Starter’s Guide to Toddler Chores

Despite what you might think, toddlers love chores. They love being part of the family and more than anything, they love being independent. The toddler age is the perfect age to foster that independence and help them develop important life skills associated with toddler chores.

Toddler Printable Chore Chart

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What are Toddler Chores?

When first getting started with chores for your toddler, you might not know what they are capable of or what is age-appropriate for them to do. I have made a quick printable reference guide for you that you can print off and hang on your refrigerator for easy reference. We actually have ours laminated so it can withstand all the mess of living with a toddler.

Simple Toddler Chore Chart

Click to download

Getting Started with Toddler Chores

Step One: Talk it Out 

Getting started with chores for toddlers can start as early as a year. At this age, children are starting to understand what you are saying to them and attach meaning to vocabulary. Of course at this stage they won’t be able to do any of the chores on their own (or maybe at all) . But talking with them as you do your chores is important.

For example, as you wash the dishes, explain what you are doing. When its time to put their toys away, point out where they go. This is an important part for starting early.

Step Two: Model

As children’s brains are still developing and they are still learning skills, it is important to model any new skill several times before expecting them to do it. Chores are no different. It is important that you don’t save all your housework and clean up for when the baby is napping or has gone to bed. Find ways to do small cleaning tasks when your toddler is around so that they are familiar when it is their turn.

Step Three: Involve Them

The closer your toddler gets to 18 months and beyond, the more your toddler will want to be a part of anything you are doing. In our home, we make this fun by doing a 5 minute house clean up. Everyone cleans and everyone gets involved. It is fun and most importantly, quick.

Toddler Chores

Tips for Encouraging Toddler Chores

Keep it Short and Sweet | They don’t have a very long attention span, so don’t plan on anything that takes more than 5 minutes to clean up or put away.

Keep it Simple | Clean one thing at a time. Start with just the balls, or start with putting the spoons away. Before long, your toddler will have plenty in their skill set of chores.

Give a Choice | Choice is incredibly important when dealing with any child, especially toddlers that are so set on being independent.

Make it Fun | Make it a game. I’m over at Melissa & Doug today, sharing one of my favorite game for toddler chores!

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Toddler Chores and Chore Chart


Do you have any chores your toddler loves doing that I left off the list? I’d love to hear about them! Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram or subscribe by email. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.

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5 thoughts on “Starter’s Guide to Toddler Chores”

  1. Pingback: How To Teach Your Toddler To Do Chores | Be Best Mom

  2. Pingback: 34 Free Printable Chore Charts for Kids of All Ages

  3. Pingback: Children and Chores – Adventures Of A Modern Day Boymom

  4. Elena

    Thank you!
    Great list! It’s so true that we need to implement responsibility into our children early on.
    I am a single mother with three children all of them of preschool age so I know how important keeping organised. The eldest child I raised with a variety of printable charts. The stars chore chart works best. Printable cards and magnets are constantly lost. Now I use the Manini app for three children. These are the same printable cards but in the phone. In the app, you can mark the completion of tasks and children like it very much. And the app has a goal Board that lists all chores and self-care for kids under the age of 5. We mark together with the children the tasks that have already been mastered. Also they actually ask for tasks themselves to make a mark the task. I felt much better. And I’m not nervous and it’s easy for children to become independent. And I have time to take self-care.

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