Can 2 year olds pitch in around the house? Of course they can! Keep reading to find out the best chores for 2 year olds to learn the habit of helping around the house.
Teaching your kids responsibility and independence is essential at any age. But during the toddler years, these lessons are especially important.
When you allow your child to accept responsibility at home as a toddler, they’ll be more willing to take on additional tasks as they get older. That’s why it’s a great idea to start introducing chores to your kids at a young age.
These simple chores for 2 year olds are the perfect way to get your little one in the habit of helping out around the house.
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Can a Two Year Old Do Chores?
There isn’t a set age that children should start doing chores. Some families decide to start introducing chores at an early age while others wait until their kids are in school to start adding chores to their to-do list.
If you’re wondering, “Should a 2 year old have chores?” I say sure!
There are a variety of great benefits to introducing chores to your toddler. But it’s important to keep in mind that teaching chores at this age is a hands-on activity.
Remember that your toddler is still learning about the world around them, so demonstrating the task you want them to do and continually reminding them of the steps involved is essential.
Teaching your toddler how to do chores is less about lessening your household work load and more about building good habits.
As you incorporate more household tasks into your toddler’s daily routine, they’ll learn that taking responsibility and helping out around the house is all part of being a valuable member of your family unit.
Personal Care Chores for 2 Year Olds
Although you may not consider personal care tasks as chores for older children, incorporating those activities into your toddler’s daily routine is a great way to get them in the habit of doing things on their own.
These personal care tasks are simple things your 2 year old can do on their own to help themselves become more independent and take on more personal responsibility:
- Practice dressing and undressing themselves
- Brush their teeth (with help)
- Brush their hair
- Wash and dry their hands
Household Chores for 2 Year Olds
Easy, simple household chores are a great way to begin to introduce your toddler to the idea of doing chores.
And while you might think that there aren’t many household tasks that are simple enough for a toddler to do, you’d be surprised how many chores your 2 year old can accomplish!
These easy household chores for 2 year olds are perfect for little ones to start helping out around the house:
- Put their shoes and coat away in an easy-to-reach spot when coming inside
- Matching socks (don’t expect them to be able to fold them together yet, though!)
- Putting their dirty clothes in the hamper
- Helping you put clothes in the washing machine
- Folding wash cloths and small towels
- Picking up toys and putting them back in their designated spot
- Putting books away after reading
- Helping set the table
- Clearing their place at the table when they’re finished eating
- Wiping the table after they’re finished eating (of course it won’t be perfect, but the idea is just to start introducing simple tasks)
- Drying plastic dishes
- Putting plastic dishes away (an easy-to-reach lower cabinet or drawer will make this easy for them)
- Sorting silverware and putting it away
- Helping put groceries away in lower cabinets
- Helping while grocery shopping by grabbing items off the lower shelves
- Cleaning up small messes with paper towels or a damp towel
- Sweeping up crumbs with a child-size broom and dust pan (I like this one, it’s the perfect size for little hands!)
- Picking up pillows and blankets off the floor in the living areas
- Pulling the covers up on their bed
- Dusting lower shelves with a microfiber cloth or dusting wand
- Dusting the baseboards
- Feeding the family pets (with help)
- Watering indoor plants (with help)
- Putting bath toys away after bath time
- Pushing the button to start the washer, dryer, or dishwasher
- Wiping off kitchen cabinet doors on lower cabinets
- Helping prepare dinner (washing produce, adding spices, etc.)
Outdoor Chores for 2 Year Olds
Enjoying some time outdoors can be fun for your toddler. And it’s also a great time to start incorporating some outdoor chores into your daily routine.
These simple outdoor tasks are a great way to get your toddler used to helping out whenever they can:
- Picking up sticks and other yard debris and putting it in a pile
- Planting seeds in the garden
- Watering the garden and flowers (with help)
- Putting away outdoor toys when they’re finished playing
- Helping wash the car (washing with a damp cloth, scrubbing the tires with a scrub brush, drying when you’re finished)
- Helping clean out the car (picking up trash, wiping the doors)
- Sweep the porch and sidewalks with a child-size broom
Tips for Toddler Chores
Getting your little one involved in activities around the house is a great way to give them a little more independence.
But chores are a learning process for kids at this age. That’s why it’s important to make chores more of an educational experience and less of an expectation at this point.
With the help of these tips and tricks, you can start incorporating chores for 2 year olds into their daily routine:
Offer positive reinforcement
Chores for 2 year olds should not be frustrating, so offering positive reinforcement after they complete a task is a great way to encourage them to keep going.
Don’t forget to let your child know that you see how hard they’re working and that they’re doing a great job.
Keep it simple
At this age, simple instructions are key. That’s because most 2 year olds aren’t able to understand multi-step directions just yet.
As you’re helping your toddler work their way through their chores, make sure to stick to one task at a time. And make sure to keep your instructions quick and to the point so they know exactly what they should be doing.
Demonstrate the task
In addition to telling your toddler what to do, also show them how to do the task.
Even if you think the project is simple, if the task is new to your toddler, they might not understand how to do it.
Each time you introduce a new chore to your toddler, take a minute to show them how to do the chore, then let them do it on their own.
Let them figure it out
After you show your two year old what to do, give them time to figure it out on by themselves. Jumping in to help too quickly might make them think they can’t do it on their own.
After they’re finished, you can offer helpful suggestions or demonstrate the task again, if needed.
Ask for help
While your 2 year old might not be able to do certain tasks on their own just yet, they are able to lend a helping hand.
One of the best ways to encourage your toddler to start helping out around the house is to ask for their help. At this age, kids are eager to lend a hand, which means they’ll be more than happy to take a minute to help you with tasks around the house.
Start by giving them a small job, like helping you take clothes out of the dryer, then gradually give them more responsibility as they start to gain some confidence in their own abilities.
Try a chore chart
Giving your toddler a visual chart of the chores they need to do each day is a great way to remind them of their daily responsibilities.
But since kids this age can’t read, using a chore chart with pictures is the best option.
Post the chart in a location they can easily see and reach, then let them mark of their daily tasks as they complete them.
To sum it up, two year olds are more than capable of helping out around the house.
The key is to remember that you are introducing them to tasks and not expecting perfection. Remembering this will keep you from getting frustrated and make it fun and enjoyable for your toddler.
Keep chores for 2 year olds easy, simple and some they can physically do and understand and they’ll be off to a good start!