20 Easy Ways to get your Toddler to Help Around the House
It may feel like you are constantly cleaning up after your toddler, but with a tiny bit of creativity and the willingness to let standards dip a little, you could get your toddler to help around the house. I have put together a list of easy ways to get your toddler to help, and gathered some from other Mums too.
Being a Mum means multitasking like a boss. Let’s face it, if you did everything completely by yourself, and additionally used this time for housework rather than quality time with your child you would literally never have spare time.
Letting your toddler help means the work gets done and you get fun bonding time with your littlie all at once. Plus, developmentally its really good for him.
Why it is good for your toddler to help?
Your toddler loves nothing more than being with you.
Helping you is an extra bonus because it gives him responsibility and means he gets to act like Mummy, not just be around her. My little boy LOVES helping out around the house and it will be years before he figures out that this isn’t a treat, it’s work!
Teaching them to help out is the wonderful beginnings of getting them to tidy after themselves, look after their things, and also appreciate that they are part of a family team who all work together.
Some tips to get you ready for this
The first thought of many mothers is ‘It’s just easier if I do it myself.’ It is also quicker and far more likely to be done properly. But learning to let your toddler help is not only great for him – it is good for you too!
If you have trouble letting your toddler tidy, choose a few things from the list below that you would be more comfortable with – you don’t have to let him do everything! If there are areas that you really like having sorted, like his clothes drawer, or the shelves in his room, then keep these jobs for yourself.
You also don’t need to give him actual jobs to do if you’re concerned about standards of cleanliness. Many of the activities on the list below are more faux housework than really helping you, but the act of it is still wonderful development for him. And it’s fun bonding time for you.
Don’t feel that you have to let him ‘help’ when you are rushed or stressed or visitors are about to descend upon your house. This should be enjoyable for you both, so do it on the days when you have more time and a little more patience in your tank.
Recipe for Super Easy Natural Cleaner
If you are going to get your child to help out, one great way to start is with his own special spray bottle of cleaner. He can use this on tables, wooden surfaces, bathroom surfaces, windows etc.
Many parents will use water, and that’s fine, but why not give him this natural cleaning spray instead? He can’t really overuse it and ruin anything, and he can even digest it (it tastes gross, but is perfectly safe!)
Mix one cup of warm water with 1/8 cup of white vinegar and a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice. Pop this in his spray bottle, and let him go.
Warning: Don’t use this mix on marble or granite surfaces however as the vinegar can etch these surfaces.
20 Easy ways to get your toddler to help
- Give him a spray bottle with water to clean the table and highchairs, the front of cupboards etc
- Cleaning windows with his spray bottle
- Helping cook dinner (cutting vegetables like beans with a kids’ knife, adding ingredients to mixes like salt and pepper, grated cheese etc, and of course, the most fun task of all – stirring!)
- Feeding the cat
- Putting his PJ's away
- Drying dishes and putting them away (do it together). Have a cupboard which he can reach that contains his plates and cups, Tupperware dishes and other items that don’t break.
- Helping you set the table by getting his plate and cup out, lay out placemats, cutlery, napkins etc.
- Taking his plate and cup to the sink when he is finished with his meal
- Unpacking the dishwasher
- Dusting – give him a damp cloth or paper towel so that he actually picks up dust and doesn’t just push it all back into the air again
- Making his bed (helping pull up the covers)
- He can also help you strip the bed and change sheets – give him the pillow and pillowcase to work out!
- Hanging out the washing onto a fold-out rack
- Putting washing in the machine (toddlers LOVE pushing the buttons to turn it on!)
- Folding the washing (teatowels, his own clothes)
- Putting his toys and books away
- Putting groceries away when you get home from shopping
- You can also let him help with the shopping; pop him up in the trolley with his own list and responsibility to make sure you remember those things on his list
- Watering plants or weeding the garden
- ‘Painting’ the house or the fence outside with a brush and water
If you have more creative ideas for easy ways to get your toddler to help, we would love to hear them! Comment and let us know what works for you.