Fun Things To Do Around The House That Make Little Kids Feel Like Big Kids
Summary: Mundane adult chores are really exciting for young children because it makes them feel like bigshots.
These activities are really fun for children between the ages of 2 and 5, or even older. Plus they enhance their motor skills, cognitive skills, self esteem, and sense of personal responsibility.
1. Let Your Kid Cut Up Some Food
Young children want to do everything that adults do. Especially the things we tell them they’re not old enough for. So getting to cut up some food with a knife is a huge thrill. Pull a chair up to the counter where the cutting board is and fill it with big wedges of watermelon that are about half an inch thick. Put all the real knives away and give them a butter knife. To a young child it’s a real knife and it cuts through the watermelon easily. They’ll hack it pieces and stuff themselves silly eating the little chunks they gleefully cut off. If you don’t have watermelon, thinly sliced cheese, hotdogs and deli slices can also work.
2. Let Them Wash the Dishes
For adults this is a chore but for children washing the dishes is a special treat. Of course, you won’t be letting them wash the dishes for real. Clear the sink and the drying rack of all glass and knives. Pull up a chair to the edge of the sink for your kid to stand on and give them some soap, sponges and a few plastic cups. Even throw in a sippy cup or two. They’ll get a real kick out of washing their own cup.
Run the faucet lightly and make sure it’s not too hot. And throw a towel on the floor underneath the chair to catch all the extra water that will inevitably spill. Don’t be surprised if they’re still washing the dishes an hour later. My daughter would spend most of her time talking to herself, singing and methodically filling up a measuring cup and slowly pouring that into her old baby bottles over and over again. Good clean fun!
3. Let Them Clean the Shower
This is very similar to washing the dishes but they get to get their whole body wet. Take off their clothes; give them a bucket filled with soapy water and a couple of sponges. Make sure you have some kind of matt on the bottom of the bathtub so they don’t slip. Now grab a magazine and your favorite book, sit on the toilet and catch up on your reading why your kid goes to town soaping up the shower. Don’t wonder away unless you’re completely comfortable with the risk that your child may step out of the shower and decide to “clean” the whole bathroom.
4. Let Them Cook Some Food
By the time she was three my daughter could make some killer scrambled eggs. This wasn’t by accident as I’ve been letting her cook since she was very young. Scrambled eggs are a good starter food. They’re fun to crack and scramble, they’re inexpensive and they’re very forgiving so they’re almost impossible to completely screw up.
First clear the stove and counter area of all knives, glass and unnecessary pots and pans. Put the pan you’re going to use on the back burner and pull up a chair for your kid to stand on.
With a little bit of practice they can get pretty good at cracking eggs but you’ll still have to open them into the bowl for a while. They’ve probably watched you do this dozens of times so give them the bowl and the fork and show them how to break the yolks and then scramble it all together. They won’t have the dexterity to do the whisking motion so it will look more like they are just stirring the eggs. Be patient, after a few minutes the whites and the yolks will actually be blended together.
Show them how to test the pan by letting a little bit of egg drop off the fork or by holding their hand over the pan to feel the heat.
If it’s ready help your kid pour the eggs in. The bowl’s probably too heavy for them to do it on their own. Then give them a spatula and show them how to keep the eggs constantly moving.
Now you may be wondering “won’t my kid burn herself?” Well, probably. Not every time, but now and then they will burn themselves. But since the pan is on the back burner and you’re standing right there, any burns will be rather minor. Anyway, this is a good time for them to learn about heat and flame. It’s a safe controlled environment and you can talk about the consequences. Much better to learn now than when they sneak into the kitchen when you’re not looking and start playing with a stove they know nothing about.
My daughter knows firsthand the stove can be dangerous and we’ve never had a problem with her getting up and playing with it on her own.
Same with motorcycles and cars. When my daughter was about two and a half she saw a motorcycle pull up to the farmer’s market. Naturally she wanted to check it out. I expressly told there several times not touch the engine but she did it anyways. She got a little blister on her finger. But you know what? She’s never touched a motorcycle engine again or any other shiny engine like object. She now assumes they can all be hot. Now when she gets close to a motorcycle she holds her hand out to detect radiant heat and then asks me is it hot? Now that’s something you can’t learn from a book. That’s street smarts learned the old fashion way.
That’s it for now.
File Under: Kids Activities Around the House – Free Fun Stuff You Can Do With Your Children in the Home – Improve Your Child’s Motor Skills, Brain Development and Self Esteem by Letting Them Do Household Chores