I know, we just told you to say “YES” to the mess. And we totally meant it when we said it. But we also want you to find big and small ways to say “YES” to offers of help. And your toddler might just be that potentially untapped source for cleanup help around the house. We compiled this list of age-appropriate chores that work in our houses. Please add your ideas in the comments.
As a rule of thumb: Do not do for your child what they can do for themselves.
As a measure of reality: Outsource the chores you hate first.
As soon as a child can walk, he can start participating in cleaning tasks. Little ones take such great pleasure in imitating adults that it is quite easy to convince them to help out. These life skills are ones that everyone must master eventually – it’s simply to your own benefit to get them started early.
Here is a basic list of age-appropriate chores that children can learn at different stages. Maybe your child is even more advanced!
- Wiping up a spill
- Putting clothes in hamper
- Putting toys back on shelves or containers
- Throwing trash in garbage can or recycling bin
- Dust busting with small handheld vacuum
- Sweeping with a child-sized broom or dry cloth mop
- Clearing plate to kitchen counter
- Sorting clean silverware into drawers
- Emptying dishwasher for areas in reach
- Using a sponge to wipe table
- Straightening chairs and tidying table tops in common rooms
- Setting the table (I have a mini laminated photo of the job done right!)