20 Chores for Your 20 Month Old!

My home is by no means perfectly clean... ever... but my husband likes things neat and I like things clean. You know... they are different. My husband likes things put away, no clutter and I like to get my homemade cleaners out to clean all the germy surfaces. Either way our kiddos are going to help out with chores around the house. My two little ones (20 months and 2 months) are not yet ready for a chore chart or chore rotations like I had when I was a child but now is a good time to get them engaged and excited about helping out and contributing to the family.

I've compiled a list of 20 chores that our son who is currently 20 months helps with... And who knows that could grow bigger before he turns two but here's a good start. I've broken them down by age group as well because some of these he has been doing longer than others! Your child's skills/interests may be different so this is only a guide. You know your kiddo best. My recommendation is start small, start fun and easy. They will thrive when they think you're having fun with it and if you enjoy it WITH them. If you want to check out my post with 5 Tips to Teach Your Toddler Chores then check it out here.

10 months (yup you can start this early... they understand more than you think)!

1. Pick up toys: At this point they are getting good at bringing out every single toy they have... they can be equally good at putting them back in the bucket, basket, toy box, ottoman (we have two storage ottomans in our living where we stash toys), or whatever you have to store toys.

2. Wash their hands: I know you're thinking this isn't a chore but wait until they get older... cleaning up before meal time will feel like a chore to everyone. :)

12 months

3. Stack books: We stack books to put nicely in the ottoman or to put on the shelves in our son's room (we used gutters.. check them out here). By the way stacking blocks is a milestone for 14-16 month old so this is a good start!

4. Hold dust pan: Sometimes his patience is lacking but it's a good way to show teamwork... I sweep while he holds the dust pan.

14 months

5. Throw trash away: Wrappers, pouches, papers, junk mail... you get it. I open the trash and he throws it in. We haven't taught him to open it on his own with his foot yet but now that he is 20 months we will start soon!

6. Throw dirty clothes in hamper/basket: Take them off... and throw them in right away. Make it part of the bed time routine.

7. Vacuum: This is my son's absolute favorite chore. I bought a toy vacuum on a resale site for $10 and he loves it. When we get our vacuum out he runs to the closet where his is stored (it turns on and has a fairly loud sound so we keep it put away) and wants to vacuum too. Technically, he isn't actually vacuuming or cleaning the floors but he swings his vacuum back and forth, gets under the chairs... he is refining those movements so he will soon be able to do it with our stick vacuum and later graduate to the big one!

16 months

8. Feed pet: We scoop he pours... it's not perfect but he's learning! We keep our pet food bowls inside the cabinets in our laundry room and he also helps by opening them when it's time.

9. Tidy pillows and blankets on couches: He is usually the one that takes them off the couch or moves them around so why not make him clean/tidy them up?

10. Clean windows: I spray he wipes. Again... it's not perfect but it's teamwork and he is learning.

11. Put dishes in the sink: Mainly the only dish that he puts in the sink is his cup and sometimes snack containers if we are using them. He is short, he doesn't reach it all the way but he basically pushes it over the edge and it falls in.... good enough for us!

12. Clean shower/tub: I fill a sponge dish wand with half vinegar and half dish soap. I use this same recipe to clean my showers bathtubs and I use a dish wand too so he really does the cleaning here! And it's safe!

18 months

13. Put clothes in washer: Take them out of baskets and put them into the washer to get cleaned. He thinks this is funny actually. No idea why but it works! If you don't have a front load washer this will probably be a chore for later down the road when your little one is taller. 

14. Sweep: Does he really sweep up all his crumbs, dirt, and the dog hair? No. But he understands the movement. If you can find a smaller sized one that would be good. He struggles with how tall our regular one is. :)

15. Water plants: You can find a child's size watering can or make one out of a water bottle... drill 3 holes in the cap and it will pour more slowly so it doesn't drown the plants.

19 months

16. Plant seeds/plants: This also depends on the time of year. It is easier to do when it's warmer weather and you can be outside because it's also messy.

17. Silverware in/out of the dishwasher: I take the knives out first or put them in last. Then he takes out the rest, hands them to me and I put them away.

20+ months

18. Take clothes out of the dryer: Our dryer is on a pedestal so it is a little harder but this is an easy one to tie in laundry.

19. Let dogs outside: We have started working on this one (using these tips from an earlier post) and it's scary that he is learning to open the door but it's going to happen someday!

20. Match socks: Also a new one but fun... I put out a white, black, blue, gray, striped, sock and he digs in the pile to find matches. He's not great at it but this a good skill to have not just for my own sanity with laundry help!

You may have started these with your little ones already or maybe you have some different ideas... share your thoughts! Has it been successful? What other chores do you have your young toddlers do?

<- Kassy ->


5 Tips To Teach Your Toddler Chores

When I was a child my parents had us contribute around the house. We always were responsible for making beds, cleaning bedroom and when we were a little older we rotated chores in the common areas - kitchen, living room, bathrooms. We also had to do things when asked. I.e. mow the grass, take out the trash, and pull weeds in the garden.

I plan on doing some version of chores for the kiddos so I am starting early. Some good advice I received from a fellow mom is that you have to start early. Let them know it's just part of living in our house and being a part of our family. If they don't know anything differently then it goes much more smoothly then trying to implement something when they are 8 or 9 or later!

I started "chores" with my son when he was about 10 months old and I continue to work with him on new and old chores every week. Here are 5 tips for teaching your toddler chores and getting him/her to enjoy them!

1. Start with one at a time... don't pile all of them on at once! I started with picking up toys because it's fairly easy, it's something we can do throughout the day, and they don't even have to be walking to do it. I recommend starting with only one because you can focus on it and get it right before moving on.

