Here in the Lindow household we’ve entered the terrible twos!
Our little one’s birthday was last week, and thankfully other than her flair for drama, I haven’t noticed too much of a difference from coming into the 2nd year. Her flair for drama is something to see, though! Between the way she puts her head in her hands and pretends to cry when she does get her way (peeking through her hands to see if I’m watching, of course), the way she grumbles “yes” when the hubs asks if he can have some of her chocolate milk, and of course the throw-herself-on-the-ground and scream tantrums that completely dissolve when I refuse to give her attention.
I really don’t know whether to laugh or cry!
Any other mommas out there feel my pain?
But the drama aside, I have started to realize that something I read earlier and didn’t believe was actually coming true: She rises up to meet my expectations.
Why Chores For 2 Year Olds?
Reasonable expectations, of course, but I remember when I was pregnant and reading all of these sample chore charts online, as well as the theory behind and them and thinking “These must be the meanest parents on earth to get their kids to do this stuff.” But then I realized that they weren’t – they simply encouraged obedience and good behavior, character traits which will benefit them further on down the road.
Up until now we’ve been working on smaller, functional things like obeying when we tell her to do something, learning where the trash cans are at and how to throw trash in them, learning where the silverware goes, washing the table, picking up toys, and a few other things.
And I have to tell you, I’m impressed by how much she’s learned and how fast she’s learned it.
I read the other day that children need chores. I agreed, but it was the theory behind it that resonated with me the most.
Remember the old adage “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime?”
This is so true! Children need to feel wanted and helpful, and they need to learn responsibility. If we teach our children to help and complete tasks now, we are essentially gifting them with the ability to keep a job later on down the line, or work hard at whatever their passions are. They will learn not to shy away from hard work or a challenge (marriage, anyone?).
One caveat: If you haven’t been working with your children to teach them how to do chores, they will not just be able to pick them up. Children were not born knowing how to do chores, and even though they do learn by watching you, give them some grace as they learn. Celebrate the victories, and encourage them through the struggles.
All of this is to say that since our little one is 2 years old now, it’s time for some age-appropriate chores.
Chores for 2-Year Olds
- Picking up toys off the floor
- Taking the sheets off the bed
- Picking up trash
- Emptying the smaller trash cans into the larger one
- Emptying the silverware from the dishwasher
- Loading dirty silverware into the dishwasher
- Washing counters and tables
- Dusting low surfaces
These are the chores that make sense for our life and our house, and most importantly, they’re things that I’ve taught our daughter to do. These chores may not make sense for your house, but the general principles and challenge level are a good place to start.
Of course, we don’t do every one of these chores every day. We only do chores on the week days, and take weekends off (even though mom doesn’t take weekends off!) and we do 2 chores per day. We also try to get them done by mid-morning because a) we’ve found that moods tend to be better in the morning and b) if we leave them until afternoon, many times they don’t get done.
Haven’t Started Chores Yet?
That’s ok! Year 2 is a great place to start, but take it a little slower. Don’t start out with all of the tasks at once. Teach maybe one new chore per week and built on that, but understand that they may be frustrated.
This is where encouragement comes to play. It is natural for children to struggle when learning something new, but a little big of encouragement from you can go a long way!
I hope that I’ve been able to help you find age-appropriate chores for 2 year olds, and get you to consider the value of assigning younger children chores! If you have specific chores that your children complete, I would love to hear them! I am always looking for ways to switch up the chore list and teach her something new.
To help you get started, I’ve created this printable chores list – that is good for any age! – that you can fill in with daily chores. The download also has a second sheet that lists sample chores ideas for 2 to 8 year olds!
Please provide your name and email address for your free download.