Most of the time, when a toddler wants to “help” the go to instinct is to roll our eyes and accept the fact that whatever we’re doing is going to take three times as long and still probably not be done correctly. This list of chores won’t get you out of the times when your tiny human will want to be your special helper, but it will give you some ideas of what your toddler CAN and SHOULD do at home!
I don’t like to give my toddler chores that have to be done in a certain way, such as folding laundry or “organizing” anything. Instead, I choose to give chores that can be completed easily and are truly a help to me!
1. Clear the table after meals– Chances are, if you’ve got a toddler, you’re not usually eating on fancy China or beautiful and heavy ceramic dishes. Have your child carry their plate and silverware to the counter or sink and then come back for additional items. They can carry the salad bowl to the sink, put napkins in the trash, and even put condiment items back into the fridge. It really helps decrease the amount of trips I have to make clearing the table!
2. Put away clean silverware– You probably want to take away the large knives, but otherwise, what a fun game it can be for your toddler to match where the spoons, forks, and butter knives go! Show them where wooden and serving spoons go too and just keep expanding the amount of items they are in charge of putting away.
3. Clean up their toys– There are plenty of times during the day that I put away my childrens’ toys. I don’t think it’s realistic for toddlers to put everything away all the time, but I do think they need to help clean up toys before getting new ones out, before leaving the house, and before going to bed at night.
4. Wipe down the table and bathroom countertop– Give your child a wet rag or paper towel and give them the task of wiping down the table after a meal, the bathroom counter, or a coffee table they may play on. Even if you have to wipe the table after them, it’s still showing them that they will be responsible for cleaning the mess they made while eating.
5. Put dirty clothes in their hamper– This shouldn’t really be considered a chore, but since most children tend to leave their clothes EVERYWHERE, it’s a good one to work on, even if it just means that YOU don’t go around the house and collect their dirty clothes, they do!
6. Dust– Give a kid a feather duster and watch the excitement!
This list is what we try to have our toddler do fairly regularly. Of course, it doesn’t happen every single day, and most of them definitely do not happen without having to remind and tell him to them. I think that’s ok! It’s important that he begins to learn what is expected. Every time he does something automatially, I know it’s working!
I’d love to hear what you have your littles do for chores!