Introducing Chores to Toddlers

I’m trying to teach my children to learn responsibilities. Being that my toddler is not even two yet, I haven’t introduced chores. I thought he was too young. He is in a huge learning phase and to my surprise he started doing chores on his own. This is how I’ve come to realize that he is ready to tackle more responsibilities. He watches me everyday and started picking up on my daily routine. He amazes me more and more everyday.

Here are a few chores that my toddler is tackling. I recommend these chores to start out at a young age. If you feel that your toddler is not ready, well Momma knows best!! If your little one doesn’t start right away, just keep slowly introducing them one at a time if you feel its time to start.

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  1. Throwing away trash, etc. Starting out, we asked my son to throw away his own diapers after being changed. He would go to the trash, throw it away,  and we would clap and praise him. Little by little he expanded on his own. If he would see a piece of paper or wrapper on the floor then he would pick it up and throw it away. After he is done with food, or tissues he will go to the trash and throw them out too.
  2. Empting the dishwasher. As soon as I open the dishwasher, I remove the silverware, knives, and sharp objects so they’re not in arms reach. As I start taking the dishes out, my toddler comes and grabs a bowl, cup and hands them to me. Every time he runs to help! Now he will stand and unload the whole thing,one by one handing me each dish, cup, etc for me to put away. (The only downside is when I’m trying to load the dishwasher, he is trying to unload at the same time.)
  3. Picking up the toys. Each day I go and pick up my sons’ bedroom. He has a huge plastic bin where all the toys go. Recently he came in the bedroom and started picking toys up and placing them in the box. You can only image how excited I was that he can clean his own room. Its usually only when I ask him and start helping, but hey before the age of two, I will take it! πŸ™‚
  4. Cleaning the glass doors– While I was cleaning all the sticky fingerprints from my sliding door one day, I handed the rag to my son. He went to town, wiping the door down. We had a little to much fun cleaning glass that day. He makes cleaning fun. I  spray the Windex on the door and he wipes it down.
  5. Sweeping the floors– This is my kiddos favorite thing to do. He will assist in pushing the vacuum all over the house. The other day I grabbed my broom for a quick spot sweeping in the kitchen, I look over and he is emptying the dust pan in the trash. My little man makes me proud.
  6. Picking up Laundry– He loves to pick up laundry and place them in the basket. After the clothes have fairly cooled from the dryer, he will unload it into the basket. Sometimes he even jumps in for the clothes basket joyride.
  7. Dusting– I bought a duster for quick dusting in my living room. My kiddo will take the duster and go across the furniture. He gets distracted sometimes and would rather play with it, but we are working at this. He does a pretty good job.
  8. Putting Away Groceries– Every time I carry in groceries, I pile them in the kitchen floor to be put away. My son opens the bags and hands me the items to put away. I will let him put  stuff away such as the can goods, because he can reach that cabinet.

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I’m fairly new into this motherhood journey still. I don’t know all the answers and I usually don’t know the appropriate age to introduce new things. The best part about being a mom is that my son is helping me along the way. He lets me know when its time to switch things up and start learning new things. He amazes me all the time, and I’m so excited for everything that we do together.

This list is based on the chores that we are currently tackling as a team. I would love to hear some of the chores that your little ones are doing. If your children are grown, do you have some tips for any new or fairly new moms our there?

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11 thoughts on “Introducing Chores to Toddlers

  1. Great list! I also taught my son a lot of these – he really loves the Melissa and Doug pretend cleaning set too, you should check it out for Christmas πŸ˜‰

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  2. This is a great list! I try to have my 17 month old “help”. He loves to sweep which really results in my fearing for my life but I let him because I think it’s good to learn to help. Of course, I try to get him to clean up his toys. Try. I also recently started having him help bring in groceries. Thanks for these ideas!

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  3. We started chores around 18 months. We got my daughter her own little broom. It is adorable. Also, she feeds the dogs. And takes her plate and cup to the sink. They naturally want to help and be big, I’m hoping fostering it now, will encourage it when it is a little less “novel.”

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