When you’re a mom to a toddler, you might think that a time where they help you around the house is very far down the road. Well, I have some good news for you; it’s not! There are plenty of toddler chores that you can start implementing today.
These toddler chores are great for kiddos who are between the ages of 1-3. You’ll find that these chores aren’t overly complicated and will get your child excited about helping you around the house!
One thing to keep in mind is that your kiddo won’t do these chores perfectly. So, if you’re someone who likes things to be super neat, tidy, and organized, you might find you need to resist the urge to correct your toddler.
For instance, they might put their clothes in the drawers a little messily, or they might stack their dishes a little wonky. Just leave it as is!
By fixing a chore that your toddler has finished, you might send the message that they didn’t do their task correctly, and they might lose interest in doing it next time.
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Why are chores beneficial for your toddler?
Help Teach Life Skills
Chores are something that your kiddo will have to do throughout their whole life. By instilling the routine of doing chores at a young age, your child will learn how to take care of these different household duties, and it will become second nature.
Encourage Household Contributions
By introducing toddler chores, your child will be contributing to the household. They will be doing their part in helping the home run smoothly, and that brings us to our next benefit-
Sense of Accomplishment
When your kiddo completes their chores, it will give them a sense of accomplishment. They will feel good about helping you clean up the house.
Alongside their sense of accomplishment, your child will also get a little boost of confidence. When they finish a chore, and you tell them something like, ‘thank you!’, you will see their excitement on their face.
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Now, on to the toddler chores!
Wipe Up Spills
Wiping up spills is the first chore my child did, and he did it all on his own! That was when I had the revelation that he can do more than I think sometimes.
One day, my son dropped his sippy cup of water on the hardwood floor, and it leaked. So he then went over, grabbed the kitchen towel that we keep on the oven handle, and he wiped up his mess. It was so adorable!
If you keep towels where they are easily accessible for your toddler, they can wipe up any messes that happen throughout the day.
If they don’t automatically go to grab a towel when they spill something, which they most likely won’t, you can say something like, ‘Uh oh, there’s a spill on the floor! Can you please grab a towel and wipe it up?’. Typically, they will be happy to do so!
Help With Laundry
Having your toddler help with the laundry is a great first chore to start! Just keep in mind, you might need to lower your laundry-folding standards. 😉
A great place to start with including your toddler in laundry duties would be putting their dirty clothes in the hamper.
Then you can start having them help you put clothes from the washer into the drier. And the next step would be helping you fold and put the clothes away in drawers. (Check out this laundry schedule to help you stay on top of it!)
Throw Garbage Away
In addition to wiping up spills, your child can start throwing their garbage away!
If you don’t want your toddler having access to something like your kitchen garbage can, get a small can like this one and set it near your regular garbage.
Your kiddo might get excited about having their own garbage can, and that will make helping even more fun!
Put Away Toys and Books
As you probably already know, your toddler is capable of making your house look like a tornado came through. They can quickly spread toys over every inch of every room.
Making designated pickup times throughout the day can help tame the mess, and it will teach your child to take care of their possessions.
Some great examples of toy/book pickup times are before lunch, and after dinner, or before bedtime. You can make this simple chore extra fun by putting on some upbeat music and setting a timer.
By placing a timer, pickup becomes a game of trying to get everything cleaned up in time.
Help With Pets
If you have pets, have your toddler help you feed them or fill their water bowls. Just keep an eye out to make sure your kiddo doesn’t try to snag a bite of pet food!
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Put Away Their Dishes From The Dishwasher
If you have a space in your kitchen where you can keep your child’s dishes lower towards the floor, let them help put the dishes away!
Like with the laundry, the plates and bowls might be a little scattered, but giving your kiddo a little more independence will be great for their self-esteem!
Watering plants is a fun activity that kids love to do. When it comes to taking care of plants, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be indoors; outdoor plants provide an excellent opportunity too!
If you let your child water indoor plants, bring a towel and be prepared for a bit of mess. Getting a watering can that’s meant for children like this one is a great option too!
Sweeping or Vacuuming
When you see sweeping and vacuuming on this list, you might think I’m a little crazy. Stay with me, though!
Letting your child sweep or vacuum won’t be so they can completely clean the floors. It will help them feel included and like they are helping!
What sparked this idea for me was when I left the broom out of the closet, and my son grabbed it. He ‘swept’ the floor for a good 20 minutes, and he loved it!
If you want to let your child help with sweeping and vacuuming, there are a couple of alternatives to the full-size broom and vacuum that I suggest. These brooms are perfect for smaller children, and they have an easy to use dust-pan.
Dusting can be another great chore for your child. We use these dusters around our house, and they trap the dust pretty well.
Some examples of things your toddler can dust are entertainment centers, bookshelves, and tables. Just make sure these are things that are safe for your child to be around.
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Accompany You to the Mailbox
The minute I go outside with my kiddo, the first thing he wants to do is check the mail. This might be because he loves Blues Clues, but either way, it’s a great excuse to get outside and take a little walk!
If you have a yard or garden, pulling weeds is a great toddler chore! Just be mindful of what kinds of things you have in your yard; you don’t want your toddler grabbing anything that’s thorny without gloves on.
Pulling weeds is another chore that my kiddo started doing on his own. Once the snow melted, he loved to walk around the yard and remove the dead dandelions.
Another great thing to think about when it comes to toddler chores is that it might not always be an easy activity.
There will be those days when maybe they haven’t slept well and are a little cranky. They might not be the most willing to do something when asked, and that’s ok! You don’t have to force doing chores if it will cause a meltdown.
Before you go, check out these related articles:
- Simple 12-Month-Old Activities
- The Best Outdoor Toys For Toddlers
- 20 Must-Have Board Books For Toddlers
- What To Start Teaching Your Toddler
- Potty Training Essentials You Need For Success
What are some toddler chores your kiddo enjoys doing? I would love to know in the comments below!