Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Turning work into play: Watering the Plants!

I think I've found a job for Eleanor.

Don't worry, I'm not talking child labour here. She's not even two and a half yet. But I've found something she can do, and she likes to do, and it needs doing anyway.

Watering the plants!

We've started to get our back garden sorted out so it's more child-friendly and productive. It's still very much a work in progress but we've managed to plant out some veggies, fruit bushes and flowers. Eleanor's quite interested in it all. She 'helped' to pot up some of the plants (actually she wasn't a huge help, but she was there, and she did stuff with a trowel) and she knows what most of the plants are going to produce.

But of course, a lot of plants means a lot of watering, which takes a lot of time. Fortunately, Eleanor regards this as a fun game. We spent ages watering the plants yesterday afternoon. She loved coming to the tap so I could fill up the can - although she was a little too impatient to fill it more than an inch! She loved carrying the can up the steps. And she loved the watering itself, and proudly telling me what she was watering. "Watering the bottoli!" (That's broccoli to you and me.) "Need to water the batturant bush!" (Yep, blackcurrants.) She came back to the tap again and again, and when we'd run out of plants I got her watering the newly emerging grass!

She had a lovely time, and it means one less job for us. Win! I think I'll try to encourage her to do this little chore every afternoon, it's a great way to keep her occupied in the garden and hopefully it'll give her a great sense of achievement when we're eating food from the garden and can tell her it's all down to her excellent watering! I just hope the novelty doesn't wear off too quickly for my plan to work!

Has anyone else found that they've been able to turn work into play for their toddler? I'd love to hear what works ... and not because I want to offload chores ... I'm nurturing her independence ... right?!

(By the way, yes, that is an interesting outfit, isn't it? Her choice. She insisted on the 'boo dess'. And the 'Leeds Rhinos top'. And that she wanted the 'dess under the top'. As I've discussed before, when her outfit's weird, it's ALWAYS her choice!)


  1. I think you can spin most things into a game :) Clearing the table, putting things in the bin, watering the garden! My lot love watering the garden :) #LetKidsBeKids

  2. Bagl loves helping to put the shopping away, he actually knows where stuff goes now too. For a while he seemed so into his cleaning kit I thought I might be able to give up sweeping and dusting, but no such luck!

    1. Ahh yes Eleanor likes to help put things away but we have to be careful, if she finds something she likes in the bag she'll just start eating it!! Eleanor likes to sweep but doesn't quite get it yet, she'll sweep dust out of the dustpan onto the floor, not so helpful!

  3. I think little ones love helping, especially in the garden and even more so when it involves water! My kids love watering the plants too, so simple, yet so fun. Saves us the job;)
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

  4. Thanks for the ideas guys! Eleanor was less enthusiastic about watering yesterday, but that was mainly because she wanted to talk to a snail on the wall. Understandable.

  5. Ours love to empty the water butt when 'helping' #letkidsbekids

  6. You have a keen gardener there! A nice way to incorporate and introduce chores to kids =) #LetKidsBeKids