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With two-year-old twins, it can be hard to get anything done during the day. Luckily, I learned when my oldest was this age that the best way to get things done was to have him help with the chores. Some might think that there aren’t many chores that toddlers can do, but really, there is a lot they can do. Yes, some of it will require you going and doing it again after them, but they can at least help a little. If nothing else, these chores for toddlers will help teach kids to help around the house.
I sometimes find myself overwhelmed that I am unable to accomplish more at home during the day with my twins. I few months ago I started to feel like no matter how much I cleaned, they could undo my work faster than I could do it. That is when I realized that it was time to start getting my toddlers involved in the house work. They already picked up their toys every day (sometimes twice a day) but I realized they were ready for more.
8 Chores Toddlers Can Do To Help Around The House
The key for giving toddlers chores is to make it fun. Make them think that doing that chore is the greatest thing ever. So here are eight chores that toddlers can do and how to make them fun. If some of these seem a bit far fetched to you, be sure to read the details of how I get my toddler involved with doing these specific shores.
- Pick up toys
- Organize shoe closet
- Helping with dishes
- Help with laundry
- Make bed
- Setting the table
Why Should Your Toddlers Do Chores?
Doing chores can help your kids develop a good work ethic. But besides that, chores help teach kids how to care for a home, how to work together as a team to accomplish something, and how to do tasks that maybe they don’t always want to do.
I have also found that all three of my kids are happy to do chores as a toddler. So it is easier to get them to learn how to do things as toddlers, before they start complaining about how “it will take forever” or “you never let me play.”
How Are These Chores For Toddlers?
Picking Up Toys
This is something that kids can do from about 18 months (even younger with a more help). Now at 2 1/2 my twins do this completely on their own. One great way to encourage clean up is to make it a game. When my oldest was in preschool, his teacher would use a YouTube video called the “Clean Up Robot” and it gets my kids super excited to clean up. The whole goal is to finish picking up all their toys before song is over. If you don’t want to use this video to motivate your kids, just make it a race. Maybe have 3 baskets (or one per kid) and whoever can pick up toys and fill their basket first wins. There are plenty of ways to make it a game.
Picking up toys is a very important first chore as it helps teach kids to clean up after themselves. They will be expected to help clean up in preschool and kindergarten, so might as well get them started now.
If you have a shoe closet or rack, organizing shoes is one of those chores for toddlers that can be added pretty easily. If the shoes are a mess, have them match the like shoes together. Don’t expect perfection, but they can at least get matching shoes next to each other.
Dusting is a great way to get toddlers involved in housework. My twins get to use dust cloths to do bookshelves and toy shelves. Their absolute favorite though is when we let them use the swiffer duster and we pick them up to dust the fan or the blinds. They think it is so fun. They won’t do a perfect job here either, but if your house is like mine, you have to dust every few days. So they just dust every other time, and then I dust in between to make sure it gets done well.
Helping With Dishes
One of the first chores for toddlers I ever explored (other than picking up toys) was having my oldest help with dishes. I let him help put away the plastic containers, spoons, and similar items.
When I was loading the dishwasher, he would help put the utensils in and help load plates. He would also help put the dish soap in and start the dishwasher. Now my twins get to do all of this. It is a great first chore because the dishwasher is right at their height.
Our twins now help with this, and even help with pre-rinsing the dishes.
Toddlers Can Help With Laundry
I think one of the best things I did with the Goof is have him start helping with laundry as a toddler. Now at age 7 he can do his own laundry from start to finish, except for getting clothes out of the washer, because he can’t reach them.
How can toddlers help with laundry? We start them out with helping separate both the dirty laundry and clean laundry. Dirty laundry i have them put the whites in a separate pile. Simple as that. Then when I go to wash the laundry, I have them help me throw clothing in the washer.
When it is time to switch laundry from washer to dryer I hand them clothes and they throw them in the dryer. This goes well until they get distracted by the light and turning it on and off.
Finally, after the clothes are dry, I have them help me separate the clothes. They take out any socks they see while I am folding and put them in the sock basket for me to match up later. Or they separate out the Goof’s clothes if I have washed them so he can fold them later. Then they help put their clothes away in their dresser.
As they get older I will have them start to help fold laundry, starting with washcloths, and moving on to their own clothes. If it goes as well as it did with the Goof, they will be doing their own laundry for the most part by the age of six.
This is a great chore for toddlers to help with as it is one of those life skills we all need to learn at some point.
Some chores for toddlers are simply about keeping them entertained. Sweeping is one of them. They are really awful at sweeping, but they love to do it and it keeps them entertained so I let them do it. And then I follow up after. When I finish sweeping everything into a pile they get to hold the dustpan for me.
Making Their Own Bed
Can I confess something to you? I am not a stickler on making the bed. I seriously am of the belief that it is going to get messed up again at nap time and bed time, so why be hung up on the bed being made. I do ask that it be straightened up a bit. So my toddlers have to make sure their stuffed animals are not on the floor and that their blankets are someone laid out on their beds.
Help Set The Table
On of the chores for toddlers that we just started introducing is having the twins help set the table. Toddlers can help put silverware out, napkins, and plates if your plates aren’t too fragile or heavy. This is great for when they are anxious for dinner to be done. We play a game to see if they can get the table set before dinner is ready. The Goof is in charge of following behind them and making sure the table is set somewhat correctly. It has really made that stressful time of day a lot more manageable.
There are plenty of chores toddlers can do, and I hope these 8 have helped spark some ideas for your own kids. Do your toddlers do chores? Let me know what you have them do in the comments.