By Beth Pinyerd

It is Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Guiding your child to help you with chores is a sweetheart of a good gift! Time and patience spent with a young child spells love.
During my teaching years, I have teased my young students when I tell them I am going to take them home to clean my house after they have given my classroom a super-clean, super-organized job on Friday afternoons.
Children love to help. Don’t go ahead of them and do it for them. Let them do chores around your home all during the week so you can rest and relax on the weekends.
It truly makes them feel responsible and trusted when you allow them to help you around the house. It may take a little longer to do a chore but it is well worth it.
There are many readiness and academic lessons to be learned through household chores that truthfully aid in your child’s developmental learning. Sorting laundry into piles like the family’s dirty or clean clothes, they can sort what belongs to mom, dad, brother, or sister, too, they can sort and pair up socks that are alike and different. They can sort silverware by putting forks in one slot, spoons in another slot, too they can help sort coins into proper stacks of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters as you pick up and straighten up around the house.
Taking time to teach your child to set the table like counting how many family members you have and how many plates, cups, forks, knives will be needed for each family member teaches your child about patterning and one to one correspondence.
When children help their parents to safely cook in the kitchen, they learn order and sequence by following the steps of a recipe. To let a parent know when the timer goes off teaches him/her the concept of length of time and using the clock on telling time. In the kitchen, the quantities of measurement can be taught.
Fractions can be taught as you cut up fruits and vegetables. Comparing sizes and amounts is also another math lesson learned.
The magic of safely spraying a cleanser fascinates young children. It never fails when you spray a pleasant spray cleanser they will scrub and scrub. Too, if you ever need a bathroom counter cleaned take shaving cream, spray on the table or counter to be cleaned. Let them draw pictures in the shaving cream then clean it up.
I know this sounds funny, but let your child, if not allergic to dust, draw with their pointing finger in the dust, then safely dust the furniture in different shapes motions like a circular motion or rectangular motion. Children love to shine a table and see their reflection. At the same time you can get your furniture dusted by little hands. Children love to sweep and mop in small areas that they see immediate results. Too, they may want to imitate you by using toy brooms or mops.
In their rooms, spending time to show them how to pick up their toys and putting them in the same spot, taking time to show your little ones how to make his/her bed, sorting their books from smallest to largest, and just to straighten up teaches your child how to be proud of “their space.”
Be sure to reward your child by simply keeping a paper chart which they can see when you reward them with a happy face or sticker after they do their jobs. This will encourage them to help you when they see a need.