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Letting Your Toddler Pitch In

 Letting your toddler pitch in while you work around the house expands her vocabulary and builds self-confidence,  say experts. Other things she'll discover:

If she likes to: Play in her pretend kitchen or feed her stuffed animals
Let her: Wash veggies ("Give that potato a bath!"), stir batter, place cooled food on trays, and set the table (with unbreakables!)
What she learns: Kitchen science -- how to blend ingredients, for instance-- and hand-eye coordination

If she likes to: Dump the laundry basket upside down
Let her: Match like items
What she learns: In addition to sizes and colors, kids begin to pick up the concept of family teamwork

If she likes to: Play with water
Let her: Give water to your pet and plants. Jill Lukasiewicz of Mount Sinai, NY, says that her 2-year-old can pour water in their dog's bowl with only a few spills
What she learns: That other living things need our help to grow