Simple Chores that a Toddler Can Do
Who says you have to do everything for your toddlers? While it’s true that life with toddlers is often messy and chaotic at home, that doesn’t mean it has to be that way all the time, or that you always have to go picking up after them. There are plenty of simple chores that a toddler can do, and that means your child too!
From finger paints to piles of laundry, it seems like the list of chores never ends. However, by getting your child involved in cleaning, you can get help with chores and teach your little one some essential life skills. Here are some simple chores a toddler can learn to do.
Simple chores for your toddler
Putting away the toys
Toddlers love to get as many toys out as they can. They joyfully empty baskets of blocks, boxes of colored blocks, and their collection of books…all over the floor!
However, sometimes, they actually also like to put things back where they go. And even if your child doesn’t really like putting their toys away, they can certainly learn this skill.
Children this age easily run out of patience. Don’t expect them to be able to tidy up a whole room of toys after playing full-on with them all day. What you should ask your child to do is to put toys away before they pick up a new toy or set aside a toy that they’re expected to put away.
At this age, children also do things better if you clean up with them, so consider alternating storage boxes, or find some way to involve yourself in the tidying process. They need to learn from you to know how to do it – they need to follow your lead.
Clearing the table after meals
Young children often eat with special children’s spoons, forks, and plates. They’re usually made of plastic and, therefore, are quite difficult to break. You can teach your child to throw away napkins, put food scraps in the trash, and take their plate to the sink.
Try teaching your child to do the tasks in the same order each time. Repetition helps to reinforce learning at this age. Ideally, you should create a daily routine, so that when your child needs to do it they’ll see that you’re doing it too and they’ll do it on their own.
Putting clothes in the hamper
A clothes hamper is usually just the right height for a toddler. Show your child where to position the clothes basket, and then how to put them in the hamper. Then, every morning, get your child to put their pajamas in the hamper, and every afternoon get them to put the day’s clothes in the clothes basket.
If you make it a daily routine, then children of this age can understand that towels, washcloths, and other non-clothing items should go in the hamper. Just be sure you check the basket for papers, toys, keys, and other miscellaneous items that your child may inadvertently put in the basket, and that definitely shouldn’t go in the washing machine!
In these simple chores, don’t forget to be patient
Remember that a toddler is just learning how to do all these chores. They weren’t born knowing how to do these things, and need you to teach them life skills. Keep each task simple, with one or two steps at most. Praise your child for their efforts, and not for the quality of their cleaning.
Even if the laundry doesn’t make it to the hamper or it takes ten trips to clear the table, focus on the positive. Above all, remember that you’re trying to create a positive experience for your child by doing these chores. By selecting age-appropriate activities and keeping them fun, you can go a long way toward helping your child to learn to do simple chores around the house.
You’ll need a lot of patience when teaching your child to do chores. Your child will make mistakes, make a mess, drop things, and break things. You may also have to remind them time and time again, and probably have to help them most of the time. However, it’s a learning process that needs your guidance and also your patience.
Little by little, as your child gets older, they’ll need less of your help and will be able to do the tasks on their own. But, by doing things consistently and regularly, they’ll learn to internalize these chores and make them part of their daily routine.