How to get your Toddler to Help with Chores
When Isla was first born I made it my mission to find ways to keep our house tidy while also keeping Brody entertained. Having our house tidy felt like the one thing I had a bit of control over during the craziness of becoming a family of 4.
I found that including my toddler in the chores and daily tasks was actually a lot of fun for both of us. Brody was only 2.5 at the time, but he was already so excited to help around the house. Now that Isla is reaching the toddler phase I’m continuing to look for ways to include the kids in household chores. I’m a big advocate for using my toddlers eagerness to help to our advantage — especially when it comes to one of my least favorite tasks of house cleaning! If you are wanting to implement a chore routine in your household make sure to check out my free printable chore chart at the bottom of this post!
A few of my favorite mom bloggers are sharing their tips as well! Be sure to read the guides below:
The Mama Notes Ultimate Spring Cleaning Guide for Busy Moms
Glitter in Lexi’s guide on How to Introduce Chores to Toddlers and Young Kids
Coffee Beans & Bobby Pins Spring Cleaning 101: Tips for Cleaning/Organizing Everything You Own
Happily Inspired’s Toddler Chores 101
A Few Steps to Get Your Toddler Excited About Cleaning:
1. Clean with them.
For the longest time, I would be sitting on the couch or in the kitchen and asking Brody to please pick up his toys. He would either refuse or completely ignore my request. I finally realized that if I would start cleaning with him, he would get excited and jump right in to help. Now he bounces right over when we pull out a spray bottle or a package of wipes to start cleaning. We use a toy rotation system and he loves sorting his toys into their correct homes.
2. Give them their own gear.
We went to the store a few weeks ago and picked up a bucket to house all of Brody’s own cleaning gear. A duster, a dustpan and broom, a spray bottle and a few other cleaning items fill his bucket. Since we wanted to make sure that his cleaners and cleaning gear were free of chemicals and did not get mixed up with our adult cleaners, we color coded all of his gear.
To keep the cleaners toddler friendly, we have been using water based products. Since I use a lot of wipes to clean surfaces, we loaded his bucket with a couple packs of baby wipes. The wipes and a water-filled spray bottle are the only two liquids I let Brody use when cleaning.
3. Make it fun.
I try to make our cleaning sessions a fun activity. Let’s face it, some days it is the only activity we do around the house. To set a fun mood, we start by putting on some dancing tunes. For the dishes, I throw in extra soap for more bubbles. For the toys, we make it a competition of who can put the most toys back in the basket the quickest. I often dread cleaning, so these little bits of excitement even make it fun for me to partake in.
4. Use a chart.
As your kids enter into toddler-hood it is a great time to start teaching them the concepts of responsibility and independence. One way we help them understand what we expect from them is by using a chore chart. I created a little chart we hang on our fridge with different tasks they can help with. There is a picture next to the word, so they can identify the task as well. During the toddler years, we dictate what chores Brody and Isla will be helping with each day, but as they start to get the hang of it they get to check off the check boxes next to the jobs every night. Coloring in the little circle next to the task just might be their favorite thing ever.
This is how we have been tackling the cleaning around our house. Who knew cleaning could be so fun with a toddler involved!
What are your tips for starting chores at a young age? What are your little one’s favorite cleaning activities to help with?