Thursday, January 01, 2009

Chores That Toddlers Can Tackle

When I'm in the kitchen expect my 2 1/2 year old toddler to be there around me. He is always fascinated with what I'm doing and wants to try it too. He carries around a stool where he can step on to take a good look at what I'm doing. When I microwave food he likes to push the buttons; when I load clothes in the washer or dishes in the dishwasher he likes to do it too; when I vacuum he wants his turn too; and so on and so forth. I always wonder why he would rather watch me than play with his own toys. He wants to join in the action all the time, he'd say "I do, I do" or "help mommy".

I realized that it is an opportunity for learning so I include him in most of the things I do in the kitchen like putting away the utensils back to the drawer but with supervision of course. He learned how to identify and sort spoons, teaspoons, forks and knives. I let him wipe the kitchen counter to keep him occupied. Then after a while I would see him wiping the floor too and putting the rugs in order when he sees them crooked. Anything that will keep him occupied is good enough distraction, so I can continue with what I'm doing peacefully. And at the same time, I'm teaching him the value of being organized, cleaning up and helping in few basic chores.

Here are some of the chores that toddlers can tackle:
  1. Pick up and put away toys.
  2. Put dirty clothes in the hamper.
  3. Help sort colored and white laundry.
  4. Unload clean clothes from a cooled-down dryer.
  5. Deposit and take mail from mail box.
  6. Dust. Provide a dust cloth or feather duster and give a demonstration, then let your toddler loose. Be sure there are are no breakables in the area to be dusted.
  7. Unpack and put away unbreakable groceries (toilet paper, paper towels, bread, cereal boxes, pasta) in accessible cabinets.
  8. Sweep the floor with a small broom and dustpan (a dustpan that "stands up" and can be held by a long handle makes this task easier).
  9. Set the table with placemats and napkins, unbreakable dishes and cups, and flatware (no knives).
  10. Clear the table of unbreakable item.
  11. Dry unbreakable dishes, pans, spoons, plastic cups.
  12. Wipe watersafe surfaces with spray bottle of water and cloth or a damp sponge.
  13. Wash, scrub, and rinse produce in kitchen sink (standing on a sturdy, steady step stool).
  14. Tear lettuce for salad.
  15. Toss a small salad in a large bowl (until your toddler is proficient, it's probably wise to add the dressing later).
  16. Snap string beans, shell peas, husk corn on the cob, break broccoli or cauliflower into florets.
  17. Cut cookies or sandwiches with a cookie cutter.
  18. Shape meatballs, dumplings, or cookie balls. But make sure to wash thoroughly before and after this chore. And instruct your kids not to taste the mixture if it contains raw meat or raw eggs.
  19. Mix or stirr eggs, pancake batter, cake batter, uncooked pudding. Again no licking allowed if raw egg is an ingredient.
  20. Water plants (Use a small watering can)
  21. Pull weeds (under close supervision)
Source: What to Expect the Toddler Years


  1. I hope you had a great new year celebration. I wish you and your family, cheers, good health and good tidings. Happy new year!

    Moms Check Nyo
    A Simple Life
    Mommy's Little Corner

  2. Mira, I hope you have a wonderful and blessed New Year!


  3. Oh wow! He's so good at helping you out.

    Have a blessful new year ahead Mir.

  4. it's a good thing that a young age they'll learn the basic chores! It's definitely good training to the kids!:) nice tips!:)

  5. Hi Mira.
    So... you got yourself a little helper with a gorgeous smile :)
    I agree we should teach kids, of both sex, simple house chores since young age. Most of them love imitating/ participating in adult´s chores and, as you pointed out, it´s a great chance they have to learn.
    A good Friday xxx

  6. wow what a great helper you have there. soooo cute

  7. Hi,

    Wish you this new year gives you health and wealth.

    Insurance Agent

  8. Wow ang cute ng future chef mo hahaha... I really do like parents introducing kitchen or cooking to children in their early years, just warn them not to stay on their own...

  9. EC dropping here, take care...

  10. Toddlers can also wash the kitchen floor using a small pan of warm water and a washcloth.

    They can wash the bathtub with a toothbrush and/or washcloth using warm soapy water, too.

  11. Thanks guys for all your wishes and comments. Yeah it's not too early to start our kids to help in the house.

    @Mom - yeah those are good ones, tks for sharing!

  12. Thanks for the great tips. I'm going to try a few of these with my four year old.