Those baby months seem to go by so fast! Now you have this little toddler looking up at you demanding “I do!” when you try to help them. This is the perfect time to get them introduced to chores (if you haven’t already). I know this sounds crazy - after all, they’re only 2 or 3 years old. But I promise you that they are more than capable of handling some age-appropriate chores. In fact, one of our staff members’ toddler was putting his toys away after playing and also putting his dirty clothes in the hamper by 1 year old! Sure he may need reminding but now that he’s 2, it’s become second nature to him.
Toddlers want to help. They want to learn about the world around them. While they may not be able to clean the entire house (wouldn’t that be nice?), they can definitely be responsible for some easy to manage tasks. This will teach them responsibility not only for themselves but for the family in general. After all, we all take care of the home! Take advantage of the desire to “I do!” and have them do some of these chores (these are great for ages 2-3, but you are the expert in your child and can make the best decision for them).
Feed your pet (only if your pet is patient enough to tolerate this. Monitor this chore too as sometimes pets can get overly excited and may knock your toddler over accidentally. A little tip: don’t leave the pet food out within toddler reach, or your pet may be feeding all day long!)
Put dirty clothes in the hamper
Put away clean clothes (as they get older)
Pick out their own clothes (the toddler I mentioned earlier LOVES to pick out his entire outfit! You may have to start off giving them choices instead of letting them go through all of their clothes. If they have too many choices, it can become overwhelming.)
Help get ready for the bath by getting their towel, washcloth, and whatever else you need. Let them pick out their own bath toys and put them in the bathtub
Bring their dirty dishes to the kitchen after a meal or snack. If they have food still on their plate, they may need a little help (or knock it off before they bring the plate to the kitchen). This is a great routine to start at a young age!
Set the table. This can include things like bringing their own cup and such to the table, placing condiments on the table, etc.
Fold clothes….seriously! Laundry happens pretty much daily in a toddler household. Wash your toddler’s socks in a mesh bag so they don’t get lost. Then hand them the bag when the socks are dry and let them match the socks! This also teaches color recognition, patterns, and matching skills. Try showing them how to fold a blanket or a small towel. They pick up things so quickly!
Sweep! Ok, so they aren’t going to be great at this, but they will LOVE to do it! They even make kids cleaning sets now with brooms, Swiffers, and dusters so it’s their size.
Put toys away when they’re done playing
Help clean up messes with a small cloth or sponge (whatever you use to clean with) and some water.
Hand them a water bottle and have them water the plants! You’ll need to show them how to use the bottle first. Make sure to put the bottle away when they’re done or you may have too much water on those houseplants
While you have the spray bottle out, hand them a cloth and let them wash the windows/sliding glass door! It won’t look the best but they will have a blast!
A couple of tips:
*Keep it simple - if you make it too complicated, they will grow frustrated and give up.
*Make it fun! Toddlers LOVE fun so use it to your advantage. While doing chores, make up a game, have a race (who can clean the fastest/most, etc), sing while doing the chore, anything you can think of!
What is your toddler’s favorite chore? Let us know in the comments below!
Squeaky Green House Clean