Does your toddler do chores?

Lyndsay - posted on 04/25/2010 ( 109 moms have responded )

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My hubby usually naps before dinner, so its my son's job to clear all his toys off the table, set the placemats, and go get his dad for supper. I also make him clean up anything that he spills, even if its accidental, to get him in the habit of being clean and orderly.

Just wondering if anyone else sets tasks for their toddlers? By chores I don't necessarily mean housework, just like little odd jobs that they do around the house on a regular basis.

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Barbara - posted on 04/26/2010

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My kids do chores, absolutely! They are 5 and 4. I have them set the table, clear the table, clean up toys, spills and any other messes they make. They dust...actually they fight over the swiffer dusters so I have tons of them on hand. They also love my hand vac. As everyone else has said taching them these things early in life sets the tone for their adult life- responsibility, organization, an ownership.

Everyday should be a life lesson- of course make it age appropriate and fun! You can always making a teaching lesson as well- teach them sorting, colors, shapes, sizes, etc.

Candi - posted on 09/21/2011

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Your kids’ rooms are disaster areas. They are late everywhere they go. They forget to take books or papers that they need for school. They need help getting organized. What can you do?

1. Work with your kids to organize their rooms. Brainstorm with them on how to create the organization. Their buy-in is essential to their using and maintaining the system of order that will be created. Also, allow your kids the opportunity to be creative in the process of organizing their rooms. Can they make things that will help them become more organized? Large plastic storage boxes can be used for sorting and storing all the various toys, clothes, etc. that currently clutter their floors. Your kids can use the computer or craft items to decorate the boxes and label them to indicate their contents. For example, a sweater box may bear a sweater-shaped sign that has the word “sweaters” emblazoned across it.
2. Establish a routine for your household. Your kids need to get into a routine wake-up time, bedtime, and have other set routines throughout their day. One part of their nightly routine should be reviewing the next day’s activities to ensure that they are fully prepared and organized for those activities. For example, their backpacks for tomorrow’s school day can be packed tonight.
3. Have your kids create and decorate a calendar to help keep track of their activities. Their calendars should be prominently posted in their rooms, in the kitchen, or in another prominent location in your home. These calendars can be checked and discussed nightly.
4. A checklist can be created for all the things your kids need to take with them when they leave the house. If the list is the same each day for a given activity (i.e., going to school), then a poster board checklist can be kept in your kids’ rooms. When a list will vary day-to-day, you can create a list specific to the activity. These activity-specific lists should be written at least the day before the activity. By pre-preparing the list, you and your kids have time to amend the list if something is accidentally left off the list. Whether the list is applicable each day or targeted to one specific activity, ensure that your kids go through the checklist the night before the activity and again right before heading out the door . . . if something is missing, address the missing item while you are still able to access it and place it in your kids’ backpacks.
5. Lead by example. If you or your nanny are disorganized, your disorganization will reinforce your kids’ disorganization.
6. Hold your kids accountable when they are disorganized. Did you have to leave work today because your kids’ school called you and asked you to run home and get your son’s sports equipment or your daughter’s art class project? If so, perhaps accountability might be in order.
7. Praise your kids often for the signs of organization that they exhibit. Did your son all of the walkways in his bedroom free from clutter this week? If so, praise that. Did your daughter take everything to school that she needed each day this week? If so, praise that.

Elfrieda - posted on 09/16/2011

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I'm reading all these posts and getting good ideas!

My 21 month old son loves to help set the table for breakfast. He does all the unbreakables, and stacks them on the edge of the table. We're trying to teach him to put his plate in front of his chair, etc, but he doesn't get that yet.

He also LOVES to help unload the dishwasher, but I only let him if I'm feeling energetic. I get a bowl and he clangs all the cutlery into it and carries it over to the drawer where it goes, one at a time. Example: he pulls out a fork, throws it into the bowl, picks up the bowl, squeezes past the fridge, brings the bowl to me, I take the fork, thank him, and he goes back to get the next piece. I'm about a year older by the time we've finished!

We also use him as a dog, for fetching and carrying things to each other. ;) "Bring Daddy his slippers", etc.

