10 chores your toddler CAN do | Tuesdays with Jacob

10 chores your toddler CAN do

January 30, 2017

It's a fine line we walk isn't it? Between babying our kiddos, wanting them to stay little forever; and helping them grow into mature little people capable of taking care of themselves and their things. We used to do everything for Jacob, but lately we've been giving him more and more responsibility. We've been amazed at all the things that he CAN do, and we've kicked ourselves for not starting sooner!

Ten chores your toddler CAN do!

1. Throwing away their own trash: string cheese wrappers, banana peels, pullups, etc. Unless your trash can is super complicated, toddlers can do this!

2. Tossing their dirty clothes in their hamper: if you have a fancy one they can even sort lights/darks. Jacob puts his PJs in once he gets dressed for the day, and then the clothes he wore that day go in when he gets ready for bath.

3. Putting their dirty dishes in the sink: even without a step stool, my guy has been tall enough to toss his dirty plates, cups, and utensils up in there for some time. This saves me from collecting them around the house.

4. Helping to carry out/sort the recycling: Jacob's favorite job is to help daddy carry out all our plastic water bottles/milk jugs/ cardboard boxes and help him sort it all into the bins. We are careful to keep him away from any sharp edges - like you find on cans.

5. Loading/unloading the washing machine and dryer: (as long as they can reach) we give Jacob a basket of dirty clothes and instruct him to put them all in the washer. Then we add the detergent (toddlers should be kept away from detergent) and start it. When it's all done in the dryer we have him take it all out and put it back in the same basket. Then we fold it. We don't have him do any loads with blankets or sheets, he has a hard time with those.

6. Dustbustering: unless they are afraid of vacuum noises, in which case forget it. Jacob loves to suck up all the dog hair that we sweep up from around our house. (twice a day!!)

7. Picking up their toys: toddlers can learn very early on that all of their things have a home and should go back to their home when they are done playing with them. Jacob puts books back on his shelves, trains back in bins, stuffed animals back in baskets, etc.

8. Feeding the family pet: we use a plastic measuring cup which makes it super easy for Jacob to scoop out dog food into their dishes. Even if they spill some on the floor you know your pet is going to eat it up anyways. If your dogs are good at walking on a leash (read: not pulling) your toddler can help walk them too. My dogs are NOT.

9. "Making" their bed: I use the term making loosely, but Jacob is responsible for getting all his blankets, stuffed animals, pillow and lovey back into his crib each morning. Kids that have already transitioned to toddler beds or big beds can practice actually making their beds.

10. Helping in the kitchen: we let Jacob help out with as much food prep as we safely can. Dumping ingredients into bowls. pouring into measuring cups, and mixing are all tasks he enjoys helping with. Every now and then I find something he can do all on his own - like pulling all the husks off ears of corn. 

Letting (or in some cases, making) little ones help out around the not only gives them a sense of independence, it fosters growing responsibility. Plus, every thing they do, is one less thing you have to do! What are your toddlers responsible for? 

9 comments on "10 chores your toddler CAN do"
  1. Yes! Caleb does chores too and I think it's so good for him to learn how to/that it's important to do things at such a young age.

  2. I love this!! I just started doing this with my son. He helps throw his diapers away, brings his sisters burp cloth to me, and helps pick his toys up. I seriously am so proud of my little monkey. Loved all your ideas. I'll be adding a few more of these for my son!! Thanks!!
    Angela Amores

  3. My husband and I don't have kids yet, but I can't wait to implement these when we do!

  4. Yes to all of these! 🙌🏼 Luckily my little one still thinks it's cool to help Mom so I'm trying to make as many chores a habit while she's young! 😂

    Annie | www.somethingaboutnavy.com

  5. As soon as I read the title to this post I was like, "yes, I need to read this!" haha. I make my son put away his dirty clothes, clear the table after dinner and set the table before we eat. He loves being involved and it keeps him busy.


  6. I totally love all of these ideas, and we have actually incorporated a lot of them with our 20 month old... well except feeding the pet because she still thinks the dog food tastes good :( haha!

  7. We have incorporated a lot of these with Parker too. She loves unloading the dishwasher and dryer! It's the highlight of her day! Lol. I hope it never changes.

  8. my kids do these chores too! I'm so important to me to instill hard work in my kids! Nothing comes for free. ;)

  9. It really is such a fine line, but also so important to teach our kids to be responsible. My son LOOOVES helping with the laundry, and I like having him help clean up his messes as well. I never really thought about having him help feed the dog, but I think it would be something he would really enjoy!! Thanks for sharing <3