As parents, we all want our children to grow up to be responsible and independent adults. One way to encourage this is by assigning them simple tasks from a young age. In this article, we’ll explore age-appropriate responsibilities for 2- and 3-year-olds that can help them develop important life skills. So, if you’re looking for ways to teach your toddlers the value of hard work and responsibility, read on to learn about some simple tasks for toddlers that they can start doing today.
Your toddler’s “I’ll do it myself” attitude can be advantageous when it comes to small household chores. According to Kereese Gayle-Farias, M.D., a pediatrician at Southern Pediatric Clinic in Valdosta, Georgia, “if your child begins helping at an early age, it sets the expectation that participation in housework and cleaning is a part of your family’s routine.” The 2-year-old child of Dr. Gayle-Farias enjoys helping clean, do laundry, feed their dogs, and occasionally cook.
Read on for advice on how to get your toddler to participate in these basic chores.
Put Toys and Books Away
Develop a routine of tidying up after playtime. First, provide a place for your toddler’s playthings to urge them to put things back where they belong. For instance, books may be placed on a bookshelf, whereas toys may be placed in a box, baskets, or shelves. Next, explore your rooms in search of abandoned toys.
Dr. Gayle-Farias explains that singing songs and playing games make my daughter’s chores more enjoyable and enjoyable. Try matching activities, such as stacking blocks in one bin and automobiles in another, or create a mini competition (“Can you put away the stuffed animals faster than I can?”).
By giving your child tasks that focus on these areas, you will be able to assist them in developing their fine motor skills, as well as their hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills. For instance:
- Place soiled garments in the hamper.
- Place goods in the washing machine or dryer.
- To fold tiny items such as socks and washcloths.
You can also highlight the colors and patterns of the clothing at this time.
Tend to a Pet
Children learn compassion, responsibility, and respect for living creatures through pet ownership. Two- and three-year-olds can perform the following pet-related tasks:
- Using a cup or a tiny pitcher to refill food and water bowls (make sure you do the measuring).
- Assisting with the scrubbing of your dog’s fur during a bath.
- Adding fresh straw to a rabbit’s cage.
Clear Away Clutter
Looking for an enjoyable task for toddlers? Leverage your child’s love of silliness by placing a sock on his or her hand and urging him or her to slide it around any dusty surface. Also fair game is little versions of the cleaning instruments you’re using, such as a small brush and dustpan or a handheld vacuum. Just avoid strong cleaning chemicals when your child is assisting; water is plenty.
Help With Food Items
Allow your child to transport and store any lightweight, non-breakable objects. “I especially enjoy allowing my child to assist with fruits and vegetables. Typically, she requests one of the items we’re putting away as a treat,” Dr. Gayle-Farias explains. “Involving children in selecting food at the grocery store, washing or storing it, and cooking it can inspire them to try something new.”
Prepare and Empty the Table
Spoons, napkins, plastic plates or cups, and condiments are secure in the grasp of a child. However, older siblings should handle objects that are sharp, heavy, or made of glass.
Make Your Bed
Children will love assisting their parents by making their side of the bed for several years before they can complete this task independently. Together, instruct your child to begin with the sheet and pull it up by the pillows.
The blankets and bed sheets follow next. Lastly, fluff the pillows and place them atop the mattress. It is acceptable for the bed to be a mess still. The message that you regard your child’s effort is communicated by not correcting mistakes.