When can my toddler help with chores?
When can my toddler help with chores?
Submitted by Parents Team

You can probably start giving simple tasks to your child between 15 and 18 months, when he can usually walk without assistance, carry things around the room, and follow simple instructions. Most important, kids this age are interested in mimicking your daily routines, so helping with chores will probably thrill and fascinate them. Start by making your child responsible for her own things. Put boxes or stiff canvas totes around your child's room to make cleanup easier. You can label these with pictures so she knows where all her toys go. Be consistent in asking her to put her toys away, and set aside a specific time of day for this chore, such as right before dinner. You can also give your child specific tasks that you can supervise, like carrying place mats and napkins to the table before you set it or tossing dirty clothes into a laundry basket. Remember, it doesn't matter whether your child does a chore exactly right. What's important is that she gets used to -- and even enjoys -- helping you around the house. --Elizabeth Rusch

Copyright 2005. Reprinted with permission from the August 2005 issue of Parents magazine. Updated 2009

Answered by Parents Team
Community Answers (6)

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Submitted by jennifer4

My 3 year old just loves to help. I guess it is natural with all toddlers, they see you and they want to do it to. He loves to set the table at dinner time, sets the mats and napkins and he actually does it so well. Insists on setting the plates and the cutlery. It is very heartening to see him do that but some days he just doesn't seem to want to do anything. Is that natural?
Submitted by margaritadrake

My son is 2 1/2 and we let him sweep and put clothes in washing machine. He'll help with anything as long as we sing the clean up song.
Submitted by keonaking80

My toddler helps by putting the silverware in the drawer (he loves matching the shapes!), putting laundry (that I already sorted) in the washing machine, picking up his toys, putting dirty laundry in the clothes hamper and putting his dirty dishes in the sink.
Submitted by amazingmae

My 18 month old helps by "swiffering" the house, putting his clothes in the hamper, putting his toys away,putting leftovers in a bowl for the cats, brings everybody their shoues when its time to go...etc. He loves to be helpful!
Submitted by kylesmommy2009