Teaching toddlers about responsibility and chores are vital for their growth and their learning.
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I have been trying to teach our little one, who just turned two, all about responsibility and independence. Chores are easy ways to teach them these. Now, obviously, he does not take the garbage out or clean the bathrooms but he does have, simply perfect for his age, chores.
We try to keep his chores simple but consistent. He has been doing his chores since he was about 18 months old but we keep them fun and he loves to do them which is key. With your little ones, hounding them will not work (and lets face it, it doesn’t work for the older kids either!), you need to keep it fun!
I love anything that will help teach my children and have them grow into amazing people. That is all I strive for when it comes to being a mother, is showing and teaching them.
According to the Center for Parenting Education “Research indicates that those children who do have a set of chores have higher self-esteem, are more responsible, and are better able to deal with frustration and delay gratification, all of which contribute to greater success in school.” I highly suggest reading the full article, it is really great! You can find it here
We try and do these top 5 chores every day!
1. Pick up toys
Now, this might seem obvious but how many of us moms constantly are picking up toys? It feels like a never ending chore for us and honestly, it doesn’t need to be! Your little ones are more than capable (with a little help) on cleaning up their toys.
What I find most helpful in getting them to clean up is by making a game out of it the first few times. You can say “okay! Let’s see who can clean up faster this time!” or by making it a tickle monster game and the tickle monster is going to come out if they don’t pick up their toys. Anything that will make cleaning up seem fun to them.
I also find having specific areas and specific baskets for the toys to be put back in makes all the difference. Children are visual learners and learn better and quicker when they can see the solution. If they are able to see where the toys go, there is less frustration and they are more willing to clean up.
2. Throw away garbage (but only their garbage!)
This might seem messy but it really is not! We took this one in baby steps.
Step 1: Hold your little one and talk to them about what you are doing. Why you are taking their yogurt cup and throwing it in the garbage. Explain that when they are all done eating, they take their cup, walk over to the garbage and throw it away. All while holding them and showing it to them. (Maybe even sing your way to the garbage or skip and hop to the garbage!)
Step 2: This time, have your little one take their garbage and hold their hand to the garbage/recycling can. Sing the song, do the skip, anything that will keep their focus on “Let’s take our trash to the garbage”. Help them open the garbage and use your hand to guide their in throwing it away. Once they become toddlers, becoming independent something they will want to do and something they will need to do.
Step 3: Have them do it without assistance while you follow them. Make sure to cheer them on, they will love that!
Step 4: Sit back and be so proud because they do it themselves (with some reminders of course!)
Our little one loves being independent and being able to throw his stuff away. He is learning between recycling and garbage but has nailed down throwing away his garbage and thinks it is a fun game whenever he does it. He always yells “done!” when he throws anything away. Getting them starting on picking up after themselves was a must on the chores list. So when they eat or have a wrapper of some kind will have it be something that just comes natural as they get older. I mean, that sounds like a pretty awesome win-win, if you ask me!
3. Pick up their dishes
Our little one LOVES helping with the dishes in his own way. He proudly walks his dirty bowl to the sink, steps on his tippy toes and throws it into the sink and then gives himself a round of applause.
He always wants to grab his plate and bowl or cups and bring them to the sink. It helps with his independence and I think he secretly likes to be able to throw them into the sink. This was always important for us to teach him because we want him to know that picking up after ourselves is good and brings happiness.
Check out these fun and realistic toy sinks that your little one is sure to love (and make his chores just that more fun!)
This sink from KIDPAR is so much fun! It comes with the food to cook the meal and the sink to wash all the dishes after! Who wouldn’t love that?!
I love this sink from Cute Stone because the added stovetop has such realistic features. It is sure to keep your little ones busy for hours or “cook and wash” play!
4. Help make their bed
This one is simple and something they can easily help with! I usually only have our little one help with putting on the top half of his sheet and his comforter (the fitted sheet parts are a little too tricky for his little hands right now). Every morning when I go in to get him when he wakes up and tell him it’s time to make the bed, he yells “I HELP TOO!” and runs over and grabs his blanket and waits patiently until I am ready for his help.
He always seems to sleep better when he goes into a nicely made bed and just seems so much more relaxed (which of course, gives all good vibes to this momma!). This is one of the best chores he can do!
5. Throws his laundry in the hamper
This one is probably one of his favorite chores because for 2 minutes he gets to run around crazy holding his clothes and jump to throw them into his hamper (living his basketball dream!) and yells “yay!!!!!” when he made it in the first try (and sometimes even after the twelfth try…). He is so happy and is cleaning up his clothes at the same time. It is something so simple but so perfect for his little age.
Teaching your little ones responsibility does not need to be hard and giving them chores does not need to wait until they are older! Starting now gives them such an advantage and really teaches them responsibility and independence. Both are so incredibly important in their growth.
Need some cleaning ideas? Check out my Daily Cleaning Schedule!
Do your little ones have any chores? Let me know in the comments!