Moms often struggle with finding the balance between keeping a house running (laundry, vaccuuming, dusting, mopping, more laundry) and interacting with their young children. Instead of tending to daily chores while small children play under foot or nap, have children help with the household chores.
Toddlers have the ability to help with various chores around the home, making an important contribution to the family. Involving young children in household chores increases their self-help skills, encourages independence and builds self-esteem. The best part about a toddler helping with various chores is they tend to think helping is fun and are incredibly eager to help out Mom or Dad.
Chores for Toddlers
In the kitchen, toddlers can help sweep up floors with a small handheld broom and dustpan. They can wipe down tables and chairs and take nonbreakable dishes to the sink at the end of a meal. Toddlers can also help load items into the dishwasher, such as spoons, reusable containers, and plastic drink cups.
Toddlers’ rooms are also a great place where they can help out Mom or Dad. Toddlers can put their dirty clothes into the laundry hamper and place shoes into an easily accessible shoe bin. They can put toys away into a toy basket and help tidy their sleeping space. Young children can be taught how to hang up clothing, such as knit shirts or jackets, onto child-sized hangers.
In larger family areas, such as the living room, toddlers can help out by dusting with a dry cloth or a premade duster. They can tidy pillows on couches, put books on lower bookshelves, and help deliver “lost” items to their appropriate location in the house. Toddlers can also be of assistance in the laundry room by helping sort whites and colors, putting wash into the machine, and folding small items such as washcloths and towels.
Involving children in household chores at an early age teaches responsibility and establishes the notion that a family needs to work together as a unit to keep their house running efficiently. Although a toddler is quite able to help with a variety of chores, be mindful of the child’s safety. Cleaning products should never be given to a child to use nor should toddlers be allowed to help clean around hot water, stove tops, or dangerous items such as kitchen knives. Avoid micro-managing toddlers as they complete their chores, instead provide positive guidance and praise them for a job well done.
How does your toddler help out at home? Leave a comment and share with fellow readers about how your little ones help contribute to household duties.