Your toddler wants to imitate everything you do, this includes household chores. Instead of trying to squeeze all your chores in at naptime or after bed, give them chores to do too. Chores for toddlers are usually easy to do, revolve around their height and capabilities, and teach them something new.
By teaching your toddler how to do basic household chores they start learning necessary life skills. They also gain critical thinking skills as well.
By letting your child participate in daily and weekly chores it helps them to feel more capable. Additionally, for them chores are a fun new activity that they get to do with their parents. This helps them to feel closer to you and encourages growth in the parent child bond.
How To Teach Your Toddler To Do Chores
Teaching your toddler how to do chores is really simple. Stand nearby or directly behind them while they accomplish tasks. Let them imitate your actions. Teach them to be thorough in the process of cleaning.
If they miss a corner or a spot, it’s ok. Cheer them on when they finish the task. This will encourage them to keep wanting to help.
Most importantly, understand that your chore time will probably be extended during the first few times of trying to teach your toddler how to do chores. As long as you continue to be encouraging and showing how proud you are of them, your toddler will get better at their chores.
Check out my post How to Clear the Clutter.
Chores For Toddlers
If you use natural cleaners that are non toxic your toddler can do pretty much any chore that is easily reachable. As your child learns and their skills improve you can give them more in depth chores.
It’s always best to start small and help them work their way up to more complicated tasks.
You know your toddler and you know their capabilities. The list below is not a complete list of chores for toddlers. It’s a good place to start and as you start seeing their capabilities you can decide if they are capable of more.
Pick Up Toys
Have one or two clean up times. Usually in the early afternoon and then again before bed. This is when they will pick up all the toys they’ve pulled out to play with. Sit down with them and help them clean up their toys.
Hopefully, your child will start to understand putting their toys away when they are done playing with them. This is ideal and eventually you will teach them this. If it happens without your prompting that is awesome.
Give your child a rag and teach them how to dust the lower shelves, coffee table, end tables, and wooden chairs. This is a great way to teach them how to move magazines, remotes, books, so they can dust under and not just around.
This task is great for teaching gentle and fragile to your toddler. They learn how to handle things with care. It’s also great for slowing down your normal active and quick moving toddler.
Make Their Bed
Teaching your toddler to put pillows, stuffed animals, and straightening their blanket on the bed helps them to get into daily routines and habits. Habits are a great way to prepare toddlers for preschool and kindergarten.
Check out my post Diary of a Mom: My Living Room Is A Mess and Dealing with Child Clutter.
Let them pull the clothes from the washer and put them in the dryer if you have a front facing washer. Also let them pull the clothes from the dryer and help carry the basket to where you are folding them.
If your child takes instruction well you can even have them help you fold the clothes. Pick out the socks, washcloths, hand towels, and any other small items of clothing. Teach your toddler how to match the socks and fold all the items.
If you need to refold any items you can do it later when they aren’t looking. Remain supportive and soon enough they will get the hang of folding laundry.
Unload The Dishwasher
Lucas started helping unload the dishwasher right about the time he turned 2. I recommend only letting your toddler unload the plastic dishes and containers so they don’t accidentally break anything and harm themselves.
Help With Groceries
Let your toddler pull the items from the bag and hand them to you. It wasn’t long before Lucas figured out which items went to the pantry and which ones went in the fridge.
Make sure to help them with any glass jars or heavy cans. One more additional tip, ALWAYS put the eggs away before your toddler can get to them. We had a couple of close calls before we finally started just putting the eggs away as soon as they came in the house.
How Chores Help Toddlers Develop Life Skills
Chores help with creating habits in their daily life. Healthy and productive habits lead to better adaptability when creating new habits like going to school. Later in life they will also be able to create habits like waking up to go to work.
Your toddler not only needs to see both parents doing chores but also needs to participate himself. This will help them into adulthood as they venture out on their own and need to start doing these chores in their own homes.
Check out my post How to Get your Toddler To Clean and Like It.
Finally, by creating chores for your toddler it potentially builds that habit so they continue to do chores into the pre-teen and teenage years. It helps your toddler learn what responsibility is and hopefully making them more responsible as a teenager.
While not guaranteed to keep your teenager fully responsible you will at the very least be helping your toddler learn and build some life long skills.
What chores does your toddler do? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your parenting boards.