Helpful age-appropriate chores for 2 year olds

Starting around 18 months, most toddlers really want to take part in the action around the house and help with chores. Before they start losing interest, it’s always great to seize the opportunity of this phase and let your toddler help you with chores. This article is a list of age-appropriate chores for 2 year olds.

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Even at a young age, helping with chores instills confidence and responsibility. (Source) It can also fine-tune those gross motor and fine motor skills. Toddlers also learn important life lessons, including cleanliness, home upkeep, and caring for themselves.

Most of these chores will require a parent’s supervision. A 2-year-old is not going to do chores perfectly or completely. They may start out helping, completely lose interest, and wander off. Or they may master a chore and start doing it independently. It just depends on your unique toddler.

So, here is a list of age-appropriate chores for 2 year olds.

Pick up toys

chores for 2 year olds

After play, we tend to ask our daughter to put away her toys. She’ll organize and put away her blocks or stack her books in a certain spot.

She doesn’t do this all the time. Sometimes, we’ll start putting items away and ask her to help us.

Unload the dishwasher

This is one of my daughter’s favorite chores. She is fascinated with opening and closing the dishwasher door.

I always make sure to unload and put away any knives or breakable objects first so that she can help with the rest of the items. She will hand me dishes one by one to put away.

If your child has their own cabinet within reach, they can put away their plates, bowls, and cups. Unloading the dishwasher is one of the best chores for 2 year olds.

Load and unload washer and dryer

Although it might take way longer than usual, your toddler can help load and unload the washer and dryer. It’s fun for them to take a basket full of items and put them somewhere else!

chores for 2 year olds

My daughter also likes to clean the lint trap and then take the lint to the trash. When we’re finished with the laundry, she will ‘help’ me fold in the bedroom or hand me hangers.

Sweep & dust

Most two year olds don’t have the ability to thoroughly sweep a floor but it’s a chore they can practice alongside mommy or daddy.

Last Christmas, we bought our daughter the Melissa & Doug Dust, Sweep, Mop cleaning set. It comes with toddler-sized versions of a broom with dustpan, mop, and duster. It’s the cutest playset for toddlers.

Water trees, bushes, and flowers

chores for 2 year olds

When Spring started, we made it a daily practice to water trees, bushes, flowers, and plants around our home. We either fill up watering cans or use the hose directly to water trees.

Toddlers love any activity related to water, so this is sure to be a hit. My daughter now asks to “water bushes?” This is one of the most fun chores for 2 year olds.

Fill pet bowls

My toddler loves to fill the cat bowls with dry cat food. We have a large pet food container with a scoop, so she will scoop the food and transfer it to the bowls. This requires a lot of hand-eye coordination for a toddler.

At first, most of the food would end up on the floor! After practicing this chore for a few months, we are now at the point where most of the cat food ends up in the bowls.

Take dirty dishes to the sink

My toddler is just tall enough to put her own nonbreakable dishes on the kitchen counter after meals. This chore will get them in the habit of cleaning up after meals.

Wipe up spills

We are in the process of transitioning from the sippy cup to an open cup. During this transition, spills are bound to happen.

When my daughter spills liquid on the floor, the table, or on her chair, I give her a paper towel to clean it up.

Help bring in groceries

This is a new chore for my daughter. She recently started helping by carrying in a very light bag or just one item at a time. 

It usually ends up somewhere other than the kitchen but it’s the helpful thought that counts, right?

Check the mail

I started bringing my toddler along to check the mail recently. We have a cluster mailbox across the street and down a few houses, so it’s a small walk.

I convey the importance of checking the street for cars before we cross and holding mommy’s hand. She usually counts all the mailboxes and likes to hold a piece of mail when we walk home. 

One time we checked the mail and didn’t have any letters, boxes, or ads. It was empty! My toddler wanted me to check the other boxes for mail. When I tried to explain to her that my key didn’t fit into the other mailboxes, she went into a full-blown tantrum over not having any mail. True story.

Final thoughts on chores for 2 year olds

As long as your toddler is willing, let them help with the daily household chores! Helping with chores is a great way to learn about being part of and taking care of a home. These are truly lifelong lessons.

I’ll let you in on a little personal tidbit. As a child, I grew up in a home where I didn’t do any chores. I remember sweeping occasionally and putting my dishes in the sink. That was it.

When I became an adult, I had no clue how to do my own laundry, clean, or keep up a home. It was a long process and journey to learn all of these things as an adult. I felt resentful toward my parents about it. Why wasn’t I taught any of these basic skills?

So, there’s a good chance that your toddler is already naturally helping with the chores. If not, I hope this article gives you a few extra ideas for age-appropriate chores for 2 year olds.

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