In the five million mom groups I’m in on Facebook, one of the most popular topics is chores. Moms are asking all kinds of questions about chores!
- What kind of chores does your kid do?
- When did you start having them do chores?
- Do you help them?
- Do you pay them?
- What are some age-appropriate chores for my x year old?
Moms have some burning questions about chores!
My oldest is just shy of three years old, so I always thought those chore questions didn’t pertain to me… until I really started thinking about it. They totally do! I can have her help, even at her young age. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I really liked the idea of her helping me with chores for two reasons.
- It gets her into the routine of being helpful and useful around the house. At this age, she basically won’t remember a time of not doing chores. It’ll always just be something she’s done, and I figure it’s easier to maintain that standard then try to start it once she’s school-aged.
- It gets her involved, which allows me to mitigate the destruction she causes. We all know toddlers can only be so helpful. Involving her keeps her close to the situation and to me, allowing me to more closely control what she does.
Obviously, at this age, her doing chores is more like her helping me do chores. She still needs guidance, direction, and someone to remind her what she’s doing. Lord knows that three year olds have the attention span of a goldfish!
Anyways, here’s 5 chores my toddler does with me.
1. Put away the dishes.
My daughter loves to sit on the counter and help me sort the silverware. It’s also a great opportunity for us to practice naming all the tools and utensils. But be warned that she sometimes makes a mad dash for the breakable dishes in the dishwasher. Sometimes it’s a race to grab breakable items from her little hands before she accidentally drops them.
2. Clearing the table.
Depending on what food is left on her plate, we’ll have Clementine put her dishes in the sink and throw her napkin away. She’s still using plastic toddler dishes, so the main risk here is her dropping whatever is left on the plate or getting mixed up and accidentally throwing it away.
3. Sorting laundry.
I know not everyone does, but we’re a sorting family. I’ll take an item out, hand it to Clementine, and direct her as to which pile to put it in.
4. Taking in the groceries.
This is probably one of the chores I’m most consistent about because it allows me to keep an eye on her. While I’m taking in the groceries the door is obviously wide open and I’m going in and out, which either 1) gives her full reign on the house with minimal supervision or 2) allows her to run off and escape if she’s outside. I’m not a fan of either of those options, so it’s just easier if I have her set on the same path as me.
So I’ll hand her the bag with bread and bagels in it or the block of cheese.
5. Picking up her messes.
My toddler, like yours I’m sure, is relatively messy. She’s terrible at picking up after herself unless I’m there to direct and help her. She responds much better to singular tasks one after the other, than just a blanket “pick up your stuff” statement. I’ve also discovered that if a certain toy is spread out (such as her blocks or puzzle pieces or something), that overwhelms her, but if I sort of sweep them back together into a smaller pile she can pick those up.
And that’s it! Those are the 5 chores my toddler helps me with around the house.