We all know that along with running a household comes great responsibility. The amount of work that it takes can be a lot for one person so it helps when the responsibilities are divided among those in the home. This even includes the youngest members of the family. Helping with chores around the house teaches your children responsibility and gives them confidence. My son, who is nineteen months olds, loves to help me out around the house and even if it means that it takes longer, I encourage him to help me. Even though he isn’t even two yet, I want to encourage him to help us around the house and he always feels accomplished when he helps us finish a task. There are times where I wish he didn’t try to help so I can finish faster, but I remind myself that these are teaching moments and a few extra minutes now will make a difference in the long run.
Now when I’m talking about your toddler helping out around the house, I’m of course talking about age and ability appropriate tasks. With a long list of household chores, there are plenty of tasks that even a one year old can help you with. In our home, some of the tasks Wylder helps us with include:
1. Picking Up Toys
This is a task that he doesn’t necessarily want to help with or fully understands just yet. He’ll start to help with the clean up, but his attention is being brought to all the toys that he now wants to play with so this task is still a learning process.
2. Putting Clothes in the Washer and Dryer
This was easier for him to help with when we had a front loading washing machine, but we’re figuring out the best way for him to still help! I take the laundry basket with dirty clothes to the washer and he helps take the clothes out of the basket and put them in the washer. When it’s time to switch the clothes, he loves taking the clothes from the washer to the dryer!
3. Unloading the Dishwasher
*Note: Before allowing him to help, I make sure all knives and sharp utensils are put up.*
Any time it is time to unload the dishwasher, you bet Wylder is right there ready to help. Being pregnant, this is actually a big help because it saves me from bending over a lot! I always make sure to remove anything that might hurt him before allowing him to help. I have to quickly find a place to set the clean dishes down if I can’t get them to their proper place in time so he doesn’t have time to drop and break anything. When the dishwasher is empty, he is always quick to close it for me. I save loading the dishwasher for when he isn’t helping because otherwise, he keeps closing while I try to put dirty dishes in.
4. Feeding the Dogs
One of the things Wylder loves helping with the most is feeding our two pups, Keela and Teagan. We have our dog food stored in our kitchen in a storage tote. There is a basket filled with random stuff on top of the tote to keep toddler hands and an always hungry black lab from getting into the food between feedings. Wylder loves to scoop out the food to put in the bowl, and after both dogs have been fed, he helps out the lid back on the tote and put the basket back in place. He even grunts as he helps “lift” the basket and it is the cutest thing!
5. Sweeping and Vacuuming
He’s not so much helping with these tasks as much as just thinking that he is getting them done. He has always loved playing with brooms and vacuums and I try to encourage him and thank him when he attempts to use them properly. He gets the broom and “sweeps” the kitchen and tries to vacuum the carpeted living room with a little vacuum made for hardwood floors, but I always praise him and thank him. Hopefully he’ll want to continue as he gets older and help us out!
These are just a few of the tasks that my toddler helps us around the house with. By allowing him to help us, even if it slows us down a bit, we are teaching him responsibility at an early age and boosting his confidence when he triumphantly finishes a task. Your toddler, even if they are only a year old, can help you around the house as well! If you’re able to get them to help fold the laundry, you’ll have to share your secret with me.
Does your toddler help out? Comment below with some of the tasks they help you complete!