In search of easy chores that your toddler can do? Wanting to get your toddler more involved with the housework?
Your toddler is already there, wanting to be right by your side, so why not let them help with the housework? Plus, by doing chores your children will learn practical life skills that lead to more responsible, higher self-esteem individuals that are filled with gratitude.
But it can be hard to determine what chores your kiddo can actually do at such a young age.
You’d be surprised at what they’re capable of! So, what kind of chores can toddlers help with?
In this post, we’ll cover 11 age-appropriate chores for toddlers and give you some tips and tricks to use along the way.
Tips for Doing Chores with Your Toddler
Before we get into the nitty gritty, I want to give you a few short tips about toddler chores:
- Lower your expectations: Remember that your child is still very young and working on these skills for the first time. Things aren’t going to look even close to perfect and how you’re used to it. But that’s okay, because your toddler is developing crucial life skills!
- Improve your patience: Chores are also going to take much longer when you have a toddler helping. Try to have as much patience as possible while watching your little try out these new skills.
- Going to vary by age: A one year old is not going to be able to do chores to the same degree that a three year old is, so except a gradual progression when it comes to practicing life skills.
- Every kid is different: As with age, every kid is just also different. Start introducing various chores to your toddler and see where they’re at and what works best for them. It’s all about trial and error.
11 Easy Chores for Toddlers
You don’t have to do ALL the cleaning mom and dad! Get your little involved with these 11 easy toddler chores.
1. Pick Up Toys
Picking up their toys and books is a great place to start for toddler chores.
I would never expect a 1-3 year old to clean up on their own though, so always offer help. You can also make a game out of it or sing the classic “clean up song.”
One year olds love throwing things, so see if they can throw their stuffies into a basket, balls into a bin, and play food into a drawer.
You can also introduce an open shelf display, so every toy and book has a place of their own and kept to a minimum. Two and three year olds will be more likely to place their things back into their designated spots when they’re done playing with them.
2. Help Unload the Dishwasher
We don’t currently have a dishwasher, as we’re remodeling our kitchen, but when we did, my toddler would help me unload that sucker every morning.
I would first pull out all of the sharp objects and silverware, and then she would hand me all of the plates and bowls on the bottom rack, and I would place them in the cupboard. She would also grab whatever she could reach on the top rack.
Grab some child-size cleaning tools, and have your toddler sweep the floors with you.
We have the Melissa & Doug set, and all of the tools (minus the mop) actually work. I’m even guilty of reaching for the kid’s hand broom and dust pan.
We also have squares marked out on the floor with painters tape, as a target box for the littles to sweep the dirt into.
Along with sweeping, you can also have your toddler vacuum. Mine always steal the vacuum from me when I’m cleaning anyways, so why not let them give it a go?
Cordless Shark Vacuums are an amazing size for little ones. They’re lightweight, have no cord, and easy for even toddlers to navigate.
If the shark is out of your price range, you could also consider getting this Dyson toy vacuum for your toddler to use. It even has real suction.
I mean, it doesn’t pick up a whole lot, but it does pick up some! And, it looks just like a real vacuum, which my kiddos love.
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5. Help Cook
I don’t know of any toddler that doesn’t love to help in the kitchen.
Both of mine certainly love to help me bake and cook. When the ingredients come out, they’re there, ready to be sous-chefs.
You can have your toddler crack eggs, pour in pre-measured ingredients, stir batter, push buttons on the blender, and, of course taste test the food. 😉
Just make sure you’re supervising at all times when sharp and hot objects are around.
We have a learning tower, so our toddlers can help at counter height without me having to worry about them falling off a chair. They never sit still, so this thing has really been a lifesaver for us.
6. Put Dirty Dishes Away
After you’re done eating, have your toddler be responsible for placing their dirty dishes in the sink. Have a step stool available, so they can easily reach.
If your toddler is a little older, they may be able to place their dishes in the dishwasher, or even hand wash their own plate. Now, you’ll probably have to go back and reorganize the dishwasher and spot check their plate, but that is a-okay, mama!
The Melissa & Doug cleaning set also comes with a duster, but any old rag or duster will work great for your little.
Your toddler will enjoy dusting their toy shelf, play kitchen, and toddler table while you dust the top shelves, fans, and dressers.
8. Clean Windows
Your toddler can also help you get your windows all squeaky-clean. Use a simple non-toxic cleaner, such as apple cider vinegar mixed with water, spray, and have your toddler wipe.
Better yet, keep a spray bottle filled with water and some cleaning rags in a basket where your toddler can reach, designated just for them.
We like to use Marley’s Monster un-paper towels, as they have fun prints on them for the kids. My little ones love picking out their towel when we clean, and I love that I’m saving money and helping our environment.
9. Put Clothes Away
Bundle your toddler’s socks up, and then let them place their own socks and undies in the drawer. You could also let them put away their shorts, headbands, and anything that you don’t care if it gets folded or not.
Place a picture of the clothing type on each of your toddler’s drawers, so they know where to place their belongings each time without your direction.
10. Put Dirty Clothes in the Hamper
Along with putting clean clothes away, you can also hold your toddler accountable for placing their dirty clothes in the hamper. Just be sure to sort through throughly when washing, as you may find some other fun objects in there. 😉
11. Help Load the Washer/Dryer
My toddlers also really love to grab dirty clothes out of the hamper and throw them into the washing machine. When the wash is done, I’ll usually hand them some of the smaller items to throw into the dryer.
They also really get such a kick out of shutting and opening the dryer door. When all is clean, your toddler can help again by throwing the clothes from the dryer into a clean basket.
What About a Toddler Chore Chart?
In full honesty, we don’t worry about reward charts with our toddlers. Their reward is getting to spend time with you, so just make chores a family activity.
They’ll be so ecstatic just to help you….most of the time. And if not, just let it be.
Chores are just a part of life, and by involving our kids when they’re little, we are getting them off on the right start to independence.
Spick & Span with Your Little Helper
I hope this list gave you some great ideas for toddler chores.
There’s so many life skills that one to three year olds can learn, including helping with laundry, sweeping and vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the windows, helping in the kitchen, and much more.
So the next time you’re busy with housework, get your littles involved and let them help. It may take a little longer and it may not look perfect, but your toddler is learning and you get to spend some quality time together while everything is getting spick and span!
What About You?
What kind of chores does your toddler like to help you with? Share your toddler’s favorite chores in the comments below and be sure to share this post with other toddler moms.