Fab Five Friday – Top 5+ Chores for Toddlers and Preschoolers

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Chores for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Trying to get household chores done everyday can sometimes be a difficult task with toddlers and preschoolers. We all know there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done on our ‘To-Do’ lists. I enlist the help of my sons (ages 2 & 3) to help out with household chores sometimes. I try make it a game and add some learning activities in. It never gets old seeing the excitement of a 2 year old when you ask him if he wants to do laundry or vacuum. Kids love to help no matter what it is. Sometimes it takes longer to get things done, but the kids are happy! Here are some of their favorite ways to help.Toddler Preschooler Chores

  1. Laundry
    1. Sort the laundry before (dark, whites, kids/baby clothes) and after (who it belongs to)
    2. Have them put the clothes in the washer and/or dryer. We create an assembly line since I have two little helpers. And while we do it they call out what article of clothing it is, the color, and/or who it belongs to.
    3. My sons fight over who gets to push the laundry basket. This is one of my 2yo’s favorite things to do. Lucky for them we normally have at least two a day for them to push around!Toddler Preschooler Chores
  2. Dusting/Wiping
    1. I have three Swiffer dusters. I know, seems crazy. But I give one (new/clean) to my sons while I am doing various cleaning and they dust just about everything: fireplace, walls, bookshelves, etc. Sometimes they want to get the dusters out even when I am not cleaning!
    2. When I am wiping down the counters, tables, windows or glass, they like to take a baby wipe or paper towel and do the same. I let them wipe a window I haven’t cleaned yet or the chairs or the floor around where I am cleaning.Preschooler Toddler Chores
  3. Sweeping
    1. I have to sweep at least twice a day. These kids can get messy! I picked up a small handheld broom/dustpan from the dollar spot at Target and it is great for my 3 year old. This is great for coordination skills.
    2. They also like to push the broom around so I let them take turns after I get done and it allows me a few minutes to put some dishes away or clean the counters.
    3. You can also buy a kids-size broom on Amazon.com.Preschooler Toddler Chores
  4. Vacuuming
    1. My sons have always loved the vacuum. I don’t know why, but it gets them all hyper and they run in circles the whole time I am vacuuming.
    2. I let my sons hold the attachment and get around the edges and corners of rooms.
    3. You could get a handheld vacuum as well for older preschoolers to use.
    4. I have been thinking about get a working Dyson Toy Vacuum that actually has suction from Amazon.com.Toddler Preschooler Chores
  5. Picking Up Toys
    1. Just telling my sons it is time to vacuum is enough motivation for them to pick up toys in that room.
    2. Sometimes we play ‘Find the…’ game. I name a toy (I.E. white Hot Wheel, blue ball) that needs to be put away and they find it to put it away. Or I describe a toy kind of like ‘I Spy‘ (I.E. color, texture, size) and have them find it and put it back where it goes.
    3. I have a crate we fill at least once a week with toys that need to go back upstairs or in a different room. I let them sort through the toys as we are picking up and choose which box it needs to be in. You can have a box for each child’s room. Sometimes we count similar toys as we pick them up (blocks, Hot Wheels, books).

A few other ways they like to help out: Watering the plants, handing me groceries to put away (I put breakables on the counter so they can’t reach those), refilling the diaper drawer, putting their cups away and throwing away the junk mail. I could only get lucky that they help out so much when they are teenagers ;)

Are there any other household chores your toddler or preschooler like to do?

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8 comments on Fab Five Friday – Top 5+ Chores for Toddlers and Preschoolers

  • Lena Blair

    These are some great ideas, even though my son is almost 5, I am gonna try these out on him, he might be more receptive to helping out this way!!

  • Michele B

    This is so cute! My 2 year old loves to help with the laundry and push the basket. He is getting pretty good at folding his underwear, shorts and even wash clothes. He loves to help sweep and get the dirt up at well. He does like to help dust and he will pick up his toys. He uses his Tonka dumptruck to pick them up and run them back to his room. Takes a few trips but it is fun for him. Now the vacuuming is a no go here. For some reason he is afraid of the sound. He will get it out for me and unravel the cord but just as soon as he is done with that he goes and jumps on the couch until I am done then he helps me put the cord back on the vacuum and puts it back in the utility closet.

  • Michele

    My son is 3 and loves to use our Hoover. He does turn it on/off a lot but he will clean everything.

    He likes to clean windows/glass too with water/vinegar mix.

  • Cathy

    These are great ideas! Do you have any rewards system?

    • Samantha (author)

      I currently do not. I have been thinking about putting something together though. If and when I do, I will make sure to post about it :)

      • Sarah

        I have a system that seems to be working for all four of my boys they get so many points for the things they do or lose points if they wine about it and who ever has the most points at the end of the month gets 5 bucks. the 1st month my 2 year old won which gave my other boys more incentive, they are racing to do their chores.

    • Steph J

      I do not offer a rewards system with my boys. They are 4 and 6 now. I feel that doing “chores” (which we do not call them) is part of growing up and learning how to care for yourself and serve those you love. It is not something that should be made into a competition or have a child feel they’re “earned” something by completing it. We simply do our housework and cleaning throughout the day as it needs doing and we enjoy spending time together while we do it. That is reward enough for my family.

      As they get older, I will offer a monetary award for things they might choose to help out with that require more skill and labor – things like building a shelf for me, helping to reorganize a room, washing a car, etc. But for now, they are young and we are enjoying this time together.

  • Steph J

    I love these ideas. I have 4 and 6 yr old boys and they love to help out. My 6 yr old will move laundry from the washer to the dryer and also knows how to start a load. It’s so wonderful as it is teaching him a great skill and really helps me out (especially since I’m pregnant with another boy)! Both my boys love to sweep and mop and they help with other things like setting and clearing the table and helping to prepare dinner. I think it is so very important for children to learn these skills and not just sit around and be waited on. Wonderful post and great job making these skills fun for your boys! That’s how it should be! “Chores” are fun if done correctly.

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