My husband just cut a broom down to his height so that he can "help" me when I sweep. He also helps with laundry and dusting and tidying.

I can't believe the people who are saying, "It's my job to do the housework, not my kid's job". Surely your job is to train your child to be a productive member of society, starting with your house? It's not like giving your toddler chores actually makes life easier, it's just that it's good for them, IMO.

Leah - posted on 05/04/2010

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My son is asked to put up his toys,but we help. He also helps cleans up spills, I dont see anythign wrong with toddlers helping around the house, I dont see them as chores, but a responsibity to take care of oneself and own messes!

Angela - posted on 04/30/2010

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I think its great. And yes my oldest daughter has chores that she does daily. We actually set up a chart for her third birthday. It has what she is suppose to do every day and she gets a sticker when they are done. When she gets FIVE stickers ( mon-friday chores) then she gets something special. I think this is an awesome way to teach your children a lot of important life lessons. Of course cleaning up after them selves, but also that every one (at least in our home) does their part to maintain OUR home, its a team effort. Also with the inscentive to do five days in a row teachs her to work towards a goal. Her reward so to speak is normally some coins, that she puts in her piggy bank. This helps build the corner stones to money management. When she has saved up her and her piggy bank is full its time for a trip to the dollar tree!
I think chores are great. And every child is different in what they can do. I like to push the envelope a bit! I try to find three chores *one for each year of life* that she can work on. This summer when we go camping she will be three and a half. We are going to work up to not only clearing our plate from the table, we do that now, but now with assistance she should be able to begin to wash her own dinner plates and put them in the drying rack to dry!

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Yara - posted on 01/24/2013

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I have a 3 yr old and a 2 yr old and they both help put their dishes in the sink, put their dirty clothes in the hamper, or clean up their messes. they also pick up toys. I think is good that kids learn to do little things that are age appropiate around the house and i feel that it helps them grow responsible.. It takes time and some days is alot harder to have them do it than to just do it myself, but in the long run it will be worth it. :)

Kristy - posted on 01/17/2013

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i need help with my 2 1/2 year old son im trying to get him to help me with little things that he can do like pick his toys up and put his clothes in the hamper and pick his boooks up but he dont seem to want to do it... and on the the other hand he is autistic.... and he is delayed developmentally... please help


Thanks,
Kristy Peral

NaTasha - posted on 09/21/2011

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my 2 yr old does clean up. no i dont give him allowance i tell him thank u and move on to the next thing

Donna-Marie - posted on 09/18/2011

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I do exactly the same! I feel it's important to teach my kids responsibility and how important it is to help each other at an early age.

I do the same as you, nothing major, just enough to teach them, and make them feel needed. Now, they love to help and do little things without being asked, and they actually enjoy it and the praise and thanks that comes along with it =)

Sunshine - posted on 09/17/2011

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My 5 year old son Aidan picks up his toys and put them back in his room. He loves to help me in the kitchen with dinner and I let him set the table. He also puts his dirty clothes in the hamper and he also likes to help me with his younger brother who is 9 months old.

Freida - posted on 09/16/2011

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My son picks up the cups and puts them in the sink, puts his cloths in the laundry basket, (my daughter has to do hers also), they have to help pick up toys and put their own dishes up when they are finished eating. Also my daughter loves to get the clothes out of the dryer when it beeps, I don't even ask she just does it! They each have a chart and when they do what was asked...they get stickers and at the end of the week get a special day out with their daddy(bc he works throughout the week and is hardly home) for helping me throughout the week.They seem to enjoy it and I think it makes them feel special.

Leeann - posted on 09/16/2011

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my 4 yrs old helps me do dishes, and is really good at it, better than his older siblings. he also cleans up after himself, he knows mommy has a lot to do so he is a really big help.

