Some parents are hesitant to ask young children to help with chores, but this is actually the perfect age to get them started. They are still young enough to think that chores are fun, and building the habit early on will set them up for life. Here are 16 easy and safe chores ideas for toddlers — from putting away cute toddler girl clothes to washing produce.
- Make the Bed
Most toddlers aren’t tall enough to make an entire bed by themselves, so this is a great chore to do together to get them into the habit of making their bed every day. Even if all you do is pull up the sheet and comforter and throw the pillows on top, it will go a long way towards making their rooms look cleaner.
- Feed and Give Water Pets
You will need to help with measuring out the appropriate amount, but your toddler can totally be in charge of putting food and water in the pet’s bowls. They can also play with pets or take them for walks (with supervision, of course) to help get out their energy.
- Wipe Down Surfaces
Wiping down floors, cabinets, counters, furniture and other surfaces is a simple task that pretty much any toddler can do. Just keep them away from any harsh cleaning chemicals and consider getting them some child-sized clothes to protect their hands, since kids’ skin can be very sensitive.
- Sweep and Vacuum
A toddler probably won’t be able to handle a full-size vacuum, mop or broom — but they can use a hand broom or dustbuster to clean up small sections of the floor. Show them how to properly replace the dustbuster so it can recharge when not in use.
- Pick Up Toys
Picking up toys after playtime is one of the best habits to instill in your toddler. This is also another chore that can also help them build their pattern recognition and matching skills by sorting the same types of toys into different bins.
- Get Dressed
Getting dressed is a fun chore that pretty much any child can do with a little help. If they’re not old enough to pick out an entire seasonally appropriate outfit from their closet, then present them with a couple of options of toddler girl shoes or clothes and let them select which one they want to wear that day.
- Put Dirty Clothes in Hamper
Pretty much any toddler can put their dirty clothes in the hamper after they take them off. Just make sure that the hamper is low enough that they can reach over the side. Many hampers are taller than toddlers, which will make it hard for them to do this simple chore on their own.
- Put Away Clean Laundry
If your toddler is slightly older, they can also help with putting away folded laundry in addition to putting dirty clothes in the hamper. In fact, they might be able to assist with very simple folding jobs as well, such as folding washcloths and matching up pairs of socks. More complicated folding jobs will need to be left to the big kids, though.
- Comb Hair
Combing or brushing hair is a super simple chore that most toddlers can do — plus it helps to hone their motor skills. Make sure that you are on hand to show them how to work out tangles without hurting themselves, as they might need some help with that.
- Brush Teeth
Speaking of brushing, you should also teach your toddler how to brush their own teeth the right way. Consider getting a kid’s electric toothbrush that is sized to their small hands. The electric kind will automatically run for the necessary length of time so your kids will always brush for long enough.
- Empty Trash
If you have small trash cans in your home, then your toddler can absolutely help with emptying them into a trash bag on collection night. Emptying larger trash cans, such as the kitchen trash, will require an assist from an older child or an adult, but it’s a good skill to teach them anyway.
- Dry and Put Away Dishes
As long as the dishes aren’t too heavy or breakable — and the shelves are low enough — then your toddler can totally help with drying them and putting them away. They can also take care of sorting silverware into the silverware drawer, which is a great way to build their pattern recognition skills in the real world.
- Wash Produce
Washing breakable dishes is probably too much for a toddler, but they can totally help with rinsing fruits and vegetables before cooking or snacktime. Test the water to confirm that it isn’t too hot and then let them have at it — they’re sure to love splashing in the sink.
- Stir Batter
Many cooking tasks are too advanced for toddlers because they involve knives and/or heat. However, one thing they can help with is stirring batter for baking recipes, either by hand with a spoon or using a mixer with supervision. Just keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t accidentally up-end the bowl!
- Buy and Sort Groceries
If you take your kids to the grocery store, let them pick certain items and put them in the cart. Once you all get home, they can also help with sorting and putting away the groceries, especially on the lower shelves that are within their reach.
- Set the Table
Setting the table is a great task for an older sibling to do with a younger one. The older child can handle the heavier plates and glasses, while your toddler can lay out the silverware. If you have plastic, unbreakable plates that don’t weigh too much, your toddler might even be able to set the table themselves.
Get your toddlers involved in daily household work with these easy chore ideas and you will help them build useful skills for the rest of their lives.