As a parent of a toddler, you probably have noticed how they LOVE to help around the house, participating in whatever they can get their hands on. There are quite a few things “chores,” if you will, that we find daunting but toddlers find entirely entertaining.
These tasks will require supervision in the beginning and will typically go a lot slower as the child learns how to master the skill. We as parents must lower our expectations about the final product. However, once the child has mastered the skill, our children will become more and more independent.
Plant Care – watering the plants, dusting the leaves, planting seeds, arranging flowers in small vases.
Food Prep– washing veggies, beating eggs, scooping ingredients, pouring their own milk for cereal (from a small container)
Snack Time– helping themselves to food from an accessible snack area (which is restocked daily by parents), peeling and/or slicing fruit, spreading topping on crackers, pouring drinkable water in to cup
Mealtimes– Setting and clearing the table, washing the dishes
Baking– taking turns, measuring ingredients, helping to add ingredients, stirring
Cleaning– sweeping, dusting, wiping spills, cleaning windows, polishing mirrors.
Caring for Pets– feeding the pet, helping to walk the dog, filling up water bowl, brushing animal, helping to pick up poop
Brushing teeth, brushing hair, blowing own nose, helping with the laundry, helping at the grocery store.
Remember these are meant to be fun for your toddler. If you feel it going south, stop before you and your child become overwhelmed.
- put out only as much as you want to clean up
- Have child size cleaning supplies out and available for your toddler
- when child is younger than 2, activates will have to be more like 1-2 steps. As they gain mastery of that skill, you can then add more steps.
- Focus on the process NOT the results. Keep in mind when the child helps it is going to take longer! And the results won’t look perfect, but your child is learning to master a life long skill. These things warrant time.