry, the girls enjoy assisting in folding. I save the wash clothes and bibs for them. There is no particular way I prefer them folded, so however they choose to present them is perfect. If they were kind enough to assist, I never redo their work in front of them (I actually try never to redo it period). I want them to know their time and energy is appreciated and valued. So to refold would be undermining their effort. (When they are a little older, matching socks will be a great activity and practical life combination.)
When T was a little older, around seven, and helping with dishes, he would wash and I would dry. On the off chance that a dish was still slightly dirty, I would kindly mention it so that he could clean it. I would mention it with love and gentleness. And, like with the girls, I would thank him greatly for all his help and kindness in offering assistance.
Does your child enjoy participating in cleaning?