We’re all about raising strong, independent little humans. In our opinion it’s great to start the littles helping with age appropriate household chores sooner than later. Although we suggest keeping it easy to start, chores will help your tiny humans learn responsibility while helping lighten the load on you momma!
A fun chore for the kids is to feed the family pet. Whether you have a cat, dog, fish or bird at home, this one is always a hit. Although it can be a little messy with pet food, this leads us into our next task they can help out with.
Sweeping and mopping is a great skill and helps children learn coordination, balance and dexterity. We have a miniature broom, mop and even a little vacuum for the kids to sweep right alongside mom…or dad.
With two kids, we go through a LOT of diapers throughout the day. I task the toddler to help with tossing these in the trash. While it’s not the most pleasant task, it sure is a help. And after we’re done with the diapers we make sure to wash our hands afterwards. My eldest is starting to potty train so the end is near for him on the diaper front.
With the potty training underway, we tend to have a few more spills on the floor, couch, bed, clothes and pretty much everywhere and anywhere you can think of. When this happens,
“we don’t cry over spilt milk”
but we do ensure that the toddler has the supplies he needs to clean up his own messes (paper towel, a cloth, tea towel etc.). And he knows where the laundry baskets are. I’m impressed he can even identify the lights from the darks! #momwin
Setting the Table
Getting the dinner table set, is an easy way for kids to help with dinner, without getting in the way of helping with dinner, especially if you’re in a rush. I give out supplies one at a time (forks, then knives, then spoons, then plates etc.) to maximize my kid free kitchen time.
Clearing the Table
When the toddler is done with his plate, he knows not to leave it on the table for mom to clear. It’s become such a habit for him that sometimes I think he’s eaten his whole meal…until I find it cleared off in the garbage. But hey, his dish made it to the sink, so I’m happy!
Another fun one for the kiddos is helping wash dishes. I usually get the dishes done first, as we only have one sink at our house, and then we get some toys to put in the sink and wash up with some of the kids’ plastic dishes. This way nothing gets broken and some of the kids’ toys get cleaned too!
Although I do use the setting the table trick to get my kid free kitchen, when you have the time, I highly suggest letting the kids help cook dinner. This way they can learn to cook for themselves young! And I find it helps with the picky eating too. Check out the full post on picky eating here! Right now, when my little helps, it’s mostly pouring, stirring and getting ingredients or dishes from the fridge and cupboard, but one day I fully plan on incorporating nights of the week for the kids to cook themselves, once they’re a little older. One day their wives will thank me for not raising momma’s boys, right?
This one is a new hit with my little man. We live in an apartment and there are three heavy fire doors to exit to the parking lot. If I forget to let him try, I hear a little, “Me do it!” from my boy, which reminds me to take a moment and let him try. He’s now strong enough to do the push doors and lever handles and will also hold the pull doors open once I’ve opened it slightly for him. When we’re out and about he loves to push the handi-capable door buttons too. All kids love a good button, right?
“take a moment and let him try”
Buttons, buttons everywhere. When we’re shopping I let the toddler “pay” for our order (with my debit card of course). More often than not, I can deter him from the impulse buy shelf at the checkout by handing him the card to beep or letting him press the green button. If you have the time, use the self-checkout and let the kids fully participate in ringing in and bagging the groceries too!
We’re struggling a bit with this one, but the little is 3 and it’s time to learn to dress and undress himself. We’ve started with putting on and taking off his shoes/boots and coat. He does better when he’s not tired, and after several requests to do so, but it’s a work in progress.
This one isn’t always enforced, but we’re trying to put one toy set away before getting another out. Some days are better than others. Sometimes he’ll do this all on his own. It’s also pretty funny when grandma puts something in the “wrong bin” and my toddler lets her know!
We’re in an apartment, so recycling can be difficult as there’s no bin on the premises and no roadside pickup, but we still make recycling a priority. This teaches your child to be a citizen of the world and social responsibility. We have bins on the deck for cardboard, bottles and plastics/tins as well as a plastic wrap and bag bin under the sink. Throwing containers into the bins is quite fun for him, although when we first started I found more often than not he’d throw them off the deck vs. in the bins, but I think we’re getting the hang of it now. We will have a full post on recycling with toddlers coming soon!
This teaches your child to be a citizen of the world and social responsibility.
I hope that this post has provided some ideas on age appropriate chores for your little. And that you can incorporate some of them into your routine with the kiddos. Let’s all work together to raise a new generation of responsible, chivalrous, independent little men and women!
Let us know what kind of things do your littles help with? Any good suggestions to add to the list?