Being able to clean the house, can be an all day job with a toddler around. Making small household chores fun, can be a way to clean the house and show your toddler that picking up after themselves and helping others is important.
I don’t believe that two year olds should have consistent chores at this time. Having them do small chores is a good way to start introducing chores to them gradually and it really does help. They key is to make it fun for both you and your little one. Don’t make chores something to dread. By making games, using coordination skills ,and matching while doing chores can be educational and a fun way to spend time with your two year old.
Little ones really do want to help you, give them the chance to by giving them a couple simple chores here and there.
1. Picking Up Their Toys
In my house, toys can be everywhere in a matter of seconds. Picking them up all the time by yourself is a non ending job. By two years old, your little is able to help pick up some of their toys themselves. Here is a fun way, to get them started on happily picking up their own toys. So get your toy bins and race with your toddler to see how fast you can get all of them picked up. If they are not picking up the toys too, walk behind them and hold their hands to help them pick up the toys. Every time you put a toy in their bin with them, in an excited voice say ,”YAY!” while clapping your hands together and then help rush again to pick up the next toy. Maybe not the first time, but after a while, they will want to pick up the toys themselves and race with you to pick them up.
Maybe have a little bell to ring or buzzer to beep after it is all done to make it more fun. Give your little one a high five and in a happy voice say ” all done or It’s clean! :)”
2. Sweep or Vacuum
When Lyla was a little baby, she was scared of the vacuum and did not like it at all. To help her not be scared of it, I held her in my arms and let her hold the handle of the vacuum with me. She found that it wasn’t so scary after she tried it herself. She ended up loving it and wanted to “help” me every single time I vacuumed. Also, a little popper that makes noise is the perfect toy to make it seem like they are “helping” too. They can also be in charge of picking up any extra things on the floor while you are vacuuming.
Sweeping is simple and is fun to do for little ones. If you are sweeping, let them use a small hand broom and dustpan just for them. They may not actually pick anything up but it helps develop motor skills and hand & eye coordination. Let them place their dustpan above the trash to empty it.
3. Putting Their Dirty Dishes In The Sink
After taking your little one out of their high chair, let them take their own dirty dishes to the sink. Make sure you take out any extra pieces of food off of their bowl or plate with a napkin before they take it to the sink. You don’t want them to have food all over themselves while reaching up to put it in the sink. If they are too short to reach, you can let them hold the dishes while you carry them to the sink and let them put the dishes in. Using a child’s step stool is also an option for them to reach the sink; if they are balanced enough to use one yet. After placing the dishes in the sink, it is the perfect time to wash their hands after they eat. This is a good practice to get into as they get older. After a while, they will automatically put their dishes in the sink when they are done eating if you are consistent.
Kids love hearing the clang of their dishes fall into the sink. Lyla ends up wanting to take my dirty dishes to the sink too.
3. Cleaning Around Their Highchair
After little ones are done eating, a mess is always sure to be found in it, around it, and just plain everywhere. Make sure there isn’t anything wet or sticky on the floor. Let them only clean dry crumby messes. A way that I have my little one help clean her mess after eating, is to give her a little hand held cordless vacuum or give her, her little toy broom and dustpan. While she is cleaning the floor I clean out the seat and the highchair tray. I know she doesn’t get all of it, but it gives her the feeling that she is helping and that we are doing something together. Her favorite is the small hand held vacuum that I let her use. She loves pushing the button and seeing all the crumbs go in the vacuum. It actually helps her notice how big of a mess she makes. She has been a little bit better and not making as big of messes when eating.
4. Putting Clean Utensils Away
I let Lyla help with putting the clean utensils away. Before starting, make sure little ones have clean hands. I take the utensil holder out of the dishwasher, place it standing up in the drawer, and let her stand on her step stool to organize the utensils. Before giving her the utensil holder though, I make sure to take out all knives or sharper utensils. If you know that your toddler is not good with forks, take them out of the holder and drawer as well. Safety first! Maybe just let them put the spoons in. When I first let Lyla do this she would put the utensils upside down, backwards, and in the wrong place. This was okay with me and was an easy fix. I would show her how to place them at first and in which direction. After a while they will get the hang of it and will match them perfectly. This little chore really does help them with coordination, motor skills, a chance for you to teach them some extra kitchen safety, and helps them match objects.
Laundry is probably Lyla’s favorite chore. She loves driving the hampers from our room to the laundry room like a car. Or occasionally, I let her get on top of the clothes that are in the basket and drive her myself to the laundry room. She likes to hand me up the laundry to put into the washer or she throws them up into the washer and I just put them in correctly when she is done. While we are putting the clothes in, we say what each piece of clothing is and who it belongs to ( ex. daddy’s shirt, Lyla’s dress, mommies pants) After I put the detergent in, I let her push the button to start the washing machine.
When all the clothes have finished washing, I take the washed clothes out and place on the lid of the dryer. All she does is simply push the clothes from the lid into the dryer. For heavier clothes, I usually put them in myself because sometimes they are a little too hard for her to push in. Once again, I let her push the button to start the dryer.
After all the clothes are dry she likes to take them out and put them in the laundry basket and drives the basket into our room. While I start folding the clothes, her job is to put all the clothes from the basket onto the bed.
If I am dusting or washing , I let Lyla have a towel as well. If I have a spray I am using, she usually wants to use that spray as well. I’m not comfortable with her being around any cleaners. So, I have a spray bottle of water just for her. All I do, is when I spray something for me to wash, I take her cloth and spray it with water. You can also let them have their own water spray bottle if you don’t mind that wherever they are “cleaning”, is going to be extremely wet.
7. Kitchen Helper
Let your little one grab a footstool, wash their hands, and put on a toddler apron to “help” you in the kitchen, cooking. Here is another time to show your little one kitchen safety rules. Do not let your little one mix the bowl, handle raw eggs, use any sharp utensils, or be near hot surfaces. Safety first! Let them help you put things into the bowl like that teaspoon of baking powder, the cup of flour ( in a plastic measuring cup), and two tablespoons of oil. Usually I will measure out the ingredient and then place the handle of the measured ingredient in Lyla’s hand without letting go of the handle. Then, together we put it in the bowl.
Your toddler can also help you while you are in the kitchen by throwing out all wrappers and boxes. Also, any food accidentally dropped on the floor.
Lyla’s favorite thing to make with me is Chocolate Chip And M&M Cookies. We name all the colors. She loves adding the M&M’s to the top of the cookies and eating some of the pieces of candy along the way. 😉
What’s Best For Your Home?
So.. that was the list that I have for my two year old to help me with in the house. What is your little ones favorite chores to do with you? How do you make your toddler’s chores best for your home?Follow my blog with Bloglovin