Chores. No one likes to do them, but they have to be done. I have had several of my mommy friends ask me “How do you get your toddler to do chores?” There is no quick fix. You cannot snap your fingers and wiggle your nose and get results. So, how do you teach your toddler chores like a boss?
My trick? Make it FUN! Toddlers are at the age where they want to do what they want, when they want. If picking up toys is a dreary task, chances are they will not even attempt it. Create a song for cleaning up toys. Dance in between each toy you pick up. Let them see YOU having fun and they will chime in.
For Kaleb, chores just ARE. What does that mean? As far as he can remember there has never been a time when they did not exist. There has always been SOMETHING he could help with. Whether it be getting clothes out of the dryer, turning lights off,or putting silverware away he has always participated. My best advice? Start early. The earlier you instill the idea of cleaning and picking up into your children, the better. It was not until my teen years I got smacked in the face with chores. I was overwhelmed. As crazy as it sounds, I had no idea how to clean. My idea of clean never met my sisters concept of tidy. I eventually caught on, but it took me a bit.
Teach Them To Clean
This leads me to my next tip, teach them to clean. Just as they have to be taught to walk, talk and crawl, toddlers also need to be taught how to do the chores. You cannot simply tell them “clean your room” right off whip because they will have NO idea what you expect. Tots need to know what you expect as a finished result and what steps to get there. Make the bed? Show them. Let them watch you make yours a few times, then help them make theirs. Why not turn on some music and cut a jig while you’re at it?When a child finishes a chore, let them know how proud you are! Treat them to a snack or a trip to the park. Kaleb loves being instantly rewarded for completing chores. Not only does he get a boost to his pride, he also gets to reap sweet rewards!
Give Them Chores To Suit Their Age
It goes without saying that you cannot give a child a task that is above their ability. Kaleb, like many toddlers achieve a feeling of grand accomplishment when he completes a task I have set out for him. The smile on his face when he comes running up to me to come check out his finished work. He takes pride in his work and now, enjoys completing a chore. You cannot expect a 2-year-old to fold laundry or empty trash.
Do Not Have Expectations Greater Than What They Can Accomplish
As your child does a chore, bear in mind they will do it at their age level. Kaleb can sweep and mop the floor pretty well…. for a 4-year-old. I never expect the floors to be spotless after he finishes. Usually, he gets his go after I have swept and mopped most of the floor first.
List Of Chores Appropriate For A 4-Year-Old
I have compiled a list of chores for a 4-year-old. Kaleb is a bit advanced and has a few chores not listed. There are also a few on here that he does not do. Take a moment to reflect on what you do daily and incorporate your child in as many moments as possible.
- Wipe counters/table
- Make bed
- Clean up room
- Feed/water pets
- Water the plants
- Rake leaves
- Weed the garden bed
- Clean toilet (with kid-friendly cleaners)
- Sweep/mop floors
- Check mail
- Putting groceries away (cans, dried goods)
- Empty bathroom trash
- Wipe baseboard down
- Match socks
- Sort clean silverware
- Set table
- Vacuum using a hand vac
- Brushing animals
- Throwing diapers away
- Putting bottle/dishes in the sink
- Assisting with dinner
- Loading dishwasher
Kid Safe Cleaners
I a few companies I use for cleaning products for the kids are:
(NOTE: these are not affiliate links. I do not receive any compensation)
Always remember, consistency is key with anything when it comes to toddlers. Chores are no different. implement one or two chores at a time. Let the get accustomed to a new idea and then perfect it as much as possible.