Sep 25, 2012

How to Get Preschoolers to Help in the Kitchen

When I was a teacher, it was amazing how willing my students were to help me clean the classroom. In fact, it became a privilege to dust the computers for me every Friday. These are the same kids who couldn't manage to get their clothes in the hamper or make their beds in the morning. Now that my daughter is four, we are giving her more responsibilities around the house. Mainly, we are having her help out in the kitchen.

The real trick is your selling tactic when presenting the new responsibility. You'll notice that I didn't say chore. Even a four year old knows that a chore is not fun. But being a big girl and having a new responsibility is pretty cool. We told Isabella that she was such a big girl starting her last year of preschool that she was going to get to help mommy and daddy more in the kitchen. We used happy faces and very excited voices when we talked to her.

And she bought it hook, line, and sinker.

So now Isabella sets the table every night for dinner. She's learning which side of the plate the silverware goes and where to place the cup. She needs help sometimes, but she's getting the hang of it. She is also helping me with small cooking tasks like tearing lettuce, buttering bread, making pb&j, and anything else that doesn't involve a knife and is pretty easy. She loves helping us and I love having less on my to do list. Do you know how nice it is having a kid who can make toast for everyone for breakfast? Read less whining while I get the rest of the breakfast on the table.

My goal is to have three self sufficient children so they can leave my home and take care of themselves. I don't want the kid who goes to college and has never done laundry or made a meal before. And while four seems young to be thinking about that to some people, I know that all these baby steps will get us to our goal.

Do your preschoolers help around the house? What responsibilities do you give them?

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