Tammy - posted on 09/10/2011

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I don't believe in the concept of "chores". My 3-year-old daughter does random things around the house of she wants to, but nothing regular. She only picks up her toys when I "make" her do it and usually only with a bribe (strawberries or something else she likes), or a threat ("I will get mad if you don't do it"). When she gets older, I will expect her to do it on her own and also make her own bed each morning. But I will never have her do things around the house on regular basis; that's my job! LOL

Rachel - posted on 09/10/2011

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my 3 year old, picks up his toys, puts laundry in hamper, helps sort laundry, and i let him use the mini vacume to clean up his crummy bummys as we calle them lol

Brittany - posted on 09/05/2011

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Girl look, I have three kids....they are 5, 4 and 3. I am also a full time student. YES my kids do choirs. They pick up toys, put away laundry, mop (with my help), vacuum, help feed the ferrets, help me with the worms (I raise worms for soil and fishing), cook, and whatever else I need help with.

All of these things are done with my supervision of course. I don't let them run around with chemicals or anything. I think it is good for them.

Amanda - posted on 09/05/2011

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My 3 1/2 daughter helps me with laundry. She loves to throw the dirty clothes in the washer, putting the wet ones in the dryer, and taking them out to help fold. She also helps me with drying the dishes or handing me dirty ones so I can wash them. I also make her pick up her toys out of the living room everynight before she goes to bed. I am starting the process of teaching her to pick up her toys in her bedroom. She also knows to throw away her trash and put her dirty clothes in her hamper. It makes her feel good and she constantly tells me "I'm a real good helper Momma!" It makes her excited.

Amy - posted on 06/27/2011

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Gillian, that is awesome so happy to hear that parents are training their children to be adults!

Aicha - posted on 06/27/2011

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My daughter she likes to help unload the dishwasher I let her put the plastic away she helps me pick up toys and puts her clothes in the hamper

Sara - posted on 06/24/2011

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Well my 3 year old dosen't like to clean but my 1 year old loves to help mommy out she always picks up. But i do make my 3 year old clean up her toys an she'll put her clothes in her drawer but thats it

[deleted account]

I think that kids having chores is great! It teaches them responsibility and gives them self esteem. Our older kids ages 10 and soon to be 11 do the dishes and wash and dry the clothes and clean their rooms while the little ones ages 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 want to help with folding the clothes they want to put in the baskets and they love helping vacuum and all my kids love to help feed our dogs they fill up the dog bowls with dry dog food and set it out then every one clears out while they eat but the little ones are so proud when they help they clap and cheer when they get to do anything because they are so proud same with the older kids they are so proud of what they do too.

Brianna - posted on 06/23/2011

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I think ur son probably enjoys that u give him those jobs, my daughter is 19 months and loves to help clean up toys, carry things, ect.. actually when im dusting i usually give my daughter a cloth with a lil water on it and she pretend to be helping me and its soo cute and shes soo proud of herself

Samantha - posted on 06/23/2011

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I have my son who is about to be 2 next month put away his toys before we leave to go to the store and I have him help put away some cloths

Sunshine - posted on 04/16/2011

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My Son is only 17 Months & He doesn't quit have chores yet.
BUT
when I clean his toys I get him to help me.. I won't make him just yet. He does it on his own for now.. He will throw things away if I ask him too..
He loves the vacuum if he was big enough I am sure he would do that, lol.

[deleted account]

my son is only 19 months so he doesn't do set chores but he does try to "help" mne clean. when he spills something he will get something (usually dirty laundry from a basket) and try and clean it up or if i leave the broom out he will try and "sweep". i think that it's good of you to have your son do little odd things like clean up his toys and stuff.

Carol - posted on 04/13/2011

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Both of my girls are grown one has her own family now and my youngest is almost 16 but when they were toddlers they had to pick up their toys and put them away and they had to put their clothes in the dirty clothes hamper when they got ready to take a shower. It doesn't hurt to teach your toddler to clean up after themselves at this young of an age because then when they get older it will be easier for you to have them keep cleaning up after themselves.

Desiree - posted on 05/05/2010

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I have a 21 month old daughter and the only things i make her do is when she is clean-up her toys off the floor and out the tub, and pick up her clothes off the floor and put them in the laundry basket..

