7 chores for toddlers
Next time he says ‘I do it!’ - let him. Who says tiny family members can’t be useful?
There’s a crucial stage just after a baby starts walking, when they long to get involved in household chores. Fight your natural urge to shoo them away and instead, channel that enthusiasm into little jobs that will help them learn responsibility.

Oh, and no saying: ‘You’re making a mess. GIVE me that!’

Clean the window

If you have a large window or door make of safety glass, a toddler can help get all those tiny, grubby fingerprints off. Give her a clean cloth and a spray bottle of very slightly soapy water. This can work well on the fridge door too.

Sweep the floor

If there’s been a spill of something that isn’t toxic or otherwise dangerous, give your toddler a little brush and encourage him to sweep it all into a pile. Don’t expect perfection, and be prepared to sweep again when he isn’t looking.

Fetch things for Mommy or Daddy

Ask for specific items you know she can reach, and add a little educational twist. This is a good way for her to practise her colours and numbers: ‘Can you fetch a green apple for Mommy?’ ‘Please fetch two potatoes.’

Put toys in a basket

Responsibility for his own stuff is not something to start trying to drum into him when he’s 16, hairy and lazy. Start now by getting him to help clean up after playing with toys. For slightly older children you can make this more fun by having a race to fill your basket.

Scrub in a tub

Real washing takes so much of our time that toddlers are often fascinated. Let your child wash doll’s clothes in a basin with bubble bath, and string up a little washing line for her to hang things on with your help.

Have a dressing race

This can sometimes work to con reluctant dressers into getting a move on. Lay out the clothes, making sure they’re easy to get on and off, then start the race with a ‘ready, steady, dress!’ Your child may need your help, so don’t worry if you don’t win every time...

Biscuit bake

Make biscuits using a simple cookie dough.

Your toddler can help by rolling some of the balls for the cookies, and by decorating them with cherries (you might have to watch for cherry theft).

Do your children do chores? What do they do at what age?

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