In this time of shelter-in-place, we could all do with a little more help around the house.

Here are Five Easy Chores for Toddlers.  

We are living, playing, working and studying in the same place. Our fairly orderly homes can quickly get out of control and become a focus of stress – what you have just tidied and cleaned, is now in disarray. There’s another meal to make and another set of dishes to clean and the loop continues on and on. 

The biggest barrier parents face when assigning chores to children, is knowing they can do it faster and more effectively themselves (with a lot less whining). But letting children help around the house, especially when they are young and eager is crucial for equipping them with the skills they will need as they grow. They will eventually learn that we all help with chores, and it’s not only a parent’s task. After all, we all want to raise an independent child.

Daily chores help to build self-esteem, a sense of belonging and as a bonus will eventually ease some of the burdens of your household tasks. Even if you think your child is too young for the chores, let them try anyway. You might be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Here are the five easy chores that your child can help you with, and eventually perform independently.

Time to Clean Up the Mess

  • Allow only one activity at a time. Before they move onto the next activity, they must clean up the prior one. 
  • Put on a song that your child loves and tell them that by the time the song is finished, the clean-up task will be done – this makes the task seem more surmountable. 

Laundry Time

  • Ask your child to empty their laundry basket and sort the clothes into different piles – white, colors and darks. 
  • Supervise them loading one of the piles into the washing machine.
  • Have them push the correct buttons and pour in the detergent – they will love this part!
  • Encourage them to always put their clothes in the wash basket and hang up their towels

Load the Dishwasher

  • Have them rinse each plate and pass it to you – ask them to count each piece as they hand to you. How many items did they help you load in total?
  • Once the dishwasher is complete, they can sort the silverware back into the drawer – be sure never to let them handle any sharp objects
  • They can put away anything lightweight that goes in drawers or the lower cabinets
  • If you use Puj Cups, they can place them back on the nubs

2 hanging cups with girls hand reaching for them

Sweep, Sweep, and Mop

  • Buy a play broom or vacuum cleaner and let them play at cleaning while you take care of the actual job. They will feel like they are helping, and this alone will help to cultivate the ‘everyone helps’ attitude that we are all striving for.

Wipe the Surfaces Clean
  • If your child can reach surfaces, allow them to wipe them clean. Encourage them to clean the tables, counters, and even windows. Give them a spray bottle to use - fill the bottle with just enough spray to avoid excessive use. 

Anything that mommy or daddy does, is typically what a child wants to do. If you can hold back on taking over and controlling the situation, they will love the independence of ‘helping’. 

The learning is in the journey – let the learning happen with guidance and fun! 

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