Mary - posted on 05/04/2010

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Yes. My daughter actually started cleaning up her messes herself, and we took it to the point of letting her help with clearing the table. As long as she is willing it is fine with me. It is good thing to help Mommy and it is good practice for when they grow up.

Gillian - posted on 05/04/2010

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I think as soon as ur kids show an interest in what ur doing round the house is a good age.My daughter was about 18months & started helping tidy up.She's now 4 & tidys up her toys,clears her dishes off table,helps set table,chooses own clothes to wear,puts dirty washing beside machine or in basket,helps put away shopping.They need to learn & these skills are valuable for life.Some kids grow up & can do nothing for themselves as parents do too much for them x

Laura - posted on 05/02/2010

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my 2 1/2 yr old toddler makes her bed and tidies her room in the morning as part of a game, she also picks up her toys and helps me clean (she loves to vacuum), she then lays the table and after a meal will happily run off to scrape her plate and put it in the sink. i think it is normal and i wouldnt have it any other way. i feel it would be harsh to spring lots of chores on her when she is older had she not been used to doing them. it is second nature to her now.

Robin - posted on 05/02/2010

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yes I have my 2yr old clean up her own toys but me and my older 2 make a game song and dance out of it they all dance around the room singing the clean up song while cleaning up there toys it helps them at an earley age that they need to clean up there own things and it makes it fun my 2yr old now helps me all over the house even if its not verry helpfuil LOL but I just let her do it becouse thats how they learn

Jacquelin - posted on 05/02/2010

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I think that you having that routine for your son is a great idea. I myself have my kids clean their room and their play room. (My toddlers are almost 4 and 3) They also pick up after themselves, and they love to help me do dishes.. although I have to go back over drying them they LOVE doing that. But yes it is good to have your toddlers do things for themselves.. especially on a regular basis

Lindsey - posted on 05/02/2010

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My daughter will be 4 in september. she clears her dishes from the table after dinner, and loves to "clean" so much that sweeps the floor during playtime. I still have to help her pick up toys and give very specific instructions other wise she loses interest.

Suzie - posted on 05/02/2010

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Chores Wont hurt them and they make them feel important :) My Daughter cleans up her toys and her spills and puts her dishes in the sink. and then because she wanted more jobs she feeds the cat and her fish. she never forgets and it makes her happy that shes the big girl

Kimberly - posted on 05/02/2010

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My daughter likes to help get the laundry from the dryer for me. It started while I was pregnant and had a hard time bending over. She also makes her bed every morning. (well the mornings she remembers) She remembers to do it more often then her much older sisters though.

Danielle - posted on 05/01/2010

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Yup. my son helps pick up his room, put away his clothes, set and clear the table, pick up the house. We don't have a set schedule but he sure does help-and enjoys it. Makes him feel like a big boy!

Pam - posted on 05/01/2010

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My son is almost 2, and he loves to help out with little chores around the house. He puts his dishes in the sink or dishwasher, he will clean up any spill he sees - even if it isn't his own - and he'll help clean up his toys and he LOVES to vacuum! If he hears the vacuum turn on, he comes running! He even likes to throw things away! I guess it's fun to flip open the garbage can lid. But we've lost some dishes and toys because of this.
We turn everything into a game, so it's fun for him, and the biggest bonus is he's learning responsibility. If it's fun now, hopefully when he's 10 it'll be second nature to him and less of a fight.

Sonya - posted on 05/01/2010

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my daughter is 26 months old and does vacuuming with her toy vac when i do with the real thing. She also loves to help with trash no only putting it away but also to take her own bag to trash cans. I hope to start teaching her to help with dish washing soon but I trying to give her little things to be a BIG girl

Venna - posted on 05/01/2010

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yes! our lil ones have chores it teaches them responsibilty and to be independent . They actually love to do chores...they say I want to help.... :)

Lauren - posted on 05/01/2010

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My 3 year old loves to clean and help out around the house. That's her idea of a good time. Its her responsability to keep her room and her play room clean everyday. Its also her job to pick up all the dirty clothes she finds around the house and put them in the hamper. if the hamper is full she brings them to the laundry room. She will eagerly help with dishes. (plastic ones only). And loves to help make bottles for her brother. Sometimes she makes a mess but it's worth it for the experience for her. It makes her proud to know that she did it. I've had her helping since she was about 18 months. It gives me a break also. Now I just can't wait for my 11 month old to start pulling his own weight. Then I can get my yard done. Lol.

