Here are some ideas of how your toddler can help out around the house! When toddlers start walking, they desire to copy the things that adults do. This is a great opportunity to teach the child skills, develop confidence, and feel pride from contributing to the family. Many people also are not sure what do with their toddler while taking care of household tasks and end up using screen time. An alternative is involving them in the tasks. I would invite the toddler to participate and model the activity for them in a calm and relaxed manner. If they don’t want to do it, I let them be and keep modeling. If they don’t want to help, it is usually because they want to do another activity so I don’t feel as pressured to entertain them with something. Sometimes the child joins me later in the task as well.
These activities may need to be scaffolded based on the skill level for the toddler. In the beginning, you may just show them or have you help with one step of the activity. As they progress, add on more steps and independence. A toddler may not have any interest, work on it for a minute, or be engrossed for 30 minutes in an activity, it is all in the realm of normal. If they don’t complete a task, I model the rest or do it together with the child.
It is important to know that your toddler does not need to help with everything all the time. It is OK to say you want to do something yourself. On average, my toddler helps with 2-3 house tasks a day. We also average adding one new activity a month. When they do help, be prepared to be patient, give plenty of extra time to complete the task, and know that it might get messier before it gets cleaner.
I plan on adding a link to a separate, more detailed blog post for each activity.
Unloading the dishwasher
Collecting trash bins
Cleaning the table
Cleaning up materials/toys
Filling a bird feeder