When we found out I was expecting twins in what was already a high-risk pregnancy, friends and neighbors rallied around us to help. Many of them have been amazed at the things I expect my kids to do around the house but they truthfully are (generally) happy to help. They’ve been expected to pitch in their entire lives, so this is their normal.
My 10 year old does the laundry and takes the trash out. My 8 year old cleans the bathrooms and does the dishes. My 6 year old picks up toys and sweeps the kitchen floor. On a good day, we can keep the house running pretty well.
And yes, even my toddler is expected to help.
Giving toddlers chores to do may seem like more work than it’s worth. Yes, it takes a lot of teaching and yes, it would be easier to just do it yourself (unless you are hugely pregnant and are trying to move as little as possible). I’ve seen the end result though.
My 10 year old has been expected to help since he was a tiny little thing. Now he does chores without being asked. He cleans up messes, not because he was the one that made them, but because it needs to be done. And he does it happily. It was work in the beginning but now I honestly can’t stand cleaning my house without my helpers. It’s too much work!
Here’s my list of 10 Household Chores for Toddlers:
- Folding kitchen rags and putting them away
- Picking up toys
- Washing the wall with a wet rag
- Putting unbreakable dishes in the sink after meals
- Sweeping the floor with a child sized broom
- Putting laundry in the hamper
- Taking trash to the trash can
- Wiping baseboards with water
- Sorting toys into boxes
- Putting books on a bookshelf
No, the job may not be done perfectly. At least not today. But not too far in the future you’ll have a very capable little helper that knows how to work.
The way I see it, one of the most important things I can do as a mother is to teach my kids the value of work. They may not always like it now, but it’s that skill will serve them well as they grow.
What chores can your toddler do around the house?