Mommy's Little Helper: 8 Chores for Toddlers
Wondering if your toddler should help around the house? Chores teach them daily living skills and responsibilities. From laundry to groceries, here are 8 chores for your tot.
8 Chores Your Toddler Can Do!
I used to think chores were for big kids, until my toddler started imitating me. She wanted to help so I’ve found a few things she can do. Now she considers them her jobs! I’ll be honest, sometimes it takes me longer to get housework done when my little helper chips in, but she tries her best. It’s an easy and natural way to teach her living skills and responsibility. Toddlers are part of the family and need to pitch in to do their part too.
Picking Up Toys
If they can take toys out and make a mess, then they can put them back when they are done. For some reason this one results in the most resistance, but only at home. My daughter is really good picking up toys at other places. Helping to put away toys and books is important for kids to do and learn how to take care of their belongings.
Helping With the Pets
A great way for your little one to learn about taking care of someone else is to help with the family pets. My daughter likes to give treats to our cats and fill their food dishes. Other ideas include providing clean water, brushing or taking them outside (with you, of course!).
Clean Up After Meals
After we are done eating, my daughter will put her dishes in the sink and wipe her spot. Usually I need to remind her and she’ll help me pick up. Sometimes after breakfast she will take everyone’s bowls. I don’t let her take breakable dishes since she drops them in over the edge of the sink. Other ideas include setting the table.
Putting Dishes Away
Unloading the dishwasher was one of my toddler’s first chores. She started out putting away plastic storage containers. Now she also empties the silverware basket once I remove any sharp knives. She usually just drops them into the drawer one at a time, but we have begun working on sorting them too. Other ideas include handing dishes to you, drying them or loading the dishwasher.
Sweeping and Mopping the Floor
For some reason my toddler liked to sweep early on. There are tot sized brooms and dustpans making it easier for them to handle. Otherwise you can try holding the pan for them or vice versa. Mopping isn’t too much different for them to do. Sweeping and mopping tends to go over better with my daughter than vacuuming in our house.
We don’t have many plants that need watering, but I asked my daughter to help me with the flowers we bought this summer. Pouring water is a favorite toddler activity, so it was perfect for her. Fill up a small watering can or a cup for them. Be ready for fast pouring that may or may not land in the flower pot! Other ideas include working in the garden together planting and weeding.
Shopping and Groceries
As my daughter gets better at following directions, she’s helping more with shopping. She’s loves to push around a little cart and put things in it as well as unload it for the cashier. When we get home we give her a light bag to carry inside, then she assists us by putting pantry items away or handing them to me.
Doing the Laundry
Neither my daughter nor I are very good at folding and putting the laundry away. She tries, but I end up needing to redo most of it. So, I save that for days I’m feeling more patient. She’s a big help moving clothes in and out of the dryer. It means I bend over less, which was a huge plus when I was pregnant with my son and is an all around back saver.
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