Chores That Your 2-Year Old Can Do

April 6, 2018
Blog post

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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.

Read –> 5 Thought Provoking Reasons to Boycott Preschool

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.

Chore ideas for 2 Year Olds

8 Simple Chores for 2 Year Olds:

#1 Put Away Their Clothes

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.

Annie is almost 2-years old now and at the end of the day when I’ve finished folding the laundry, I get her to help take one or two items and put them in her closet.

It’s enough for her to start learning where things go, and also give her a sense of accomplishment.

Read –> How to Consistently Keep on Top of the Laundry

Little girl dusting
Child dusting with text overlay about chores
Little girl with paint all over her face

#2 Wash and Put Away Cutlery

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!

I would suggest making sure they’re wearing an apron because in my experience the water will not be staying in the sink only.

In all seriousness, most toddlers absolutely love playing with water, so this will be a great chore/activity for them.

Cutlery that 2 year olds can put away

#3 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.

#4 Put Away Toys

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!

Read my tips for maintaining a clean home here –> How to Have a Clean Home When You Have Small Children

2 year olds playing on the floor

#5 Dusting

This is a super simple and helpful chore that your 2-year old can do.

Give them a feather duster, or even just a cloth and get them to go around and dust off the skirting boards. If your windowsills are low enough they could totally do that too.

I’m not entirely sure why, but both of my children have always been fascinated by the feather duster.

#6 Throw Away Rubbish/Recycling

If you have a trash can that your 2-year old can open and close on their own then they can totally put things into it.

I actually made a concerted effort to teach my daughter how to open and close the rubbish bin for this reason.

It’s so helpful when they can put wrappers, tissues, etc into the bin themselves. It’s not only going to make life easier for you, but it also teaches them to be respectful of their environment and a tidy person.

#7 Help Fetch Things

It always amazes me how much toddlers can comprehend even before their speech is very developed. My kids have been able to follow simple instructions since they were quite young.

So, a great chore would be to get them to fetch their own diapers/wipes. Sometimes when my daughter has spilt on her clothes I’ll get her to go and fetch some clean pants. She loves it!

It has also been a necessity for us as I’m now heavily pregnant with baby #3.

2 year old and dog sitting in a wagon

#8 Feed Pets

We don’t currently have any pets, however, if we did you can bet I would be encouraging my children to take some amount of responsibility for their care.

A 2-year old can totally fill up food bowls for cats/dogs. With supervision, they can be ‘in charge’ of feeding any manner of pet that you have in your home.

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!

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