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Even though toddlers love making big messes, they also love helping with chores!
Toddlerhood is a stage of learning to become independent and to become part of the family.
If your toddler is anything like mine, you probably hear the phrase “I do” a hundred times a day.
Help your toddler feel more independent and join in the family’s chores with these age-appropriate toddler chore ideas.
Tips for Getting Your Toddler To Help With Chores
Toddlers love to help and imitate what they see others doing.
Provide your toddler with a list of their own chores to help them become more independent and confident.
Chores help develop a sense of responsibility and accomplishment at a young age.
However, since your little one is still young, it’s important to remain patient and flexible when it comes to chores.
These tips will help your toddler enjoy chores and help out at home.
Keep Chores Fun
At this age, try to keep chores as fun as possible. This is the first time your toddler is able to help out around the house and you want to keep them motivated to continue to do so.
Crank the music up or make it a game. See who can clean the fastest or who can make the floor shine the brightest. Whatever you do, try to keep it light and fun.
Keep it Simple
Toddlers notoriously have short attention spans, so try to keep chores short and simple. Don’t expect them to clean the whole house at this age, but give them one specific chore at a time.
Consistency is key for toddlers. As I’ve mentioned before, toddlers thrive on routine and consistency.
If you want toddlers to clean up after themselves, make sure you ask every time, not just sometimes. Make chores part of your toddler’s daily routine.
Keep an eye on how you’re phrasing it too. Instead of saying “would you like to put your toys away”, try saying “now we’re going to put your toys away”.
Take away the option and let your toddler know this is what we do.
Allow For Mistakes
If you’re a perfectionist, involving your toddler in chores may be very trying for you. Try to resist the urge to re-do what your little one does and just applaud their success.
As long as they’re helping, that’s all that counts.
Above everything else, toddlers are looking for validation and love from you.
Best Age-Appropriate Chores for Toddlers
If you have a calm dog or cat that has the patience for a toddler to feed them, this is a great chore for your little one. Show them how to scoop the food and dump it into the bowl.
Always supervise, especially if you have a bigger dog who may get overly excited and knock your little one over.
Also, I’ve learned from experience, don’t keep the food somewhere your toddler can easily reach. Otherwise, your pet may be fed all day!
Put Clothes Away
For younger toddlers, start by having them put dirty clothes in the laundry basket. After a bath, let them put their clothes into the basket to help clean up.
As your toddler gets older, they will be ready to help put clean clothes away as well.
This can become a little less organized than you’d prefer, but try to resist the temptation to refold or rearrange the clothes they put away.
Pick Out Shoes or Clothes
Allow your toddler to have their own sense of independence and style by letting them pick out their own clothes or shoes.
For younger toddlers (or if you can’t handle mismatched outfits), provide 3 choices that you are ok with them wearing.
Lay the options out and let your toddler choose their clothes for the day.
If your toddler’s a little older, you can let them choose on their own if you like. Just make sure they chose something that’s seasonably appropriate so they’re not freezing in the winter or overheating in the summertime.
Your toddler will love this new sense of independence.
Get Ready For Bathtime
Another easy way to get your toddler to help out is by asking them to get their washcloth and towel ready for bath time.
Keep these in an easy to reach place and let your toddler participate in their bedtime routine.
This will also help if you’re ever out and somebody else has to perform bathtime. Your toddler will know how to get started and where to find everything.
Bring Dishes to Kitchen After Meals
When everyone’s finished eating, have your toddler practice carrying their dishes to the kitchen.
Get them into the routine that the table has to be cleared after every meal.
Most toddlers love to throw things away, so you can ask them to help throw away any scraps or napkins afterwards too.
You’re never too young to practice cleaning up after yourself.
Setting the Table
As long as you have toddler-safe dishware, let your little one practice setting the table.
Help them count how many people are eating and then count how many forks, cups, and napkins you’ll need.
Your toddler probably isn’t ready to be carrying your fine china yet, but they can certainly help with other parts of setting the table.
Help Fold Laundry
I don’t know about you, but since I became a mom, I feel like 90% of my time’s spent doing laundry.
Have your toddlers join in this never-ending task by asking them to help match socks.
Not only does this help you along the way, but it also helps teach colors, shapes, and sorting.
After losing too many teeny tiny socks, I’ve started washing my toddler’s socks in a mesh bag.
When I fold laundry, I grab the bag and let her have fun with the socks.
Also, show your toddler how to fold washcloths and small blankets.
I was shocked by how quickly my 2-year-old picked this skill up. She quickly became obsessed and has since been folding every towel in sight.
Sweep (Or Practice At Least)
Another fun chore for toddlers is practicing sweeping. This chore is not going to be very efficient, but they’ll have a lot of fun in the process.
We love this Melissa and Doug cleaning set that looks just like our cleaning supplies.
Our little one loves to sweep along with me as I’m cleaning and we take turns cleaning together.
Put Toys Away
The first step for this chore is to make sure every toy has it’s own home or place where it belongs.
If not, it’s important to dedicate some time to your child’s play area and get organized.
Try to store toys in a place your toddler can reach on their own and they can easily open and close.
After they’re finished playing, practice putting everything away before picking out a new toy.
This is a fun time to sing a clean up song or turn it into a game of who can pick up the toys the fastest.
My toddler was hit or miss with this habit at first, but the more fun and appealing we make it seem, the more likely she was to help.
Wipe Up Messes
Spills are an inevitable part of having young children. The next time your toddler spills something, have them grab a towel and practice wiping it up themselves.
Watering plants is a fun and toddler-safe chore for your little one.
Grab a squirt bottle and fill it with water. Show your toddler how to use it and then let them have fun watering all of your plants.
Just keep a close eye to make sure your plants don’t get overwatered, otherwise you may end up with some drowning plants.
If you have an outside garden, get your little one involved in the garden with these gardening activities for toddlers.
Give your toddler a squirt bottle and let them go to town on your windows. They’ll have so much fun squirting water and wiping them clean.
You may not have the cleanest windows afterward, but your toddler will be very proud and very entertained.
Toddler Chores 2-3 Year Olds Can Do
Although our toddlers are still our babies, it’s a great time to let them start having some independence and responsibilities.
Start some of these toddler chores on a regular basis to help your toddler become independent, confident, and helpful.
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What chores is your toddler doing? Anything else to add to the list?