I love watching my kids play, but I also love watching them work. Truth be told, working and playing aren’t really that much different to them.
Sam loves feeding the chickens corn. The chickens love it when Sam feeds them corn.
Sam also loves to help move the chicken’s portable coop with his dad. It involves hooking the coop to the tractor using a chain. You can see Sam helping his dad in the first picture and then him playing at moving his own pretend coop in the second picture. In the case of the pretend chicken coop, he uses his sister’s jump rope for a chain.
Sarah loves to help with the animals, too. She’s my little love-bug and pays a lot of attention to our cats. She also loves to help set the table and rinse the clean dishes. I wish I had a picture of her at the sink rinsing, but such is life.
Danny loves to get out and help his dad work on stuff, fix our cars, plant trees, build things and do maintenance around the house. In this picture, he’s so happy to be helping his dad and grandpa build some nesting boxes for our newly laying chickens.
Eric set up an area for Danny to do some work on his own while he’s helping. Here, he’s measuring and cutting small pieces of wood. The teacher in me wants to sing and dance when I see all this measuring…
Mary started helping in the kitchen as soon as she was old enough to stand on a chair. She made pancakes for us tonight with very little help from her momma. I helped her pour the vegetable oil (I buy in bulk and it’s too heavy for her) and I hovered around somewhat nervously and obnoxiously while she used the griddle… She did the rest. Truly.
It doesn’t come without a bit of risk and mess, but the skills and attitudes they are gaining are pretty wonderful.
Crazy as it may sound, our goal for the kids is for them to be capable of everyday tasks and chores by the time they are 12 and pretty much able to be self-sufficient by the time they are 16. This will give them a few years to practice with a net before they go out into the big-bad world and try to make a go of it.
Working isn’t all bad. I think my kids would tell you that they love the challenge of doing hard jobs and the praise they earn when they succeed. I think they would also tell you that many jobs are also very fun! What are your kids’ favorite jobs?
**By the way… If you enjoyed seeing how my kiddos work, be sure to check out this post to see how they play! Hope you’ll play along on my “Free-Play Day” post by leaving a comment about how your kiddos play.