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I have honestly been looking forward to the day I could begin teaching practical life skills to my toddlers since the day my three-year-old twins were BORN!
Introducing practical life skills to my toddlers
Ya’ll. It has been a WHILE since I’ve popped back on here with some new content. Life has been crazy as I’ve been adjusting to life as a newly single mom and while I plan on sharing what the transition has truly looked like, now is not the time. I am, however, forever grateful for the love I’ve received from each of you after sharing what has been going on over on Instagram.
Until I am ready to begin sharing the life transition, I’m going to be focusing on toddler activities and food for a bit! Which leads us to today’s topic: introducing practical life skills to toddlers.
My twins will be three in less than a month, and for the last while I have been introducing easy tasks that have been helping them learn a handful of life skills (and let’s be honest, their future everyday tasks and household chores). We are still in the eeearrly beginning of learning the skills, but I think it is super important to dive into them while they’re young!
I began introducing practical life skills to my toddlers by getting excited about an activity, like unloading the dishwasher, and asking if they wanted to help out. As toddlers, they want to do everything for themselves. So of course they were in for helping out!
7 practical life skills for toddlers and preschoolers
Before we dive in, find your patience pants because you’re about to lose your mind. Between tiny toddler attitude and their slow, messy pace, you might want to say screw it I am not doing this. But try your best to look at it as a learning experience that will ultimately help YOU in the future. I am sure you are like me and remember the little chores we were expected to do as kids to help out at home, and I for one can’t wait for the day my toddlers are proficient enough to do these few things on their own!
Introducing your toddlers to the laundry game can lead to more than just life skill teaching. Think colors and counting. All skills they can practice through helping out with the endless loads of laundry.
I have my toddlers help by sorting out colors, counting pieces of laundry they put into the washer, and then once laundry is washed by sorting out whos clothes are whos, towels, etc.
Mine aren’t to the point of folding quite yet, but they do help with everything else.
Helping out with the dishes was the first skill that my daughter was excited about. She gets to unload the dishwasher onto the counter (after I make sure there isn’t any knives or other not so kid safe items) which I then put away in their appropriate cupboards and she puts the silverware away.
Looking for some inexpensive dishes for your toddlers?
We love the sets from Dr. Browns! Ya’ll know I swore by them when the twins were babies but I was happy to see they had dishes as well!
My favorites for toddlers have been:
3. Body independence
This one is huge for me. As a twin mom, I have worked on teaching my kiddos independence from the start to make life easier all the way around, so you best be sure the second they showed interest in dressing themselves I pulled my hands away and said GO FOR IT!
I encourage my toddlers to dress themselves, clean themselves in the bath, and my potty-trained daughter to take herself to the bathroom. Of course, I help where I need to, but I think allowing them the bit of body independence is liberating and helps build their confidence.
Obviously our kiddos still need assistance in the kitchen, but there is no reason why they can’t get involved and start learning cooking and baking basics. My toddlers love to help with the measuring and mixing inside of recipes, of which I find they are more likely to actually EAT the things they help make. So, a little win-win there mama.
5. Simple cleaning
Oh man, here come the chores. Now, these things will not be done perfectly but the attempt is all I need. My toddlers help clean up their toys, clean windows, wipe down the table/surfaces, and pretend to sweep/mop alongside me with their own little sets. These are super simple ways I began to introduce practical life skills to my toddlers and your littles will probably love to help!
6. pet care
I’ll be honest, I don’t even feed our dogs anymore! My toddlers know which scoop is for which dog, and I just have to let them know “it’s time to feed the puppies” and they’re all over it! Now only if they could clean up the dog poop…
7. Plant care
One last simple life skill I have taught my toddlers; plant care! Whether it is watering the outdoor plants with the hose, or your more delicate plants with a watering can, your toddlers are totally capable!
Okay, now let’s be honest. Our toddlers aren’t going to ROCK at these things.
You might lose your mind in the process. I hear that is normal so that is what I am holding onto. But you will feel SO accomplished when your littles begin to do the things I mentioned in this post all on their own! Hang in there mama!