Letting Little Ones Help – Chores for Small Hands

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I’m a stay-at-home mom. It’s a daily exercise for my to properly balance taking care of my children (I have two active, energetic boys!) and keeping my house running smoothly. Naptime, cooking, playtime, laundry, storytime, cleaning…. daily activities that have to happen. It’s very easy to want to do it all myself. Moms are pretty good jugglers, after all.

Often though, we forget one of our biggest jobs as a mom: being a teacher. Everything we say and do send a message of some kind to our children that they learn from. Lately, I’ve been purposing to be more intentional with my household activities and taking time to include my toddler in these day-to-day activities. As a result, he spends more meaningful time with me, he feels more important,  and he learns that not only is helping good, it’s fun.

What chores can toddlers help with? These are my favorite activities for my two year old:

  1. Unloading the dishwasher. Nothing makes my little dude happier than helping unload silverware, his plastic bowls, etc. from the dishwasher. They quickly learn what goes where, too, so with a little bit of patience this really does turn out to be a big help!
  2. Make the beds. My toddler is still learning about pulling blankets straight and tucking in, but he is fantastic at helping put pillows on the bed and even arranging them with some instruction. He often finishes by telling me, “Thank you for helping me make the bed, Mommy!”
  3. Check the mail. With a watchful eye from Mommy and Daddy, walk your tyke out to the curb and let them check the mail and carry it in.
  4. Laundry helper. Let your toddler help you sort your loads, carry items to the washer, and transfer items from the washer to the dryer.
  5. Chef in training. Simple tasks like cracking eggs (my little dude has learned to do this without getting shells in the bowl), stirring gently, retrieving small items from the pantry, etc. make little people feel so important while helping you get dinner on the table. As a bonus, let them set the table!
  6. Picking up. Teach your kids to clean up their toys early on! Make it easier for little ones by have easily recognizable boxes for different toys. We keep a special box that all Hotwheels cars go into.
  7. The trash man. Scraps of paper, junk mail, empty coffee pods, etc. are all small items that little guys can run to the trashcan for you.
  8. Dirty clothes and diapers. Now that my toddler is older and (hopefully) near the end of his diaper career, I let him be an active help in taking his dirty clothes (such as last night’s PJs) to the hamper and diapers (all rolled up so his hands don’t get messy) to the diaper pail.  

Leave a comment and tell us your favorite way to include your kinds in household chores!

Laurel West

Happy Wife. Mom of Three. Homemaker. Christ Follower. Multigenerational Texan. Chai Addict. Photographer. Health Nut. Natural Birth Junkie. Classically Trained Soprano. Founder of Adventures in Oiling. Amateur Graphic Designer.

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One thought on “Letting Little Ones Help – Chores for Small Hands

  1. I have been working with my kids to help with the dishwasher and I didn’t realize how much it helps until I emptied it by myself again recently. 😉
    Yes, throwing away trash is a great help! Though we had to watch our first…she put her winter coat in the kitchen trash once because putting things in the trash was fun.
    Thanks for the tips and reminders!

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