We have a recently turned 3-year old in our home now. Our son Jack, has become quite the little helper around the house. Which is really a good thing considering all the destruction he has also managed to cause during his short lifetime to date. As a parent, I am constantly reminded of just how capable our children are if we only give them the opportunity to prove themselves. I also believe that we are far too pressured into providing structured educational activities for our children, when in fact, just teaching them basic life skills (i.e chores) is just as, if not more, important. So today I’m sharing with you several chores that Jack learnt to do when he was two. This is by no means a comprehensive list, so please view it as more of a jumping off point.
I’ve seen people list ‘getting dressed’ as part of this category. Jack was not quite capable of that at age two, but he was capable of choosing his own clothes. Often they were mismatched, but I didn’t care for the times that we were just staying home. Your 2-year old will love being able to pick their outfit for the day and bring it to you.
Secondly, you can definitely have your 2-year old take their own dirty clothes and put them in the laundry hamper. I mean, toddlers are notorious for putting things inside other things (and then they’re lost forever). This is just taking advantage of a talent they already possess.
If you have a dishwasher, it is super easy to remove the cutlery basket and have your toddler put the cutlery away. This is not only a great way for them to help out, but it is educational as well! They get to learn to match forks with forks, knives with knives, etc.
If you do not have a dishwasher, getting your toddler to wash the cutlery is also a great chore idea!
Dishes & Dinner
I didn’t have Jack do an awful lot with dishes when he was two, only because of the potential for things to break. However, I have always had him clear his place at the table. It is just basic good manners to clear your place and put any scrapes in their designated bin.
For dinner time, it is also great to have your toddler set the table. Even if it is just putting out the placemats. The job is simple and educational. You can turn it into a counting exercise. As they get older, they can also set out the cutlery, and you can use that as an opportunity to teach them left from right.
If they can make the mess, they can clean it up. That is the mantra we hold in this house. Sometimes your toddler might seem overwhelmed by the sheer volume of toys that need cleaning up (I mean, often I am!), so be sure to help them break it down into achievable tasks. Have a routine for clean up time, and if the job really is too big, look to minimize the number of toys that you keep. They have a tendency for accumulating rather quickly!
As I said, this is by no means a comprehensive list, but a jumping off point to get your brainstorming. Sit down and think about how your household functions. Figure out what chores your toddler can realistically do, and then implement it into your daily routine. It may be a little work at the beginning, but this is something that will benefit everyone longterm.
Until next time!