Lesson 3: Work/Play

How does a three year old work?

There is a fine line between teaching my child how to have a good work ethic and child labor. I try to make work fun so my son does not know he is actually doing work.

Work can be fun!

I find that praising my son and getting excited over little things makes a big difference in his perception. He doesn’t see work as a punishment or a job to be got through, it’s fun for him. In his mind work is what the grown-ups do so it will make him big and strong.

He enjoys digging potatoes out of the dirt. He gets to find weird edible objects in the ground and he gets to be dirty. Feeding chickens is fun because he gets to collect the eggs when he’s done. He doesn’t even mind helping to clean out the pig pen because that’s what mom and dad are doing. He even gets his own wheel barrow!


A few things that help make it fun are:

  1. Having his own set of tools or equipment, such as a child sized wheel barrow.
  2. Praise for being a good helper or so strong.
  3. High fives when the job is done.
  4. Not getting upset when he has had enough.

After all he is a small child and I want work to be fun which means giving him jobs he can handle, praising his work, and letting him be done when he’s tired or bored.



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