I am blessed with a almost 17 month old who is inquisitive, and loves to help her momma. So we've started her with chores! That's right, my toddler does chores. It's nice to have little hands helping. She loves being involved, and learning. I love keeping her occupied, and "out of my way" by keeping her involved.
Unloading The Dish Washer Once I get all the sharp, dangerous, items out, I have her help me unload the clean dishes. She hands me spoons, forks, her plastic plates. I name each item as she hands it to me, and then I put it away. Sure, it makes the whole chore take a little bit longer, but it's a great learning/labeling opportunity for Bean. Plus she used to take utensils out of the washer and run away with them... so this is a much better option in my opinion. As she gets older, I'll let her handle the adult plates, and even start putting dirty items into the dishwasher.
Feeding The Animals This one is probably one of the cutest things ever! She puts the bowls down for each dog, then points at the food and lets them know it's time for them to eat their breakfast/dinner. I love it because it shows the dogs that although she is a "pup" she's still the boss of them. Also it's juts so stinking cute when she puts our pit bulls food down and he's sitting patiently staring at her for the 'OK' to devour his food. Then once their finished (if she's still in the kitchen) she picks up their empty bowls and stacks them then hands them to me or her daddy to put away. As she gets older, we'll let her scoop the dogs food into the bowls.
Laundry Similar to the dishwasher, except I hand her a wet piece of clothing and she puts it into the dryer, or she helps me take the dry clothes out of the dryer and put into the laundry basket. I've stepped this chore up a bit, and we count the number of items as we take them out. And by we I mean me, but I'm sure she'll join in once she starts saying the numbers.
Getting The Mail We go out to the mailbox together, I take it out and hand the stack if mail to her to carry back into the house. Once we get inside we sit down on the floor and sort through it. Destructive Bean gets the pile of junk mail in front of her to play with and/or destroy. While I flip through my magazines and file the bills. Ugh, bills!
Those are the only ones we do right now. But I'll keep you updated as she grows up and we add more to her list. Just because they're toddlers doesn't mean they're too young to start learning to help mom and dad out! Just make sure you turn the chore into fun, appropriate, tasks for them. You can easily turn most "chores" into learning activities. That's super important since our little ones are learning constantly, with every little thing they do, and observe.
Do you have any great ideas for other toddler appropriate chores? I'd love to hear them!