Are You Choosing the Right Chores?

Toddlers

The word "chore" hardly applies to youngest kids because they're so eager to spend time with you and love helping out, says Greenfield. The key: Pick easy tasks that won't frustrate your toddler. And because chores are fun at this stage, don't worry about ponying up allowance or other rewards as incentive. Just heap on the praise for a job well done.

Perfect Pitch-Ins

  • Tidy up toys. Turn cleaning into teaching by asking your kid to gather all the orange blocks first, say, or to put T. rex to sleep on the shelf.
  • Sop up spills. Raise a little Miss Manners by showing her how to blot up minor messes with a paper towel.
  • Destroy dust bunnies. Slip an old, unmatched sock on your child's hand and send him on a mission to pick up as much dust as he can find on low-lying tables and furniture (making sure there are no sharp edges, of course).
  • Dabble in dinner prep. Let her top the salad with cherry tomatoes or help mix up brownie batter.
  • Deliver dirty laundry. Plant a small portable hamper in your kid's room and show him how to drop his clothes in there at the end of the day.

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