I don’t know about you, but parenting is exhausting. What makes it so difficult is that you’re never just parenting. You are always parenting and working. Parenting and providing for the family. Parenting and cooking meals. Parenting and keeping your marriage spicy. Parenting and doing laundry, scrubbing toilets, picking up toys, finding space for your sanity… I don’t know about you, but I could use some extra hands! Which is why I love this blog post.
You see, in the only book we’ve ever read on parenting, “Parenting by the Book“, author John Rosemond points out that our grandparents did not let their toddlers continue being toddlers well into their tweens. Instead, as soon as they were ready, they began giving them responsibilities. They began teaching them about contributing to the household, being an active part of something bigger than themselves, becoming a valuable member of society. In other words… they did chores. Not only did that give them a sense of responsibility, but it taught them obedience, respecting authority, taking pride in oneself and one’s accomplishments, working hard, etc.
I do not believe that giving a child chores- even a young child- will ever damage them or deny them of a meaningful childhood. In fact, toddlers want to help. They love to help. They want to be given responsibilities like mommy or daddy or the big kids. And while they might not perform said duties as perfectly as you would, that’s not really the point, now is it?
There are many lists out there of small responsibilities you can give toddlers around the house. This is just my version of that list based on what we have done or plan to do (maybe today, actually). It is by no means exhaustive! So feel free to add your own ideas in the comments. And as always, keep in mind, our definition of “amazing” is very different than a two-year-old’s definition of “amazing.”
With that said, HERE IS MY LIST OF 25 AMAZING THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR TODDLER AROUND THE HOUSE!
1. Unload/Load the washing machine & dryer
2. Fold towels
3. Sort socks
4. Put dirty clothes in the hamper
5. Load/Empty the dishwasher (we only do silverware and mugs since that’s what she can reach right now)
6. Put trash in the trash bin
7. Sort the recycling
8. Wipe baseboards
9. Dust with a sock on their hand
10. Hold the dustpan when sweeping
12. Setting the table
13. Wiping the table
14. Clearing dishes
15. Putting pillows on the couch
16. Pulling weeds
17. Harvesting fruits/vegetables
18. Small painting jobs
20. Help feed/care for pets
21. Make bed
22. Wipe windows/refrigerator
23. Put shoes by the door (that’s where we keep ours)
24. Hold the vacuum with you (if they’re not scared of it)
25. And of course… Clean up toys!
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Check out the other posts in this series: