Getting stuff done around the house often falls on mom, but there are plenty of chores even a toddler can do. That means you shouldn’t have to do it all. Getting your kids involved in housework is important because it teaches them responsibility and it teaches them valuable life skills they’ll need when they get older and live on their own. So start handing out these chores even a toddler can do and you’ll all benefit.
1. Clear the Dishes
There’s no reason why everyone in the family shouldn’t be responsible for taking care of their own dishes after dinner. And this is one of many chores even a toddler can do because it’s easy and fast. Have your child carry his plate and cup to the counter after he’s done eating. He can also throw his napkin in the trash. As your child gets older, he can scrape his plate, rinse it and place it in the dishwasher. Now you have a few extra minutes to cuddle!
2. Put Laundry in the Basket
Why should mom have to pick up all the dirty clothes? At my house, that doesn’t fly. Even toddlers can pick up their own discarded clothing and carry it to a laundry basket. When your child gets out of the bath or shower, have her take her clothes to the basket or hamper and make sure each item gets tossed in – that means not on the floor nearby. Make sure you set a good example by doing the same.
3. Pick up Toys
You don’t expect your kids to clean up your messes, right? So you shouldn’t let them get into the habit of doing the same to you. It’s not unreasonable to expect your kids to pick up their own toys and put them away when they’re done playing with them. You might have to help younger kids, but get them into the habit of it at a young age and it’ll just be a given as they get older.
4. Sorting Socks
Toddlers love to sort and match, so let your child use those skills to match up socks before you put them away. Put all the socks into a pile and let your toddler match them up while you fold the rest of the laundry. As he gets older, you can teach him to fold the rest of the clothes and then you can sit back and have a glass of lemonade once in a while.
My kids love when I give them a wet cloth and let them dust non-breakable things around the house. Even a toddler can swipe dust from books on the shelves or the television if she can reach it. Once you trust her, you can let her take over the chore.
6. Care for Pets
Even a toddler can scoop food into a dog dish. Your child can also give your dog a bath or brush his fur. Get your kids involved with training your pet so the dog responds to all members of the family. If you have a cat, your child can learn to refill the water dish, shake a toy for him or let him in and out of the backyard. Feeding fish or hanging treats in the birdcage are other simple chores for kids.
7. Carrying Groceries
Obviously, you’re not going to give your toddler a sack bulging with canned goods. But you can let him carry a box of Kleenex, a bag of Goldfish crackers or some napkins. As he gets older and stronger, he can carry full bags and take some of the load off you. Trust me, it’s really nice.
Do you give your kids chores? How old were they when you got started?