Chores don’t have to be dreadful. Parents can make them fun, foster child development, and boost their child’s self esteem. A child starts to develop their self-image very early in life. The more you set them up for success, the higher opinion they will have of themselves. Teaching them that responsibility can be a fun and rewarding experience is a lesson that can stick with them for the rest of their lives.
The most important thing about teaching a child how to do chores is making sure that they have fun and that the task is not too hard or frustrating. You want them to have a lot of success so that you can lavishly praise them for completing each task. Remember to also praise the effort, even if they are unsuccessful. Teaching them to be proud of the work that they’re doing will help them to understand that everything isn’t always easy, but you can still try.
Work fine motor development activities into your child’s everyday life. Fine motor skills are necessary for children to be able to write, draw, tie shoes, pull zippers, and much, much more. Many parents forget to spend some time each day focusing on fine motor skills, mainly because we don’t want to give our small children choking hazards. Supervise your child in accomplishing tasks with tiny objects. It could be something as simple as helping you clean up the cereal that spilled or making sure that they manipulate smaller knobs and buttons on your activity table. Trying to pick up tiny objects, coloring and stringing beads are all great fine motor skill activities. Work it into the day by letting your child mark things off of a “to do” list, coloring the items you’re looking for on your grocery list, or adding ingredients to your bowl.
Gross motor skills involve the larger muscle groups. Your child needs to develop their muscles to achieve the balance needed for walking, running, climbing and jumping. Make sure that your child is safe at all times. Let them help you clean up large toys or pull towels out of your laundry pile. Build a staircase up to the bed for them to climb. Just use pillows, blankets and other household items. Let your child jump in your lap. If they are capable, they can help you put away pots and pans from the dishwasher. Figure out ways for your child to incorporate gross motor skills into their playtime and chore time.
Your child’s physical heath and development depend on you making sure that they get plenty of practice with these skills daily. The best way to be proactive and make sure that they are practicing their skills every day is to let them help you out around the house. You will be helping their cognitive, social and language skills by explaining to them what you are doing and why. Spending this kind of quality time with your child will be a rewarding experience for both of you.
When you are not hands-on playing with your child, make sure that they have plenty of learning toys around. Preschool toys that can help them include things like a mini play cube, an activity table, and various day care toys designed to foster development. Building their physical, social and emotional skills now will benefit them for their entire lives.