My toddler was furious. He’s always show a bit of a strong-willed side, but I could tell he was not going to back down over this.
I was cleaning with the spray bottle and he was adamant about cleaning right along with me. He was determined to do exactly what I was doing without assistance.
This got me thinking that it was time for some more structured “jobs” for him to do around the house—toddler chores and maybe a chore chart template to go along with it.
The toddler age is perfect to start chores for several reasons. They are at an age when emulation is peaking developmentally. Toddlers love to do things as adults do them. It offers them a sense of independence, mastery and self-confidence. It’s also a great way to help toddler feel like they belong and can contribute to the family. Most importantly, it instills the value of hard work at a very early age.
Toddler chores should be easy enough for them to complete, age appropriate, and you can use a free printable chore chart template to make it a fun game throughout the week for your kids. We started many of these toddler chores with our 2 year old using help and supervision from mom or dad along the way.
Here are 20 toddler chore ideas to get you started.
1. Pick up toys and books.
2. Pick up dirty clothes and put them in a hamper.
3. Help pour water into the pet’s bowl.
4. Wipe up spills and messes using a rag.
5. Carry a small bag to and from the car.
6. Bring plate, cup or silverware to the sink after meals.
7. Carry a small amount of folded laundry to the dresser.
8. Fold washcloths or small towels.
9. Water plants.
10. Wipe down table after meals.
11. Carry a small bag of trash outside.
12. Move clothes from dryer to laundry basket.
13. Empty silverware from dishwasher to silverware drawer.
14. Spray and wipe down coffee table using a DIY non-toxic cleaner.
15. Carry small amount of mail into the house.
16. Swiffer sweep the floor.
17. Spray and wipe windows using a DIY non-toxic cleaner.
`8. Put napkins on the table before meals.
19. Wash toys in a bucket of soapy water outside.
20. Use a small handheld vacuum to clean up floors.
I created a set of 100+ printable chore cards for kids. They are easy to use, teach kids responsibility and they are vastly different from chore charts.
I used the exact same approach to teach him how to use these chore cards. Within a few days he was doing jobs on his own, and I didn’t have to nag, yell or dangle M&Ms in front of his face.
Talk about a parenting miracle.
Printable chore cards for kids.
Once you have your chore cards, you’ll want to print them on card stock or matte photo paper. If desired, you can laminate them using some simple laminating paper, but I usually skip this step to keep it simple.
Other handy tips.
Use a sock to make dusting more fun.
Make a DIY household cleaner that is safe for kids.
- 4 oz purified water
- 2 ounces witch hazel
- 30 drops Thieves essential oil
- Shake and spray to use.
Make a DIY window cleaner that is safe for kids.
- 3 oz purified water
- 1 oz witch hazel
- 2 oz vinegar
- 30 drops Lavender essential oil
- Shake and spray to use.
Set a timer to make it a game and see how fast your toddler can complete the job.
Don’t worry about perfection. The effort of contributing to the family is most important.
Offer younger toddlers 1 or 2 jobs per day and older toddlers 2 or 3 jobs per day.
Wrapping it up.
Our son loves to help around the house with a few toddler chores each day. Most child development experts recommend starting early to “help set the foundation down the road.” Hopefully he loves cleaning as much as a teenager as he does as a two year old.
But I can wish right?
Want more on toddlers?
- 5 Sample Daily Toddler Schedules from Real Moms
- The Secret Only Moms of Toddlers Really Know
- What No One Tells You About Parenting Toddler Boys
- One Surefire Way to Raise Responsible Kids
How will you use a toddler chore chart template make things fun for your toddler? Let’s chat in the comments!