by Molly Balint
1. Pick up toys and put them into baskets or tubs.
2. Put away laundry pile. On small removable stickers, I drew pictures of what went into each drawer of my kids’ dressers. Undies, long sleeve tshirts, pajamas, etc. It’s been great for getting them to sort and put away laundry on their own. If you don’t want to make them yourself, here’s an adorable set from Crafterhours.
3. Fold laundry. Starting with small items like washcloths or tea towels is a great place to start. Eventually, they can “graduate” to things like their own pants and Tshirts which are small and easy to fold.
4. Pick up dirty laundry and put it in the hamper.
5. Put away silverware and non-breakables in the dishwasher. Obviously, you’ll want to remove the knives or other sharp objects first, but this is a simple task and works their sorting skills.
6. Pour water. My toddler likes to pour water. From the sink, to the floor. From the bathtub, to the floor. From her cup, to the floor. BUT, you can harness that “skill” for good by having them water plants or fill pet water bowls. And giving them a small watering can or cup for this job is perfect.
7. Empty small trash cans. Emptying small, lightweight trashcans is an easy task for a toddler. You can make it even easier by lining your cans with small plastic bags that they can simply lift out. Otherwise they can use those same “pouring” skills to dump trash into a larger bag that you or an older child holds open for them.
A few other ideas for your toddler’s to-do list? Wiping down sinks with non-toxic cleaners, dusting, carrying light grocery bags in from the car, closing cupboards.
With a little guidance we can enjoy these early years when our child actually jumps at the chance to help us clean! I’d love to hear what chores your toddler helps out with around the house.