5 Chores for Toddlers

Submitted by  Meryl Rose  – http://www.chitchatformommies.com

When toddlers see Mom and Dad doing chores around the house, they are often eager to help.  They love to try to do the same things their parents are doing.  Although it may take longer to get the chores done when trying to teach a toddler how to do them, it can help them learn to enjoy housework and develop good habits that will be an asset later on.

The most important thing to remember when selecting chores for toddlers is to keep it simple.  Very young children do not have the cognitive or motor skills to take on complicated tasks.  But there are some things they can do that, after some practice, will be helpful to you.

1. Picking Up Toys

Getting your toddler to pick up after himself can be a great help.  But it’s usually too much to expect him to put everything in its exact place.  A better approach would be to provide a laundry basket or large box for him to simply throw all of his stuff into.  Then you can take it to his room and put it where it belongs.
2. Feeding the Pets

Kids love to help take care of their pets  – to them its like playing mommy/daddy to a little person.  Toddlers are capable of helping to feed pets, but occasional messes should be expected.  To minimize accidents, you could buy pet food in individual packets or cans for small cats and dogs.  Dry food is really the easiest for young kids to handle – if  your child is capable of scooping something in a cup, they should be able to put it on the pet’s dish just fine.  For watering purposes, toddlers can put the water into a small watering can and then pour it into the bowl.

3. Watering Plants

Small children usually can’t resist the opportunity to water plants.  This is another task that could get messy, so make sure your plants aren’t sitting on or near anything that could be easily damaged by water.  It’s also smart to make sure they don’t fill the watering can over half full.  This will help prevent spilling the water in transit.

4. Cleaning the Floors

It may seem like an adults-only task, but floor cleaning is something that kids often enjoy.  The trick is to let them use tools that they can easily manage.  Cordless floor sweepers are ideal for this purpose.  There are also small, working vacuum cleaners and brooms available in the toy departments of most stores.  While it might be too ambitious to expect a child to sweep all of the dirt into a neat pile, he can help get the dirt out of the corners while you go behind him and sweep it all together.  Again, Swiffers are wonderful for kids  – you can find wet and/or dry Swiffers for the floors.

5. Laundry

Every mom could use some help with the laundry, and young children are often happy to oblige.  Toddlers can help sort dirty clothes, and you can even turn it into a learning experience.  You could also enlist your toddler’s help in loading and unloading the washer and dryer.

When your child is old enough to walk and is somewhat verbal, he can start helping with the housework.  Getting your child to help with chores will help him develop a sense of responsibility.  And that is something that you will be thankful for when he is older and can do more substantial housework.

Meryl D. Rose is a mommy to an adorable 5 1/2 year old girl and has been married for almost 13 years to a wonderfully supportive husband. Meryl has over twenty years’ experience teaching and counselling children and parents both in and out of the classroom. Meryl was bitten by the proverbial computer bug and created www.chitchatformommies.com – a website created by moms for moms. Once you enter the website, you will find brand-new as well as time-tested, creative and simple solutions to help multi-tasking moms of today thrive in their most important roles – as mommies.

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