Toddler appropriate household chores

I have the luxury of being off today with the two ladies and, it being a Friday, there are inevitably jobs to do around the house. Now that our toddler is three I think it’s becoming increasingly more important that she starts to learn the value of being helpful. I think that asking a toddler to help encourages kindness, empathy and helpfulness (obviously). It gives parents a good opportunity to give a child some really positive feedback for doing a good job. So I’ve been gathering my thoughts throughout the day as to what are some age appropriate jobs for a three year old.


As you can see from the picture above I got her to hoover her room today. Well actually she asked, like she often does when I hoover, but this time she actually took it upon herself to do it properly, she even hovered in under the bed and the cot in her room. So going forward this is going to be her little job. I also ask her to tidy her room, which simply means picking up books and teddies from the floor.

Speaking of tidying, she usually tidies up all her toys after she’s finished playing with them. I think there’s somewhat of a neat freak in me so perhaps it’s my personality  that pushes this but I don’t really let her move on from one activity (say painting) until she’s tidied away  the last (a jigsaw or the lego etc.).

We get her to put away her jacket and shoes when we get in the door.

She loves to play with water so I often let her ‘wash the baby bottles’, she just plays with them really but she thinks she’s helping so it’s the same concept. Plus like any toddler she is obsessed with playing with water so this activity can sometimes keep her occupied for ages!

If she dirties some clothes or her little sister does I would ask her to put them in the washing machine for me.

When she finishes her dinner/lunch/snack we ask her to put her plate in the sink when she gets up from the table.

Now that she’s a big sister I get her to help with is to get me a clean nappy out or a nappy sack if she’s nearby when I’m changing the baby’s nappy.

That’s the list of what we regularly get her to help us with, nothing over taxing or difficult but something that gives us an opportunity to ask her to do something for us. Sometimes we’re met with reluctance and a stamping foot but inevitably gets the job completed (hello bribery!). She does reveal in the praise once she’s done the little task for us so hopefully this positive reinforcement will be good for her confidence and her kindness in the long run.

What jobs do you ask your little ones to help with?

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12 thoughts on “Toddler appropriate household chores

  1. Pingback: Irish Parenting Bloggers | Toddler appropriate hosehold chores
  2. I think it’s a great idea to get them to help with little things, I remember doing this from a young age with my Mum. I was shocked the other day when my 10 year old niece said she has never helped her Mum cook or bake anything and gets angry when she’s asked to do chores around the house. This was all very normal for our generation when growing up (I’m not too ancient, mid-30s 😉

  3. My last post about what to do with a toddler on a rainy day includes housewerork! I agree you should get the little ones involved in everyday chores to teach them about tidying and cleaning from a young age. Lamb is only 2 so can’t push our hoover, so we have bought him a toy Dyson! I always ask him to wipe his highchair after lunch, and he loves helping me with the laundry. When he’s a little older I will definitely be getting him to tidy his room more often! Alex xx #mummymonday

  4. Really lovely post, sounds like you’ve got a very helpful toddler in your house! My 14 month old loves to ‘help’ me sort the washing out, putting things in the machine for me. With my 4 year old we do get him to put one toy away before he gets something else out, although he’s not always happy about it! #TwinklyTuesday

  5. Hi,
    My son has loved hanging up the washing ever since he was old enough to walk. He is actually better at doing it than my husband 🙂 He also likes to lay the table for us.
    I might give him a try at hoovering – he hates the hoover when my husband gets it out, but if he is in control of it, things might be different.
    #thelist
    Alice x

  6. Toby’s a bit young to understand what housework is, but that doesn’t stop me trying. If I’m putting some washing on I will show him which buttons to press and he thinks it’s the best thing ever that he’s made the washing machine go round. If I’m hoovering, I always give him the handheld Dustbuster so that he can copy me. The only problem is.. how do you get a 25 year old toddler to help out? #bigfatlinky x

  7. I’ve always included my two. To the point that they have their own personalised chores. 1 cooks and hoovers. The other loves washing up and dusting. Kind of win win for me…..jut need them to iron and do the washing and I can put my feet up 😉 thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky hope to see you there next week

  8. This is such a fab post! My daughter is a little older but she loves helping out and doing the dishes with me and her dad! Angela x

    Angela recently posted 10 Reasons to visit the Blackpool tower eye http://wp.me/p5XRN6-1q6

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