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 ->

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