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Entries in unload dishwasher (1)

Wednesday
Jun092010

5 Chores that are Perfect for Toddler Twins

One of the best things we did was send the Twofer to this small little preschool that had very limited parking.

This meant the kids had to hop in and out of the car with the assistance of teachers...they called it, 'kiss and ride'. It also meant that I simply didn't have the choice to carry their backpack for them, hang up their coat, or carry them inside the school.

The fact that this little school used kiss-n-ride meant that at just two years of age my girls learned how to:

get their coat on and off (using the flip method)

get their back-pack on and off

get their lunchbox in and out of their backpack

What they learn in school can be done at home, if you let them

I decided that if they knew how to hang up their coat and backpack in a cubby at school, they most certainly could do it at home. This could be their first chore! I started to look at the things I was doing around the house and made modifications to them so that the Twofer could help.

Empty the Dishwasher

I would first grab the knives and adult plates and glasses because they were too little to be trusted not to drop those or hurt themselves. Everything else was either sturdy like pots/pans, or plastic. I also set up bottom cabinet drawer they could fill with their plastic plates and cups:

 twins kitchen drawer. toddler cups and plates

Sort Laundry

My twins have always had a thing for clothes. They claim certain hand-me-downs as their own and I can never keep track...but they could. So, why not enlist their help? Instead of, "Who's shirt is this?" I just gave them the pile to sort. I would then fold the clothes but the girls stuck around to help carry it all upstairs and place it into their respective drawers. Now that they are older they can even fold their clothes, and while it's not perfectly flat or neat...it's one of those things I've opted to 'let go of' in order to have more of their help.

Put Coats and Shoes Away

As you come into our house from the garage we have a mudroom/laundry room with a coat closet. Luckily for use the previous owner had twin boys and they installed several child-height coat hooks. It was easy enough for us to reinforce what they were leaning at school. The hooks were the perfect height for them to hang their own coats and backpacks.

Don't have a closet? Buy a space-saving kiddie coat rack like this one that will hold coats, backpacks but also hats and gloves in winter or swim goggles, bathing suits or towels in the summer! 

In addition, to curb the Twofer's love of spreading every single pair of shoes all over the house...I bought a bench with small cubbies in it so they have a place to store their shoes. In the summer I bring out a large basket where they can toss flip flops and crocs since that's what they wear most often.   

Put Groceries Away

If your pantry is bare (like mine) before you finally make that dreaded trip to the grocery store, then this is a fairly easy task. With lots of empty shelves, the little ones can easily find where to put the soup cans, ceral boxes, even snack foods. My girls could also reach the veggie and meat/cheese drawers in my fridge so that was another grocery bag emptied. It might help them and you to invest in some pantry organizers like a can organizer and stacker.

Of course now I don't mind putting the groceries away since I fell in love with Peapod online ordering and delivery. Infact, the Twofer seem to be more excited about putting things away when the groceries are delivered...I guess it's a little like Christmas. They didn't have to schlep to the store, so it's a surprise to see what I ordered?

Take Out Recycling

The beauty of having twins is that they can work as a team so even a task that seems too large can be handled in small steps with two little ones. For the most part the Twofer are responsible for all of our paper recycling, and my county lets you recycle A LOT!

newspaper

boxes

magazines

mail

First, toddler twins can run around the house and gather magazines and catalogues for you to sort through. They can load it all into a large trash bag too, or they can carry empty boxes. If they are strong enough, the two of them can haul a big bag filled with mail, magazines, and paper out to the garage together but if not, at least it has all be placed into one convenient area and all you have to do is drag it outside and into the bin.

Giving them chores at a young age gave them a sense of responsibility, got them used to helping out around the house, and helped me feel like I didn't HAVE to do it all. I had help! I still do too.

Janine