2. Model while explaining it. When I want to introduce a new chore I do it myself a few times while I explain what I am doing.
- "Mason, I am picking up this toy. Now I am putting it away in the ottoman where it belongs when we are finished playing so we can find it next time."
- "Look at mama putting my cup in the sink! When cups are in the sink we can clean them to use them later."

Part of the explanation of what I am doing is explaining why I am doing it.. to find it later, to have clean cups, etc.

3. Assist the first couple of times. After modeling it myself, my son is ready to try it himself. I am there to assist the first couple of times in case he struggles. This avoids frustration. He knows I am there for when he needs help and he to show him how to do it. If I see that it's not a problem for him then I just let him show off a bit. :) just remember not to go over board and do it for him/her or continually assist. Let them be independent.. the sense of accomplishment keeps my son interested.

4. Encourage him/her! I constantly encourage and thank my little one. I tell Mason how much he is helping mama and thank you. I will also say things like "Wow you are such a big boy when you (fill in the blank)". He always signs thank you back. :)

I am careful not to use a demanding tone. And one thing we learned from Love and Logic Parenting classes at our church is that you should say what you do, not what they have to do. For example, "I snuggle good boys who put away their toys before bed". It's meant to let them know what you approve of, what you can/are willing to do, and not act like a drill sargeant.

5. Have them do chores when they are happy. This is an important one. Don't wait until they are freaking out because they don't want to go to bed. When they are playing nice have fun with clean up! It's similar to what I do when we have to leave or do something else. I tell him that we have ten minutes, in five minutes we will clean up. A warning helps to reduce the shock of change and gives them a heads up of what is coming up.

I prepared a follow on post with a list of 20 chores for 20 Month olds... it's a list of all the chores we have our son do with some ideas of the age to start them. I hope you check it out!

Those are my tips for teaching toddlers how to do chores around the house! I'm not a perfect mama and I know there are different parenting styles out there so if you have any suggestions or tips of your own then feel free to share... I would love to hear them!

<- Kassy ->



Nursery Reveal!

After months of preparation work, a surprise early baby, and 5 weeks of work our baby girl's nursery is complete! The finished product is perfect for us. We have storage, function, character, detail, and most importantly personal touches.

The nursery theme is birds using pink, gold, teal, and touches of nature. The white furniture is girly yet classic and the rocker recliner adds comfort. The highlights and full picture reveal is below and I also included links to previous posts for the different tutorials and tips.

It was a joy putting the nursery together and even better now that we can enjoy it with our precious baby girl. :)

I hope you found this series useful. Stop by again soon and keep an eye out for our next project!



How to Clean and Shine Dingy Brass

Remember those dressers I talked about for my baby girl's nursery? Well here's how I cleaned up the brass to go from dingy greenish brown to a shiny gold.

When we bought the dressers for my baby girl's nursery they were old and used. We bought them because it was budget friendly as well as met our other criteria (check out our nursery furniture post here). I had originally planned to buy new hardware but when I priced it out I was probably going to spend close to the same amount we paid for the dressers! I figured I could clean them and if they weren't the right color then I would spray paint them gold. I searched online for some cheap, easy, DIY brass cleaners and stumbled on this blog. It seemed pretty easy and I had flour, vinegar, and salt on hand. I followed her directions and let the mix sit overnight (12+ hours).

2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup vinegar
1/2 cup salt

There's was a pretty big change on the hardware and here's the before and after:

I wasn't quite satisfied though... So I found another recipe that used different ingredients (that I was actually really skeptical of) and decided to try a second round of cleaning. This recipe uses boiling ketchup on the stove and you simply stir it for awhile. I let it sit in the ketchup for about 20-30 minutes before removing and rinsing. I was so surprised by the results on the first few pieces I used in the initial batch that I continued to use it for the rest of the hardware. And here's something interesting too.... I ran out of ketchup in the middle so I looked for something in my pantry to substitute for it. Hot sauce. YES... hot sauce! Hot sauce has similar ingredients, such as vinegar and salt, and it worked just as amazingly as the ketchup. Here's a tip - when you are ready to rinse the brass pour the pot into a colander, rinse with water and remove any leftover bits of sauce from the crevasses using an old toothbrush and it may even help get some extra tarnish off. :)

Before and after:

Here is what the brass looks like before any cleaning and after both cleaning methods I used:

Pretty amazing, huh?

So what do you think? Have any brass that you could shine in your home? If you try one of these come back and let me know how it works for you.



Birdhouse Nightlight/Lamp

For this post I am doing something a little different.... meaning I am not blogging about any personal DIYs or projects I've completed but rather one that was a gift to us. My father-in-law, who made this lighthouse lamp for my son's nursery, made another one-of-a-kind light but this time it was for our daughter's nursery.

Awhile back I found the cutest little birdhouse lamp on pinterest (see picture below). I had to do some digging and searching because the pinterest link was bad but I was able to find an empty Etsy shop of a Spanish lady. It appeared she no longer sold these lamps but maybe at one time did. I shared this with my husband and father-in-law and he came up with a nice handmade alternative.

He's pretty handy so the pull chain controls three different lighting options. The first pull is a lamp light that shines out of the bottom. The second pull is a night light at the top of the birdhouse and the third pull is a color changing light. :)

The birdhouse is made out of scrap wood and he used the same paint that I used on the DIY artwork that I made for the nursery. It ties in nicely to the rest of the room and for $7 I found a teal bird charm that attaches to the chain.

Isn't that neat? It sits next to the rocker recliner so I have a little light during late night feedings and later it will be a night light for our little one to enjoy. It's a great addition to the nursery and I think now "Pappy" has set up a new tradition of making one-of-a-kind lights for the each grandchildren's nursery. :)

What traditions does your family have for the grandchildren or children?