When your little one is big enough to make a mess but still too small to clean it up, cleaning up can be a challenge.
Sometimes it seems like you are washing entire loads of laundry every other day.
And let’s not forget all of those mealtime messes.
Once your little one is walking, it may seem that the messes increase exponentially.
But soon your toddler will be big enough to start helping you with the housework.
Granted, tasks will take longer when they are learning to do them.
But this stage in your child’s development is prime time for teaching them responsibility. And chores are one of the best ways to accomplish that.
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What Kinds of Chores Can My Toddler Do?
You know that your toddler can’t wash the dishes just yet. But you start with the simplest of chores.
Try telling your little one to pick up the blocks or dolls and put them in the basket. This is easy for a toddler to understand and accomplish.
My two year old’s favorite chore to help with is dusting with a duster. He doesn’t even act like it is a chore.
Many times he even wants to help with vacuuming.
Wiping off the kitchen table, watering flowers, and helping sort laundry are also easy and fun.
Here are some age-appropriate chores listed by age.
- Uploading or loading the drier
- Wiping tables
- Carry groceries
- Picking up toys
- Water plants
- Help wash the car
- Put clothes in the hamper
- Fill pet food dish
- Put books on the shelf
- Get the mail
- Help set the table
- Help with meal prep
- Empty small trash cans
- Clean up after themselves after earing
Getting Your Toddler Started
The first time you introduce a new chore, you will need to show your little one how to do it.
Your toddler will understand it much better if they see you doing it. So, explaining how to do a chore in words probably won’t do your little one much good.
You may have to guide your toddler throughout the process the first time or two.
Even after you feel like your little one has mastered the task, it’s a good idea to stay nearby while they are working.
You can get some of your work done during this time too.
I recently bought this electric sweeper that my kids think is the coolest thing ever. While they take turns pushing it around, I am washing dishes and getting dinner ready.
One thing that I have found to make doing chores more fun being there to talk to my little guys. Talking about whatever they want or just telling them how they are doing such as a good job makes their little chest puff up.
You could even sing songs or make a game out of the chore. These things will make chores more enjoyable. As a result, your little may even start looking forward to doing chores.
Don’t forget to say thank you when your child successfully completes a chore. Kids like to know that they are doing a good job and are appreciated.
If they do a really good job, you could provide a reward such as extra playtime or a trip to the park.
This will let your little one know that their help is appreciated and give provide the incentive to continue helping around the house.
Getting toddlers to help do chores is usually not difficult if you start early.
Most little ones love to be a big helper around the house. Just remember to keep your expectations low and do everything you can to make chore time a positive experience.
Doing this will help you gain a helper and plant the seeds of responsibility in your child.
This post is a part of the series 31 Days of Parenting Tips for Busy Moms With Young Kids. Each day throughout the series I am discussing a different topic regarding parenting young kids. I’d love for you to follow along and share this series with moms who may need some support or just to hear that they aren’t alone in their journey of raising young kids.
Find all of the posts in one place on the series homepage: 31 Days of Parenting Tips for Busy Moms With Young Kids