At The Gardner School, we know firsthand how busy today’s working parents can be. In addition to work demands, moms and dads have the responsibility of juggling a wide mix of parental duties from shopping for food, clothing, and supplies to transporting kids to extracurricular or family activities. With all these responsibilities at hand, housekeeping and home chores can often be pushed a bit lower on the priority list—and that’s okay!
To make life a bit easier for our hardworking moms and dads, The Gardner School offers a full suite of supplemental enrichment classes and activities for our preschoolers. These optional activities are the perfect way for students to gain access to fun new skills during the regular school day, without adding more stress to parents' already busy schedules by managing these types of activities beyond regular school and work hours. These enrichment classes consist of various subjects, such as foreign languages, sports, visual arts, performing arts, computer-based learning, and even cooking classes. The end goal for our parents is more quality time together as a family and additional hours in the day for taking care of housekeeping needs.
With all of this in mind, we put together a list of helpful housekeeping tips for our working parents to use as encouragement and support during life’s busy moments. We hope these tips provide you with an added peace of mind and a little relaxation. Even more, we offer a few ways to get the kids involved.
While the meal itself is arguably the best part of cooking, the actual process of making it can be quite enjoyable with the right plan in place. Instead of doing all the meal preparation for an eager (and adorable) audience, involve kids in the cooking experience. Preschoolers can wash and dry produce, sort and stir ingredients, and even help gather and put away cooking utensils. Cooking is a great learning opportunity for kids, and you’ll get a little relief from doing all the work yourself. While students are learning how to participate in family-style meals at school, it’s a wonderful opportunity to continue that practice at home.
Let’s be honest—cleaning might be the least favorite of all housekeeping chores. However, when you make it a family activity, it can be fun. Consider assigning specific rooms or areas of your home to different family members. While some preschoolers might not be quite ready for such an independent task, they can help with simple duties, such as picking up toys or putting things away. When all cleaning is complete, celebrate together over a rewarding meal or movie that will help kids look forward to it every time. Cleaning is also a wonderful time to help preschoolers understand the importance of recycling.
With preschoolers in the house, laundry is a housekeeping task that will be ongoing. So, instead of allowing this task to be a total wash, involve your preschoolers in the process. Assign them the task of sorting whites and darks. As clothes finish drying, ask your children to help fold and put away the clothes. They might not do it as neatly or efficiently as you prefer, the practice of doing it will help establish good habits for the future.
While the organization of household items can sometimes be a dreaded task, the end results will always leave you feeling great. The first step to getting organized is to clear the clutter. Ask your preschoolers to help you gather some items around the house that can be donated to a local thrift shop or charitable organization. This is a great way to teach them about helping others, and you’ll free up some space to keep things tidy and in place. Invest in some inexpensive storage bins, label them, and then teach your preschoolers which items to place in each bin. This process works great for toys rooms, food pantries, and closets. Through a variety of activities, The Gardner School offers numerous opportunities each day for children to learn organizational skills.
Taking a few steps toward involving your preschoolers in housekeeping tasks might seem like a little extra work, but trust us—you will eventually gain back more time for yourself and for your family in the long run by helping them learn these skills. Our classrooms feature a home living center, in which they can learn and practice some of the simple skills mentioned above. Our engaging curriculum and some of our enrichment classes can also teach early household skills. To learn more about The Gardner School’s enrichment program, visit our enrichment page.