At two, Theo loves to help in the kitchen. Often that’s how I get him to stop poking at the rocks and twigs beside the sidewalk and start trotting the two-block walk from daycare to our house: the offer to help me cook dinner.
It’s debatable at times how much his helping actually leads to less work on my part. Actually, scratch that – it’s not debatable at all – having Theo help takes significantly longer than if I’d just cooked by myself.
Theo putting carrots into the food processor.
Theo loves to very slowly dig fava beans from their shell, drop them into a bowl one-by-one, and then put the shell into a bag for composting. He puts carrots into the food processor and watches open-mouthed as they shred. He brings me the cartoon of eggs from the refrigerator and then hands them to me one egg at a time, watching as I crack them into a bowl. However inefficient it might be, Theo isn’t “pretending” to help in the kitchen; he is completing real tasks.
Theo grating cheese with our microplane. We’ve only had to have his fingers surgically reattached twice.
And, when Brian gets home, Theo loves telling him that he “helped mama” with dinner. This is worth the inefficiency; knowing that he’s learning to feel pride in contributing to our meal and our family.
Theo putting dressing onto a salad. He won’t EAT salad yet, but life is a work in progress.
Other household chores Theo enjoys are sweeping, watering plants, taking out the compost, and unloading the dishwasher.
We removed two sections of the handle of this floor sweeper and poof, it fit a toddler.
It’s likely easier to have Theo help here, where we have a home set up with familiar household tools. However, we plan to translate these same types of activities to our time spent traveling as well, and are looking forward to seeing how our meals and household chores vary depending on where we are calling home for the month.
Some sites where I’ve found inspiration for practical life activities are: