Lest you think this is going to be a post about gender roles, let me assure you that at her age— newly 3— my boys were eager little helpers as well.
Toddlers love feeling useful, and if given the right tools they can be great helpers. Two and three-year-olds can do more around the house than you might think, though it might take them a little longer to complete the task.
They just need age-appropriate chores, lots of encouragement, and some supervision. You’ll also want to show your toddler how to complete the job instead of assuming he’ll comprehend instructions (remember that it can be difficult to understand messages with more than one step), and keep your expectations realistic. After all, they’re still learning!
1. Dry dishes
2. Help make her bed
3. Pick up leaves and sticks from the yard
4. Put away toys after playing
5. Carry (light) groceries in from the car
6. Clear her dishes from the table
7. Bring dirty clothes to the hamper or laundry room
8. Take folded clothes to her bedroom
9. Match socks
10. Sort laundry
11. Hold the dustpan while you sweep (sweep gently!)
12. Help put groceries in the pantry
13. Dust tables and low shelves
14. Sort recyclables
15. Help with yard work and weeding
16. Help with feeding and watering animals
17. Bring trash in from the car
18. Arrange pillows and throw blankets on the sofa
19. Replace books on shelves after reading
20. Help unload nonbreakable items from the dishwasher
How does your toddler help out?
Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. In addition to Toddler Times, find her at DisneyBaby. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
More by Mary Lauren:
Photo Credit: Bellafia/Flickr