Although a 2-year-old is not yet ready for chores in the real sense of the word, it's still a good time to get started on having him or her help out around the house a little. You'll probably end up doing most of the work anyway (and in some cases your child's helping out will make more work for you.) But at the same time you'll be starting your child on the path to helpfulness and responsibility. Whatever chores you give your child, make sure to also give them praise and let them know you appreciate their help! Here are some easy chore ideas for your 2-year-old to do:
Help you pick up his toys
While you can't depend on a 2-year-old to clean up all his toys after playtime, you can have him help clean up with you. I recently started this with my daughter (even though with the messes she makes I sometimes wonder what's the use of cleaning her room when she's just going to mess it all again the next morning!) Give him simple, direct commands, like, "Pick up that book and put it in your bookcase." Or "Put your truck in the toy box." Soon he will get the hang of what cleaning's all about.
Throw things in the garbage for you
My daughter's been helping me out by throwing things in the garbage for me since she could understand the word "garbage." I like this "chore" because it's simple and quick, and not something she's likely to whine over having to do. I only ask her to throw out one or two things a day, and some days none, so she happily completes this chore when I ask her to.
Empty the dishwasher silverware basket
This is one of my daughter's favorite "chores." (Actually to her it's more like a game.) When it's time to empty the dishwasher, I pull out the bottom rack and then take out all the knives from the silverware basket. Then she takes out the spoons and forks and puts them in the silverware drawer for me.
Help with the baby
If you have a baby at home, your 2-year-old can help out in small ways. Store the baby's diapers and wipes in an easily-accessible area, and ask your 2-year-old to fetch them when it's changing time. Have him bring toys for the baby or play with her when she cries.
Clean up after an accidents and spills
Toddlers are constantly spilling their juice, dropping a bowl of crackers, or otherwise making messes. When this happens, I give my daughter a paper towel to help me wipe up spills, or ask her to help me by picking up the cereal/ crackers/crumbs, or whatever else it was that was spilled. I also make distinctions between accidents and when she spills things on purpose. If she does something on purpose, I make her clean up most of it (and then of course I go in and finish the job.) If it was an accident, I might clean up all of it or might ask her to help out, so she can hopefully try to be more careful next time.
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