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My first chores - Babies and toddlers - Educatall

My first chores

At 18 months, children love imitating adults. By the time their second birthday rolls around, they have a strong desire to do everything independently and may refuse the help of their parents or early childhood educator.


Why not give them simple tasks to complete? By letting them help, they will develop their autonomy and be better prepared to join the next age group or welcome younger children to your group in the fall.


Learning through imitation
The best way to encourage younger children to complete small tasks (responsibilities) is to accompany them. For example, whenever you wash the table, hand them a small cloth they can use to imitate you.


In the same way, whenever you sweep the floor, provide tiny kid-sized brooms they can use to help. Keep in mind that the result is unimportant. Do not expect their tasks to be executed perfectly. The goal is to boost their self-confidence and give them the impression they are "big kids".


Chore charts for younger children
We all have chore charts that we use with older children. For example, with three-year-olds, children usually pick a chore and stick the corresponding pictogram next to their picture as a reminder of their daily chore. With children who are 18 months to 2 years old, a chore chart must be used "in the moment".


I suggest taking pictures of simple chores or tasks that can be executed on the spot (turning the lights off, washing a table, closing the door, etc.). Use the pictures as part of a game. Let each child pick or choose a picture and immediately execute the corresponding action together.


You may also laminate the pictures and display them where the action is to be executed. For example, the "close the door" picture could be displayed directly on the door. Point to the picture as you ask a child to complete this task.


Toddlers may all want to execute the same task at the same time. To avoid conflicts, you can, for example, have six tiny cloths or six tiny brooms on hand, one for each child in your group.


Chantal Millette
Early childhood educator


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