10 Household Chores Your Toddler Will Actually Enjoy

10 Household Chores Your Toddler Will Actually Enjoy
Image: iStock/PeopleImages

toddler doing chores

It's time to start teaching your toddler the lyrics to "It's a Hard-Knock Life." Kidding! We're not saying you should order your child to make your home "shine like the top of the Chrysler building." (Any Annie lovers out there?) But we do think it's fun -- and wise -- to get the little ones involved in helping you tidy up around the house. 

In fact, this is an awesome time to get them started; toddlers love to feel "big" by helping, and good habits can start early. Here are 10 chores it's easy to get toddlers excited for and don't make more work for you.

toddler doing chores

  • Feeding Pets


    Image © iStock/yenwen

    Put those hours scooping and dumping sand to good use by teaching your toddler how to serve dry kibble to the dog or cat. (As long as Fido doesn't get too defensive of the food -- you don't want to risk a bite.) Teeny toddler fingers are also the perfect size for reaching into a container of fish flakes. Hey, maybe seeing their pets eat will inspire your toddler to finish his own food come mealtime. 

  • Dusting Furniture


    Image © iStock/Imgorthand

    Give your knees a break by handing your child a rag to wipe down low shelves and the legs of tables and chairs. As long as you don't give them a bottle of cleaner to start an indoor water fight, the helping hands will be super useful to you.

  • Cleaning Beneath the Couch


    Image © iStock/Vesna Andjic

    Utilize those tiny limbs and that Gumby-like kid flexibility to have your child go spelunking under couches and beds for missing toys and lost socks. Call it a quest for hidden treasure and you're encouraging imaginative play. Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back instead of straining to reach under there yourself. 

    More from CafeMom: 5 Tips to Get the Kids to Help You Clean the House

  • Laundry Sorting


    Image © iStock/AnthonyRosenberg

    Get your kid in on the clothes-sorting action. Don't think of it as roping them into helping with a mundane task; consider it a great way to teach colors and textures. He can help match up clean socks too.

  • Sweeping


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    Stop your child from tracking through your dust piles by getting him a pint-sized broom of his own, and start watching him sweep up. Bonus: Next time he dumps his cereal on the floor, he can help clean the mess himself. 

  • Dog Walking


    Image © iStock/Kais Tolmats

    Let your child hold on to the leash (with your hand above just in case) and let them "lead" the way. Dog walking might take a little longer than usual -- with frequent stops to sniff this leaf, no that leaf, and HEY LOOK A SQUIRREL! -- but, it's quality time you're sharing, and your tot is learning about the world around her. 

  • Picking Up Toys -- Fast


    Image © iStock/kilukilu

    Sometimes you just want to sit down and relax (for a minute), but there are toys all over the floor. Here's where you can put your toddler to good use. Set a timer and tell them to race against the clock to put all their toys away before the buzzer. It's not being lazy, it's delegating.

  • Clearing the Table


    Image © iStock/Hallgerd

    Toddlers already are obsessed with the garbage can, and they usually have plenty of scraps left on their plate after dinner. You might as well give them a thrill and cut down your workload by teaching them how to scrape food from their (non-breakable) plates into the trash. 

    More from CafeMom: 10 Steps to Cleaning Your House in Under an Hour

  • Making Their Bed


    Image © iStock/Cindy Singleton

    As long as you're not a stickler for perfectly folded corners or symmetrical pillow placement, your toddler can tuck her stuffed friends into bed once she gets out of it in the morning. Warning: Toddler bed-making may result in excessive cuteness and photo opportunities.

  • Washing Windows


    Image © iStock/Imgorthand

    There's no need to stoop down to clean lower windows and baseboards when you have a toddler who's right within reach. Just give her a wet rag and let her wipe away all those little fingerprints. Consider it the gift of letting your princess-obsessed child live out her very own version of Cinderella

toddler activities

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