In a few short months my son will be 2 years old! I’ve been thinking a lot about responsibility and teaching him how he can help contribute to the household. Obviously he is just a toddler, so it’s not like he is going to be taking out the trash any time soon!
However, with a few easy and simple chores, I might as well start to steer him into the path of responsibility. Here’s is what we’ve started doing:
Clean Up Toys
Probably one of the easiest chores (and important at that) to assign your toddler. Sure, he still needs lots of reminding, but he is learning. He knows when I start to sing the “Clean Up” song, he needs to put his toys in one of this toy bins and his books back on the shelves. Since his play area seems to be overflowing with trucks, we’ve made a designated area underneath the coffee table as the “garage”. I remind him when he is done with his trucks, he needs to “park them in the garage.” As he giggles in delight as he makes the trucks “vroom vroom” and “beep beep” into their parking spots, I’m just smiling because I know I won’t trip over them later.
Place Dirty Clothes in Hamper
This is another fairly simple chore so to speak! At night I have my son place his dirty clothes from the day in his hamper. He has a special small one that he can easily place his clothes into. For now I just have him throw everything in there and then I sort it on my own later. Eventually we will work together on sorting colors and lights vs. darks. I would love for him to NOT get into the habit of leaving dirty clothes on the floor, like other males I’ve encountered in my lifetime.
Wipe Messes Off His Tray and Placemat
Depending on whether he is sitting in his highchair or in a booster at the dining room table, after meals, I give him a damp paper towel to wipe his area. So he doesn’t get all mess he might have made, but he certainly gets excited to wipe the towel around and see it absorb any spills.
Help Put Away Groceries
Now for putting away groceries, I will place the bags on the floor that contain items such as a box of crackers or a bunch of bananas. I pick items I know that he is already familiar with the names for. Then I’ll ask him to hand me specific items for me to place in the fridge or pantry. Sure, it does take longer to put away groceries when I involve him, but he has such a blast! I also show him new food items to help expand his vocabulary.
Dustbuster and Vacuuming? Maybe Later!
My son LOVES the vacuum. He always gets so excited when I pull it out of the closet. On the downside, the whole time I’m trying to vacuum the floor, he is trying to pull it out of my hands while repeating “I do it, I do it.” I know he is just trying to help! So instead, I hand him the dustbuster to push around the room. Effective? Not so much. However, he just glows as we “clean” the house together. I always congratulate him on a job well done! The positive feedback and encouragement makes him want to keep “dustbusting” while momma vacuums. It has become our little routine, and I know one day, when he is older, that dustbusting and vacuuming he enjoys so much, will definitely help momma out on her busy days!