An 18-month-old is able to understand 10 times the amount of things that he or she can say. Furthermore, your little one may be able to refer to his or herself by name and will love playing with toys. Of course, this creates a mess as they trawl through their toy box trying to find their favourite toy. However, the good news is that there are chores which your 18-month-old can do with you, such as cleaning up toys which will benefit both them and you.
Putting away washing
As any parent will know, children create a lot of washing. Little E has taken it upon herself to help me sort through the washing ready to hang up and put in the tumble dryer. When I get the washing basket out, she starts unloading the clothes from inside the washing machine. She’ll also hang pieces on the airer at the same time as I do.
Cleaning up toys
Giving your 18-month-old the task of helping you clean up their toys will give them a sense of responsibility. As the toys are theirs, it’ll help them to learn the importance of looking after them and keeping them safe. I find packing away the balls from our ball pit one of the most effective ways to get Little E involved in tidying up.
Helping to cook
Obviously, it’s not safe for an 18-month-old to using knives or the hob. However, they can help to prepare meals and sweet treats. When I’m preparing vegetables for dinner, I give Little E the task of putting the vegetable peelings in a bowl ready for composting. She also helps to make biscuits by rolling out the dough with me and using cookie cutters to make biscuits.
Looking after pets
My 18-month old loves helping to feed our dog. He moved on to a dry food only diet earlier this year and from then Little E has liked to feed him his biscuits by hand. And, the dog seems to like it too. She also likes to help fill up his bowl with biscuits. At dinner time, we give her his bowl and the bag of biscuits and she’ll happily sit there, putting them in. In fact, she gets upset if she doesn’t get to do it!
This is something Little E decided to start doing at my mum’s house. She gets the duster out of the cupboard, takes the photo frames off the table and wipes over the top of it. This isn’t something I’ve got her to do at ours, but I’m sure she would help with the dusting if we gave her a cloth.
Unpacking the shopping
When we bring the shopping in from the car, Little E starts unpacking the items from the bags and hands them to us to put away. There are child catches on our cupboards, so she can’t put anything away herself. Although, I’m sure she would attempt to if she could.
Helping in the garden
This time of year is far from the ideal gardening weather. However, in the summer, Little E would copy me in picking the weeds from the patio. Therefore, at 18-months-old – or even younger – this is the perfect task to get your child into.
General tidying up
Little E has a tendency to pull every DVD out of our DVD tower and every book off her bookshelf. So, I give her the task of putting them all back again afterward – with my assistance, of course.
What chores does your 18-month-old help with?