Thursday, March 10, 2011
Wednesday Workout - Helping with Housework
I know ... a day late. It's been one of those weeks!
Since I stay home, I have the "luxury" (ya, whatever) of doing housework every.single.day (not that working moms don't have this "luxury", my "luxury" is being able to do it throughout the day and not at 10pm at night like I did when I worked full time). Anyway, Aiden "helping" (I use this term very lightly) with housework has been one of the best language builders, even if it takes me three times as long to get anything done.
Laundry - Not only is laundry a good sorting activity, it has helped teach him articles of clothing, the difference between a wash machine and a dryer, colors ("put all the BLACK clothes in this pile"), possessives (daddy's shirt, Ryan's pants), verbs (washing, drying, pouring, taking out, putting into, folding, putting away), adjectives (wet, dry, dirty, clean, dark, light, big, small). His favorite parts are throwing the clothes in the wash machine and destroying the laundry basket full of clean folded clothes ... ya, this part's not so fun and is one way he learned the words "not nice" and "angry" too.
Dishes - Aiden LOVES to help put away the clean dishes from the dishwasher. Again, not only has this has been an excellent way to teach him the names of all the dishes but also opposites such as small vs big, clean vs dirty, empty vs full. While I am making dinner, I can ask Aiden for a BIG spoon, and he knows exactly which one to give me. He also loves to help set the table, again teaching all the silverware names and short sentences (daddy gets a big fork, Ryan needs two napkins etc).
Cleaning his toy room - I have to admit, he's not much of a destroyer. He likes things in the right place and tidy. BUT, that doesn't mean he's never destroyed. At times he'll go in there and empty every single toy bin for no apparent reason what-so-ever except "just because". I've actually done it a couple times myself with him just as a learning opportunity. This is a GREAT way to teach SORTING into CATEGORIES - animals (and you can get even more specific with jungle vs zoo vs pets vs farm), vehicles, music, food, balls, building blocks, baby items, furniture, etc. An idea I learned from the John Tracy Clinic Distance Education Courses is to label the toy bins with a card showing pictures from that specific category.
Grocery Shopping - This truly is the best therapy ever. In fact, I always say our trips to Costco are well warranted, killing three birds with one stone by getting shopping done, a therapy session in, and the best part, LUNCH! Truly though, grocery shopping, as much as a hassle it is with a toddler, is a wonderful therapy session all in itself. This is how Aiden has learned the difference between fruits and veggies, what each fruit or veggie is (he can finally tell the difference between a tomato and an apple) plus much more ... put in, take out, cash register, money, receipt, push the cart, pay the clerk, STOP throwing it OUT of the cart, that's not nice, SIT DOWN, mom's getting angry, and on and on (okay, so great therapy session for toddler, but after all is said and done, mom deserves a day at the spa).
Then of course there are the little things like helping to empty bathroom trashcans (aka, mom picks up a trail of trash from bathroom to kitchen), dust, sweep (Aiden LOVES to sweep - inside the cat's litter box), feed the cats/dog (then pick up all the spilled food) ... all of which is filled with language opportunities AND the look on THEIR face (not yours) when they know they've "helped" accomplish a task is truly priceless all in itself.