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Many (little) hands…
The person who said many hands make light work obviously had never enlisted the help of a toddler. But spring cleaning with toddlers is probably a less taxing way of doing things than attempting to keep their inquisitive little hands out of the action. And it’s also safer; by working together you can keep an eye on what they’re up to.
- Toddler Teamwork – supervision is everything. Small children love working with an adult or older sibling. Give them a corner to clean or pass them paper rubbish to put out in the bin for recycling.
- Specialist work –If there is one territory toddlers know better than the adults it’s their own toys. Having a special job to tidy away their own toys is a safe, specific task. It also gives them a sense of responsibility about keeping their toys tidy. Maybe.
- Game time – it’s not difficult to turn the most dull household cleaning into an imaginative game. You could be tidying a wizard’s castle instead of a boring old bedroom wardrobe. You can see who can collect the most objects with the same colour. You can animate the equipment – a talking feather duster-bird anyone?
- Safe stuff – it almost goes without saying that cleaning fluids have to be carefully supervised, as many are potentially hazardous. Look for materials with the red Bitrex logo. Bitrex is a safety additive that makes it almost impossible for a child to accidentally swallow the product containing it.
- Appreciate – children who help out deserve a reward. Being part of the family team that helps keep the house tidy is a good lesson to learn, and a good habit to get into.