Introducing Chores to Your Toddler

Time for clean up!  While it may seem strange when they’re so little, teaching your little one the importance of chores is great for their overall development!  Not only can it teach them that it’s important to help others, it also encourages good self-esteem, self-sufficiency, and valuable life skills that will stay with them for life.  Getting them started early is a great way to establish chores as a routine and avoid issues down the road! It may seem difficult to get them started, so we have a few tips, Mama!

Where to Begin

Do it daily.  Let your toddler help with those little daily tasks that always need done!  Have them “help” when you wipe down countertops, sweep up, or handle the trash.  Having them join in little by little will establish those much-needed routines and skills!

Be consistent.  Of course it won’t always be easy getting your toddler to cooperate, but maintaining that chores are needed is important!  Many parents decide it’s not worth the fight, and end up having a harder time teaching chores later in life. Of course, not every day will work out, but doing the best your family can to maintain the routine will go a long way!

Start simple.  Obviously a two or three year old will be very limited in the levels of housework they can actually complete, so it’s important to choose age-appropriate tasks!  You can see our suggestions below, Mama!

Be patient.  There will be times where their “help” will be more work than actual assistance!  Just remember that they’re doing their best, and will appreciate this so much once they’re older.

Chores for Their Age

Toddlers have a very limited range of motion and motor skills that are needed for most household tasks!  That, however, doesn’t mean that they can’t actually help with things! Setting them up for success by choosing age-appropriate chores will make the learning process much easier on them…and you!

Picking up.  Are there throw pillows, blankets, and toys all over your living area?  We get it. Teach your little ones the designated homes for each of these items–then encourage them to spend 10 minutes at the end of each day cleaning up the space around them!  

Throwing away trash.  Teach your little one to pick up after themselves by throwing away any trash!  Make sure the trashcan is low enough for them to reach, and teach them what you’d like them to consider trash, and what shouldn’t be!  They can set their dishes by the sink and their paper cups and napkins can be tossed out!

Setting the table.  This is a great task for little ones!  It encourages development both in completing the task and in learning the layout of your table settings!  Start small with plates and cups, and move up to silverware as they learn!  Try having them set the table for each family meal.

Feed the pets.  This one is super easy, and helps them learn to take care of others!  Show Bitsy where the pet food is kept, and how much to pour in the dish each day — they’ll love hearing their pet come running for dinnertime!

Put dirty clothes in the hamper.  Place a hamper in Bitsy’s bedroom or bathroom and teach them to put their clothes away when changing into pajamas each night!  It will make your laundry duties so much easier, and keep their floors so much cleaner!

 

Remember to make it fun or a game as often as possible, Mama!  Play some loud music and dance around as you all complete your chores for the day!  Before you know it, your Bitsy will be a cleaning machine, and you’ll love having the extra (little!) hands around!