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Chores for Your Toddler

September 11th, 2012 - Category: Chores

Here at we are always asked at what age you should start giving your children chores, and what chores are appropriate for what age groups.  Today we’ll be discussing chores for toddlers.

Children of all ages can help with chores, and starting them off young ensures that they will grow up with the right attitude and willingness to help out.  Some children develop faster than others, but, in general, they follow a pattern of growth.

Some characteristics of a toddler may be:

Very Active – They like to jump, walk, and run even though they are still uncoordinated.

Gets tired quickly  - Cries easily and gets irritable when tired.

Short Attention Span –  Likes repetition.  Cannot reason very well.  Is curious.

Enjoys Pretending  - Likes stories and musical activities.

Is self-centered – Has difficulty sharing.

Wants to please adults – Needs their approval, love, and praise.  Wants to be close to adults for security.

When assigning a toddler chores you should keep the above characteristics in mind.  Your expectations should also be age appropriate.  Sometimes, parts of chores or modified chores are more realistic.  Turning chores into a game or singing a song while doing your chores helps sometimes too.  Here are some examples.

Get Dressed – If you are concerned about them matching, maybe you could set out 2 or 3 different outfits for them to choose from.

Brush Your Teeth

Make Your Bed – This is easier if the sheets or bedspread are tucked under the mattress at the bottom so all they have to do is pull the blankets up.

Pick Up Toys – Don’t expect them to sort and put things in different places, but they can put all the legos in the bin or all the books on the shelf.  Be specific.

Put Up Laundry – If their laundry is folded and sorted they can put the piles in their drawers.  They may even be able to help fold the dish towels.

Dust – They can wipe down the coffee table and other surfaces that are their size.  If you are worried about solvents and soaps, just have them use a rag with water or a wet sock on their hand.

Wipe Sink -  They can’t clean the whole bathroom, but with a stool they can wipe out the sink while you are cleaning out the bathtub.

Glass Door Cleaner – They can wipe the bottom half of the glass sliding door while you do the top half.  Again putting a sock on their hand may be easier for them than holding a towel.

Human Vacuum Cleaner – Have your little one crawl around and see what little treasures they can find.  If you have more than one kid, have them put their “piles” on the table and the one with the biggest pile gets  a prize.

Mommy’s Helper/ Daddy’s Helper – Whether it is getting mommy a diaper or putting something in the garbage for Daddy, ask for their assistance and then refer to it as the named chore.

In the end, when having your toddler do chores, don’t expect perfection.  Sometimes there will be a bigger mess when they are done than when they started.  But lessons will be learned and even if it takes more time now, the consistency of having them help around the house with chores will pay off in the end.

And lastly, If you want them to keep doing their chores, remember to praise them during and after for a job well done.


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