Tiffany - posted on 05/01/2010

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My daughter is almost 3 and she takes trash to the garbage can, empties her potty, helps clean up her toys and messes, takes dirty clothes to her hamper and usually helps clean up after any art projects that we do.

Ashley - posted on 05/01/2010

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My son is a little helper as well and thrives on the praise he gets for helping. He likes to help put dishes away. And he always cleans up with myself and his dad before bed. He also likes to help make his bed but that usually ends up not working lol. I think that small chores teaches children to be independant and tidy. My son knows that when the job is his and done right he feels proud and I love when he smiles that amazing "PRIDE" smile.

Jayme - posted on 05/01/2010

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mine cleans up her room by pickin up her toys puts her dishes cups in sink an cleans up her accidents an puttin her panties on an takin her pamper off in the morning

Kristy - posted on 05/01/2010

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My toddler doesn't do as much as that. But she does help out when I am cleaning; she'll take her things in her room but she enjoys it. She'll clean up anything she spills just cause she doen't like to be dirty. When she gets school aged then I may get her to do more but for right now I'll let her continue to be a kid and choose the things she wants to do. She's already making the right decisions any way considering she just turned two. She likes encougement and high fives :)

Lisa - posted on 05/01/2010

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My daughter helps pick up her toys puts her dirty clothes in the hamper and helps her Daddy take the garbage out (she wants to do this) She also loves sweeping, moping and vaccuming but we dont ask her to do theses things she does them on her own. We reward her for helping

Jane - posted on 05/01/2010

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i do. it's important. my girl loves to help out and i also make her clean up her messes, i tell her "as quickly as you make the mess, you need to clean it up". they have to be responsible for themselves and the earlier the better. they won't be functioning adults in the world if we do everything for them forever.

Shandra - posted on 05/01/2010

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My 2yr old has to pick up his toys at least everyday but he does like to take a wash rag or baby wipe and wipe things off with it or he has a spray bottle of water he takes with him around the house to spray and wipe things off when I am cleaning, he also like to help load the dishwasher with my help of course and putting the clothes from the washer to the dryer with my help as well...

[deleted account]

my daughter is responsible for all her stuff (toys, art materials, books, etc.). whenever she's finish playing or studying or she wants to move on to another activity, she needs to fix the things first but for the whole day i set a time for her when everything should be in their proper place - which is after dinner. my daughter is 4. if she wants to help me with my chores i let her only if i know she can properly do it.

[deleted account]

My twins have always enjoyed helping they will be 3yrs. this July and they make their beds, put their toys alway (ALWAYS!!) and help with laundry putting it in the washer then dryer but they think that's fun. I don't get them to do too much as I want them to be kids but I also want them to have a good feeling of accomplishment and importance and they get that when they have finished a chore and get loads of hugs and kisses from Mummy!

Donna - posted on 04/30/2010

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my 2yr old does odd jobs around the house maily cause he doesn't want to be left out! i have a set list of chores that my 7yr old does and its with these that my 2yr old likes to help with especially putting out the rubbish into the bin

Nicole - posted on 04/30/2010

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Yes he does. he washes dishes, separate clothes, take out the trash, and of course, cleans his room.

[deleted account]

I make my stepdaughter pick up after herself when she's with us. I don't think anybody else does. She always throws a fit when I ask her to pick up her toys.

April - posted on 04/30/2010

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I have two toddlers almost 3 & 2 and yes they both have been taught to do cleaning..not hard stuff just any mess they make they clean up they clean up there room ect.. my oldest loves to help wash clothes and dishes!! Maybe she will stay that way!! (:

Sarah - posted on 04/30/2010

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i do the same thing. my daughter loves to help set/clear/wipe the table. she will even help put things away. she picks up her own messes and toys. some days are better then others of course but its to be expected with a toddler.

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