I give my three year old chores, and explain that she is helping our family keep our house clean (and preventing dear ol’ mom from breaking her neck when she slips on the banana peels Princess Peach so casually tossed on the floor).
Call me a promoter of child labor if you will. I call it raising a child to be a responsible adult, instead of raising children who don’t know how to be grown-ups. In other words, if you toss a banana peel on the floor, you darn tootin’ better pick it up before someone steps on it, or you won’t see another banana for a week and whatever you were playing with that made you too lazy to take the thing into the kitchen to compost is going to vanish until you do something to earn it back. 😉 I figure if I start teaching her now, maybe she won’t go into spasms of horrified shock when she is suddenly on her own and expected to cook, clean, pay her own bills, even follow laws. 🙂
For some ideas of what chores your three year old can do, here are some things mine does…
She has a few small duties, such as picking up her own toys at night, wiping up her snack table if she gets it messy, and helping feed her beloved kitty cats. One of her favorite new jobs, though, is crushing the aluminum cans for recycling.
Mommy’s little can crushing cutie is so enthusiastic about her job that she will scavenge the house for any empty cans she can rush to crush. We have to watch her, or she’ll take a Coke right out of your hand, scurry to pour it down the drain or drink it, then scamper to the can crusher we have on our kitchen wall to smash it and toss it in our nearby aluminum recycling bin. She thinks it’s the neatest thing!
There is a method to Princess Peach’s can crushing recycling ritual.
She carefully lines up her latest aquisition in the aforementioned crusher, plants her little feet firmly, then grasps the handle with both of her grubby paws. With a mighty heave and an enthusiastic exclamation of “Crrrrrrrush!!!!” she smooshes the can down to a fraction of it’s original size. With a flourish, she lifts the handle, snatches her squished can, waves it in the air while hopping up and down, and chants “I did it! I did it!” before finally tossing her work of art into the handy dandy recycling box. This is basically a daily ritual, and it never ceases to entertain her easily amused maternal figure. 🙂
I am not deeply into the “green craze”, but I believe in being responsible with whatever you have.
Recycling makes sense for our family on many levels. We already haul off our own trash so that we don’t have to pay for pick-up. It’s not much more trouble to separate a few things out and save them up to take to the recycling center.
When can are crushed, they take up less space and we are able to put at least triple the cans in each bag. Instead of paying to have those cans disposed of, we are given a few cents for them and helping the environment to boot. All of this, while helping our can crushing cutie pie learn responsibility and providing myself with the free entertainment of watching her theatrics while performing her beloved task. If that doesn’t appeal to someone who wants to maximize her resources as much as possible, I don’t know what does!
February 25, 2013 at 11:20 AM
I love the can crusher! I want one! hahaha! Kailey is a very good daughter. You’re a cool mom, Keisha!
February 25, 2013 at 11:35 AM
Thanks! I think she’s the cutest can crushing method I’ve ever seen. 🙂
March 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM
While I can’t really support your Coke habit, I can definitely support your decision to recycle….and to let her help! I remember crushing cans when I was younger (not quite as young as she is) and it always made me feel like I was contributing. I really enjoyed crushing them, too….the sound is awesome and it’s cool to sort of ‘squish’ something so easily, hehe. She seems to love it, no doubt.
March 12, 2013 at 12:44 PM
I don’t really support our Coke habit, either. lol It’s gotten out of hand due to exhaustion and inability to exercise (which naturally gives me more energy). I’m working on cutting back down to very little soda drinking now that I’ve recovered enough from pregnancy bedrest and a very traumatic delivery & recovery to start back to being active. My hubby is a caffeine addict, though, so I’m thinking our munchkin has job security in the future. lol Yes, she loves that crunchy sound and the act of crushing it. It’s great to see her sense of accomplishment and how much she enjoys her chore. 🙂