Chores for Toddlers + Free Printable

I believe in child labor.  Call me Scrooge, but I figure everybody should have to work for their food, y’know.   I mean, if my 2-year-old wants to keep eating her weight in fancy yogurt, shouldn’t she have to work for it?

Chores for Toddlers by

When I was a young and naive mother (a couple of months ago), I thought I had to occupy my child with complicated crafts and college algebra in order to keep her brain from rotting.  I remember lamenting that I couldn’t get anything done around the house because I was too busy being Schoolteacher or Janitor for Tibb (The Itty Bitty Boss).  But then I realized that since she wanted to do everything I was doing anyway, I should make cleaning the house our activity.

I started giving her small chores for short periods of time and she loved it!  Even though they love turning the house into a tornado, most kids love being little helpers.  I think it makes them feel powerful and important (and if you’ve ever seen a toddler tantrum, then you know they’re all about me me me).  The key is that they should do the chores with you.  I can’t just tell my daughter to go mop while I hop on the internet.  No, usually she’ll mop, while I cook or clean the rest of the room.  If I stray too far, Ms. Diva will feel like she’s wasting her performance.

Chores for Toddlers by

At this age, children may already be familiar with the “Clean up, clean up” song and putting all of their toys away.  The chore list I created goes beyond that.  In the free printable below, I’ve compiled 11 chores that your 2 to 5 year-olds can do (and hopefully make them want a nap).  It’s a great little sheet to pin or put on the refrigerator as a reminder.

Do you give your little ones house work or do you think it’s too much for them?   What would you add to or delete from my list?

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Chore List thumbnail

Click photo for full pdf printable


  1. Mama's Happy Hive says:

    This is very Montessori 😉 I LOVE it!!! My little boy is almost two years old. He is still trying to walk without falling over, but soon he will be ready for the chore list! 😉

  2. jellyjarblog says:

    I so agree with this post! I completely love getting my 3 year old to help me- and the thing is, she loves to help “clean” too. Win/win. Great thoughts here! Following along now on bloglovin! 😉 ~Sarah

  3. Irice says:

    My daughter is 4 and loves doing her chores! I give her a quarter for each one she completes. I’m using it as a way to show her that she can help around the house, and hopefully to teach her the value of hard earned money. :) She is saving up for a doll house that she saw at the store. It makes her so proud when we count at the end of each week to see how close she is to her goal, and to know she is doing it all on her own.

  4. Sunshine~STEPmompreneur says:

    What an awesome infographic and concept!! I’ve been dealing with this issue myself lately. Remembering how I used to do chores when I was the same age as my daughter, but then feeling like I would just rather do them myself now, because she makes more of a mess learning (sort of a control freak). I realized though, that not only does she need to learn how, but her lil’ ass needs to learn that she doesn’t have a maid either lol! Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Jessica says:

    This so wonderful! I could really use this. My toddler still loves doing chores but I know it ends at some point!

    Thank you for sharing on #smallvictoriessundaylinky. Pinned to the Pinterest board. Hope you link up next week!

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