25 Chores That Toddlers Can Help With

When our first daughter was a toddler, we had no idea what she should take on around the house and at what age. Now that she is five, she does quite a bit. Her younger sister works hard to keep up and, in doing so, has shown us all of the possibilities that we missed a few years ago.

At two and a half years old, our youngest loves to be a part of our family. She enjoys taking on tasks and she was so upset to see that her sister had a chore chart, and she didn’t.

She has one now and all is right in her world.

If you are looking for things to put on your toddler’s chore chart or to start teaching your child to do, here is a list to get you started.

Photo of a girl doing chores.  Copyrights to © Ilike - Fotolia.com

Start slow and teach a couple each month (start with the easiest). Depending on the chore, parental supervision is advised until the child either understands the chore and does it correctly, or until an older age is reached.[Tweet “Teaching toddlers about chores? Start with 1 to 2 a month and check out these 25 suggestions.”]

Morning
Put their stuffies on their bed in the morning.
Pull their bed sheet up to their pillow.
Put their pajamas in their laundry hamper when getting dressed.

Save Energy
Turn off lights that are not being used (we have a small step stool on each floor that our daughter moves around).
Turn off the TV when done.

General Cleaning
Pick up toys and put them in their place. (Our rule is ‘if you can reach them to take them out, you can put them away)
Put their books back on their shelf (if it is low).
Dust items from their chest down (includes living room tables, small shelves, etc).
Put their used cups and bowls on the kitchen table (or counter if they can reach) after they are done their snacks.
Clear craft area and put sealed supplies back in their drawers when they are done.

Help an Adult With
Feeding pets.
Making meals or baking.

Laundry
Put their dirty clothes in their laundry hamper.
Match their socks.
Fold face cloths. (It might not be the best folding job, but I won’t tell anyone)
Fold dish towels. (see above)
Help put laundry in the machine.
Put their clean clothes in their drawers.

Groceries
Put reusable (or plastic) bags away when empty.
Put some items on low shelf in pantry.
Put recycling in bins (if within reach. Our daughter deals with our paper items and milk containers).

Outside
Shoveling in the winter, raking in the summer (with size-appropriate equipment).
Watering flowers and garden with a small watering can.

Night time
Tidy bedroom before bed.
Pick out pajamas and get night time diaper.

Contrary to the photo above, our daughter enjoys her chores. At this young age, chores should be about having fun and enjoying the time together. This will build a solid foundation for ‘wanting’ to help out the family versus ‘needing’ to. We started on the really easy ones when she was two years old. She is three months away from her third birthday and she does all of these (some, still supervised).

Sheri Landry
Sheri publishes, and writes at This Bird’s Day where she shares all of the thoughts in her head without the voices. Sticking mainly with content for Canadians, Sheri shares family stories, product information and anything that fits into her (and her family’s) daily activities.
Found in Featured, Kids
21 comments… add one
  • Demetra K Mar 11, 2015, 8:25 am

    Very good tips, thank you. Another one my son loves to do is sweep the kitchen floor; he loves to pull out the Swiffer and sweep the kitchen. Putting toys away and dishes in the sink as well as putting laundry in the washer and dryer, are a big help and he feels so accomplished in doing it.

  • kim Jan 21, 2015, 5:20 pm

    Love it!. My daughter just turned 2 in sept. And she has been doing these since 1 1/2. She also helps mow the grass and pull weeds. She loves to do garden work and take the compost out as well. I agree with starting them at a young age :)

  • Valerie Apr 10, 2014, 7:43 am

    Great list! Can you share your chore chart? Thanks! :)

  • Prof.Mama Mar 22, 2014, 7:57 am

    These great tips for my children. Thanks.

  • Kelly Mar 20, 2014, 3:02 pm

    Pinned this! Thanks!

  • Ashley @ PioneerMomma.com Mar 17, 2014, 5:08 pm

    I love these ideas! I am about to revamp my son’s chore chart pretty soon, but he doesn’t mind doing most of them :-) Thanks for sharing, and I featured this for this week’s What’d You Do This Weekend! Pinning!

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Mar 17, 2014, 6:46 pm

      Thanks Ashley – it is handy to have when you’re trying to think of additional duties. It’s amazing how fast they grow up.

  • Mommy on Demand Mar 13, 2014, 5:04 pm

    These are some great ideas! Thanks! Would love to invite you over to share at our link party that just started http://mommyondemand.com/weekend-retreat-party-58 See you soon!

  • Renee @ CreativeMamaMessyHouse Mar 11, 2014, 12:54 am

    My freshly-2 year old loves laundry day (putting dirty in machine, putting wet into dryer, taking clean out into basket to fold). He also loves to sweep/vacuum/wash dishes/wipe the counters and table. He is also getting good at cleaning up his own spills with a paper towel. Now if only this would last into teenager-hood…

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Mar 11, 2014, 9:15 am

      Kids who learn chores at a younger age are more likely to continue the behavior as a teenager so – fingers crossed ;)

  • Inspire Me Heather Mar 3, 2014, 5:18 am

    Great list! We do most of these plus my Son has to take out the compost which he likes to do (boys, dirt and bugs go so well together).

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Mar 3, 2014, 11:01 pm

      Boys and dirt are a great match. Great idea to add to the list. Thanks so much.

  • Dani @ lifeovereasy Feb 28, 2014, 7:11 pm

    Great suggestions. I think it great if you can get kids to take on some little responsibilities at an early age.

  • Amanda @ The Mommy Mix Feb 26, 2014, 3:27 pm

    I love this list. I have a 17 month old and although it may take some coaxing he will put the dirty clothes in the laundry basket and every now and then his toys in the toy box. It just goes to show they are never too young to start.

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Feb 26, 2014, 11:58 pm

      I love that. We start out by making it fun and we sing a ‘clean up song’. My kids are understanding more than I give them credit for most days.

  • Katie Edwards Feb 26, 2014, 12:24 pm

    This is a great list! We get our daughter to help with some of these. She’s three, and she loves doing it, too! We had a system where she randomly chose 1 of 5 chores each day, and she always wanted to do all 5!

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Feb 26, 2014, 1:56 pm

      Kids really do enjoy helping at that age. It is a great time to get them used to how they can contribute so it doesn’t become such a ‘chore’ down the road.

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