Toddler Chores: What and Why

January 25, 2017
Toddlers can and should be doing chores!  Click through to find out what I recommend doing with a newly two year old and why I feel it's so important to be encouraging them to do chores at a young age.

One of the things I feel is my duty as a mom is to instill a good work ethic in my child(ren).  Not only do I want him to see Nate and me working, both at our jobs and at home, I also want him to grow up working himself.  Sure, he just turned two in November, but my little man is more than capable of helping out around the house.

When I left home to go to college I was shocked by how many people (both guys and girls) didn’t know the basics of chores.  I taught quite a few people how to do laundry, I explained to friends why dirty dishes should be washed and not left in a pile, and I even taught a friend how to pump gas (granted, she was from Oregon and our college was in Oregon so she had never had an opportunity to learn until we went on a road trip together).  Now, I’m not the most clean person you’ll ever meet.  In fact, I hate cleaning the house… but I know it’s important so I keep my home at least fifteen minutes from company clean.  I’d love it if my kid(s) decided they loved cleaning but I at least want my them to take pride in knowing how to do common household chores.  That knowledge needs to start young!

Thankfully, at this stage of life Caleb loves helping out!  Unless he’s in a mood (and at two you never know when he’ll be in a mood…) he’s more than happy to do his “chores.”  Now, don’t get me wrong, most of these chores would be so much easier if I could just do them myself.  He makes them take probably three or four times longer but I know that in the long run it’s super important for him to learn so I practice patience and hold myself back from just jumping in and doing it myself.

Here are some of the chores Caleb helps with at two years old:

Laundry

At two, Caleb can put clothes in the washer, help transfer them to the dryer, and take them out of the dryer and into a laundry basket.  He also puts his own pajamas and socks away since he can reach those drawers in his dresser.

Dishes

Within the past few weeks Caleb has started helping unload the dishwasher.  He grabs the dishes out of the dishwasher, hands them to me, and I put them away.  Yes, it’s pretty terrifying as he’s grabbing breakable plates, cups, and bowls but, so far, he hasn’t broken anything (knock on wood) and, really, my dishes aren’t that expensive to replace if he does break them.

Living Room/Bedroom Cleanup

Caleb helps out putting his toys, books, crayons, etc away in his bedroom and living room.  He knows where everything goes and about 90% of the time actually puts things in the right spot!  Often he’ll put things away without help but sometimes he gets overwhelmed and needs Nate and me to put some of his toys away too.

Dusting and Scrubbing

Ok, in reality his “dusting” and “scrubbing” is rubbing a rag over a surface.  I’m the one who actually has to dust and scrub sinks/tubs but he thinks he’s helping out and he’s learning.  That’s what matters.

Wiping Up Messes

Unfortunately, Caleb takes after his mama and is a little accident prone.  This includes spilling things all the stinking time!  He has become responsible for cleaning up his spills, especially if it’s a liquid.  He’s gotten to the point where, when he spills, he says “uh-oh,” runs into the kitchen, grabs a rag from the drawer, and runs back to wipe up his mess.  Nate or I will double check that he got everything and will go over the spot with a wet rag if it’s sticky but, for the most part, Caleb does it himself.

Toddlers can and should be doing chores!  Click through to find out what I recommend doing with a newly two year old and why I feel it's so important to be encouraging them to do chores at a young age.Toddlers can and should be doing chores!  Click through to find out what I recommend doing with a newly two year old and why I feel it's so important to be encouraging them to do chores at a young age.Toddlers can and should be doing chores!  Click through to find out what I recommend doing with a newly two year old and why I feel it's so important to be encouraging them to do chores at a young age.Toddlers can and should be doing chores!  Click through to find out what I recommend doing with a newly two year old and why I feel it's so important to be encouraging them to do chores at a young age.Toddlers can and should be doing chores!  Click through to find out what I recommend doing with a newly two year old and why I feel it's so important to be encouraging them to do chores at a young age.Toddlers can and should be doing chores!  Click through to find out what I recommend doing with a newly two year old and why I feel it's so important to be encouraging them to do chores at a young age.Toddlers can and should be doing chores!  Click through to find out what I recommend doing with a newly two year old and why I feel it's so important to be encouraging them to do chores at a young age.Toddlers can and should be doing chores!  Click through to find out what I recommend doing with a newly two year old and why I feel it's so important to be encouraging them to do chores at a young age.Toddlers can and should be doing chores!  Click through to find out what I recommend doing with a newly two year old and why I feel it's so important to be encouraging them to do chores at a young age.Toddlers can and should be doing chores!  Click through to find out what I recommend doing with a newly two year old and why I feel it's so important to be encouraging them to do chores at a young age.Toddlers can and should be doing chores!  Click through to find out what I recommend doing with a newly two year old and why I feel it's so important to be encouraging them to do chores at a young age.Toddlers can and should be doing chores!  Click through to find out what I recommend doing with a newly two year old and why I feel it's so important to be encouraging them to do chores at a young age.Toddlers can and should be doing chores!  Click through to find out what I recommend doing with a newly two year old and why I feel it's so important to be encouraging them to do chores at a young age.

Your Turn:
What chores does your toddler do?
How do you encourage your child to help around the house?

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