It is never too early for kids to learn how to help around the house. It can be as little as learning to pick up their own toys, to helping set the table. Children love to help, and what better way to help them learn to contribute to the household.
Now that my children are 2 and 3, we wanted a way to track things everyday to show our children what they have accomplished. I have compiled a list of different chore charts for younger children.
Homeschool Creations has a Chore Chart that has pictures to help younger children know what they need to do.
Ever since I became a parent I am always looking for new ways to handle situations with my children. Each person parents in a different way, even if the parenting style is the same. With this I am always amazed to hear one of my friends talk to her children. She is always so positive and always compliments them when they do a good job. Even when they aren’t do something they are suppose to, she always seems to find a positive spin on it.
There was one time when she did this, that it was so clever that it has really stuck in my head every since. Her almost 2 year old was coloring with markers and was coloring on the paper, the table and the chair. When we all noticed my friend very quickly said to her “I love your artistic freedom, but can we please keep it to the paper.” She could have easily screamed “Don’t color on the furniture,” or even “Please keep the coloring to the paper.” Instead she complimented what her 2 year was doing and then stated what she wanted. What a great way to correct what her child was doing.
When I asked her about it, she informed me that it was called the sandwich approach. Informing me that you sandwich what you want your child to do or what you need them to do with 2 positives. That way you start and end with something positive. I absolutely love this approach. It compliments my philosophy of praise 10 times more than correcting.
This is a story I heard on the radio, I do not know if it is in fact true, but it makes a great example.
A boy, 23, was working at a company that was going to lay people off at the end of 2012. He along with many others was doing everything he can to show the company that he was a team player. He somehow found out he was on the list of people they were going to let go, and naturally told his mother this. Behind the boy’s back the mother decided to contact his boss. When the boy got called into the office he found out his mother had contacted his boss and yelled at him. He ultimately got to keep his job, which was good.
So what did this teach the 23-year-old? It taught him that when life gets tough, mommy to the rescue. Today we are a society that loves to “baby” our children. I know that parents think that they are protecting their children and helping them, but in reality all they are doing is hurting them in the long run.
Think about all the different things that parents have to teach their children. Walk, talk, read, write…..the list goes on and on. Would you still want to read everything for your child at 23? I don’t think so. So why is it that parents like to fight the battles for their children? What is going to happen when they aren’t there to do that? What is going to happen when they are left all on their own? By doing it for them, we are teaching them that we will always do it for them.
I am not talking about when it is appropriate to fight the battle, I am talking about when the child needs to learn to handle themselves. If you always pay their bills and take care of their money, how are they going to learn? If you always do it for them, how will they learn to do it for themselves.
At some point we, as parents, need to let go of the reigns and let our children take them. I know it can be hard from time to time, it may take longer, it may not be perfect, but if we don’t they will never learn to do it on their own.
This is a great activity for a toddler who loves to sort and pick things up and put them in a container. It will help your child with gross motor skills, following directions, fine motor skills and the concept of “in” and “out”.
You can color the clothespins with markers, or paint. Then use different color buckets for your child to match the colors. Don’t have buckets? Use a piece of construction paper and have your child clip the clothespins to the correct color. To expand this, have your child count the clothespins when putting the in the bucket and out of the bucket.
Separate the clothespins by color. Count how many you have of each color.
Have your child stand over a bucket and drop the clothespins in the bucket. Don’t pick up the ones that don’t go in. Once you are through all the clothespins count how many your child got in the bucket and how many your child missed. See if height makes a difference, have you child stand on a chair and drop the clothespins. (make sure you have them under your supervision.
Use an empty 2 liter bottle and have your child put the clothespins in the bottle. Once you have a few in, have your child shake the bottle. To get the clothespins out, cut the bottle.
What other activities can you think to do with clothespins?
When my son turned a year old, we started to noticed that he would wake up in the middle of the night and scream at the top of his lungs. We didn’t know what was going on until I started to research nightmares and night terrors.
There is a difference between a nightmare and a night terror. A nightmare happens in the REM phase of sleep and usually wakes the child up. While a night terror happens in a deeper stage of sleep and the child is technically still asleep. The child most likely will not remember a night terror, while they might a nightmare.
As a parent, it is difficult to hear or see your child being so scared, but there are things you can do to help ease your child when he/she has a nightmare or night terror.
Get to you child as quickly as possible.
Reassure your child that it is safe and you are there.
Remain clam. Children can sense emotions and react to that emotion.
Stay with your child until he/she is calm.
Use soothing techniques until your child is calm. Sing, rub their back, speak gently.
There are also things that make the nightmare or night terror worse.
If your child sleeps in their own bed, encourage them to stay there rather than letting them come into your bed. They may get the idea that their room or bed is the problem if you take them out of it.
Avoid telling your child that the nightmares aren’t real. Nightmares are very real to your child and telling him/her that it isn’t may upset them even more.
If it is a night terror please DO NOT wake your child up. This may make it worse. Try to use calming words like “Mommy/Daddy is here to protect you.”
Whether it is a nightmare or night terror it is difficult to watch our children go through it. The best thing you can do is to make sure that your child feels safe and secure.
Children are natural creative. They can imagine that there is hot lava on the ground or that all the dolls are really drinking tea. Creativity is not something that we get to once, it is something that we can come back to many times throughout our life.
So what happens when a child has a creative block? You can use some of these tips to help spark it.
Make things better:
What would taste better if it were sweeter?
What would be nicer if it were smaller?
What would be more fun if it were faster?
What would be better if it were quieter?
What would be more exciting if it went backwards?
What would be happier if it were bigger?
Use your senses:
Guess what it is?
Guess the sound.
What is the difference? What is the same?
Divergent Thinking Questions:
What are some uses of water?
What floats in water?
How does water help us?
What sinks in water?
What would happen if:
all the trees in the world were blue?
everyone looked alike?
all the cars were gone?
everybody wore the same clothes?
every vegetable tasted like chocolate?
you could fly?
In how many different ways:
could a spoon be used?
could a button be used?
could a string be used?
How do you promote creativity? What do you do in order to spark it again?
Reading is very important to a child’s development. From recognition skills as they look at a picture book to learning the words to read, developing imagination, increasing vocabulary, learning better communication skills, doing better academically, the list goes on and on.
Infants are just learning about the world. They only know what you teach them. As they become more alert they are learning and absorbing all that is going around them. Placing a book in front of them will encourage them to pick it up, look at the pictures, touch it….. opening up their minds to what the possibilities are. Picture board books engage several of the senses – visual, tactile and auditory if they’re being read to.
Toddlers are learning about the world a mile a minute. You can show them to do something one time and they have it mastered! Reading aloud to them helps them associate words with pictures. This improves their language and communication skills. It introduces them to a world outside of their home.
Children have such an imagination. Have you ever watched a group of children play “hot lava” on the playground? Where do they get that imagination from? All over. Books expand your child’s experiences of new places, people, and things. It gives children the opportunity to discover a topic they are interested in. Reading aloud to them helps them develop good listening skills, comprehension skills, and language skills.
Reading with your children encourages a special bond. It is quality one-on-one time and gives you and your child the opportunity to learn together while snuggling!
Reading opens the doors to all other possibilities! Encourage your children to read from a very early age.
Here is a helpful link that identifies 5 main early reading skills