Chores for toddlers may sound crazy at first but toddlers love to help out with anything and everything. Young kids get a sense of accomplishment and pride whenever they are able to help. Unfortunately, the busyness of life sometimes causes us to deprive our kids of these proud accomplished moments because we want the chores done fast. But if we take the time to let even our littlest ones help, we will quickly find them learning tons of new life skills, developing a sense of responsibility, and creating an amazing work ethic early on!
This post is all about the best age appropriate chores for toddlers to do just that!
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Chores for Toddlers
Why Should You Give Your Toddler Chores?
- It teaches practical skills– Things like folding the laundry, doing the dishes, and picking up after yourself are all things that your toddler will have to do throughout their life. These practical skills will be valuable not only to them but also to you! Because if they aren’t picking up after themselves then you’ll have to!
- Helps them develop a sense of responsibility– If you constantly trail behind your toddler and clean up after them, they will continue to dump every toy bin in the house. Giving toddlers chores helps them realize that they are responsible enough to help out not only with their own mess but with other tasks around the house too.
- Creates a strong work ethic early on– While you may have to fight the urge to constantly spoil your kids and do things for them, remember that you are setting a trend early on in their life.
- Develops fine and gross motor skills– Most household chores for toddlers involve some sort of lifting, pulling, pushing, twisting, grabbing, etc. Toddlers can gain a ton of motor skills through the muscle control required for any of these motions.
What are Appropriate Chores for Toddlers?
- Put their dirty dishes in the sink
- Help sweep the floor and/or hold the dustpan- We love using the Melissa & Doug Buggy Broom!
- Wipe up their own spills
- Help put the groceries away
- Put their dirty laundry in the hamper
- Help put their clean laundry away
- Dust furniture and baseboards around the house
- Put away books after reading them
- Hang up their coat
- Cook with mom or dad
- Choose their own clothes
- Clean up their toys- Try using toy bin labels with pictures on them to help them be more independent in the clean up process.
- Help feed any pets in the house
- Water plants
- Clean up their bath toys
- Help set the table (or their spot at the table)- these Montessori placemats are a great way to help your toddler learn how to properly set the table.
- Clean the dryer lint and/or help take clothes out of the dryer
- Drying and putting away plastic dishes- This is a great way to start to avoid broken dishes until they get the hang of it.
- Help wash the car- This is a fun way to teach responsibility and also enjoy some fun outside together in the sunshine 🙂
Tips to Help Motivate Your Toddler to Do Their Chores
If you’ve catered to your toddler up until now, following behind them cleaning up every mess they make, transitioning to chores may be a little more difficult. If your toddler does put up a fight, here are a few tips to help naturally motivate them to do their chores.
- Time them– The moment I tell my 2-year-old that I will time him picking up his toys, he runs to do it.
- Sing a song about it– The clean up song is one of my toddler’s favorite songs and when we are singing it, cleaning up immediately becomes fun for him.
- Mark containers with pictures– Toddlers get frustrated quickly when they feel like they can’t do something on their own. Labeling bins with pictures such as toy trucks, clothes, or shoes will help them put things back in their place all on their own.
- Be consistent– If putting their dishes in the sink or cleaning up toys before bed happens every day, they won’t be caught off guard and it will likely be a whole lot less of a fight. This is one of the best ways to make jobs for toddlers a part of their routine.
- Consider a chore chart- A chore chart (also called a chores checklist) is a great visual for little ones to see all they’ve accomplished throughout their day and feel proud of what they’ve done to help around the house.
This post was all about chores for toddlers that will help them develop responsibility, independence, motor skills, life skills, and a strong work ethic from the start! It may seem crazy to give toddlers chores but it is most definitely worth your time! Be patient with them at first and you will be amazed at all they can do and how much they love doing it too!