8 Simple Chores for Toddlers to Do

Instilling good habits in children early on helps them to learn responsibility and makes it much easier on parents. By the time our son was born, my daughter was old enough to begin picking up after herself and helping out with chores around the house. It was such a big help letting her do things on her own.

Chores for Toddlers

No. Not this!

Usually between ages 2 and 3 you can let your child start helping out with everyday chores around the house. Simple chores for toddlers are an easy way to help them learn and encourage development skills they’ll use in life. Here are a few easy tasks you can give to your child to do on their own.

Picking Up

Teach children early on to pick up their playthings when they’re done with them. You can make this easier by having designated places to put things such as a basket or toy box for toys and a book case for books. When your toddler starts to take something else out, remind them that toys need to be put away before new ones can come out.

Amazon ImageFor younger toddlers, try making a game out of it such as asking them if they can spot their blocks on the floor. Then ask if they know where they go. You can also try ‘let’s see how fast you can pick up all the toys off the floor’ and then set a timer. The next time you can encourage them by comparing their new time with their old time.

Wiping Up Messes

Your little miss independent wants to pour her juice in her cup all by herself, but she still spills a little. Give her a towel to wipe up the mess with. Teaching kids how to clean up after themselves not only instills responsibility but can also help them to try to be more careful the next time. Let them wipe up the table after meals with a damp cloth or paper towel.

Feeding the Family Pet

Amazon ImageTaking care of a pet takes responsibility. This is a great way to teach children about respect and caring for creatures. Keep a plastic cup or scooper in the bag or container of food and have them feed their pet. You can also give them water in a cup to put into their water bowl. If you use a self-feeder let them help to pour the food into the container. As a reminder, you can also keep paper towels nearby to let them wipe up any messes or spills.

Helping with the Laundry

I don’t know about other households but we never have clothes lying around on the floor, although that probably has to do with my OCD. After getting undressed, instruct toddlers to pick up their dirty clothes and place in the laundry basket. You can have them help out with the wash by sorting out clothes by color and helping mom with putting clothes into the dryer.

Helping with the LaundryWhen it comes to folding my daughter always loves to help, so I let her match socks and fold shorts and towels because these are easiest. When I fold their clothes I’ll have my daughter take them to her room to put them away. If your toddler isn’t quite sure which drawers to place their clothes in or the drawers are too high you can have them just place the folded clothes on their bed for mom to put them away.

Putting Away Groceries

This is another chore my daughter loves to help with and fortunately we have two shallow pantries that are perfect for her height level to put away groceries. After you get in with all your bags, let your child help you unload and put them away. Give them non-perishable items that aren’t heavy if they would get dropped such as paper towels or a box of pasta. You may need to instruct them on where the items go. This is also a great teaching moment about different foods and how they’re good for you or what they’re used for (i.e. coffee filters are for mommy’s coffee)You can also point out the different colors and shapes or even letters that the foods start with.

Setting the Table

Dinner time is a special time that creates a great bonding experience. Giving each family member a specific task to do in preparing for meal times helps to bring the family closer together. Let your toddler help to set the table by giving them plastic cups, flatware (not knives), and napkins to put at each place setting. You can also hand them dry food items such as a basket of rolls that are easy for them to carry.

Unloading the Dishwasher

Unloading the DishwasherI always take out the knives and heavy pots and pans first, but unloading the dishwasher is another easy task you can give toddlers. Let them put away dishes such as Tupperware containers in cabinets that are within their reach or place them on the table (or hand to you if you’re right there) to be put away.

Making Their Bed

It may take awhile before your child is capable of mastering making their bed perfectly all on their own especially if it’s a toddler bed or bunk bed. However you can have your child help out in making their bed as well as yours. Let them take to one side and help you straighten out the sheets and blankets. Show them how to gently pull the sheets up to the pillows. Once you are done, let them help smooth out the covers to get the majority of any bumps out. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Chore Chart

Having a chart is a great way to keep track of your little one’s chores and success. All children are different – for instance my daughter loves stickers so we use stickers as a reward system. You may also prefer a dry-erase version that you can reuse for each week. Here’s a nice one that I found:
http://www.itsamomsworld.com/images/chores_chart.gif

Kid-Version Chores

For the bigger tasks that your child can’t do on their own, provide a kid-friendly version such as a toy vacuum that she can use while mom vacuums up the living room. Don’t have a toy kitchen set to let them cook and wash dishes on? No problem. Put a dishpan on a chair and provide some plastic plates, bowls, and tumblers and with a dry wash cloth or sponge and let them pretend to wash dishes along with you.

Assigning simple chores for toddlers and children helps them to grow and develop into responsible and respectful children. Every moment can present the perfect teaching opportunity. You can make it more fun by adding music while doing chores and creating games to achieve a certain task. Most of all, you’re creating fond memories of the times you’re spending with your kids and that is something you can always look back on.

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