Let Them Grow: 10 Easy Chores for a Two Year Old
What A Two Year Can Do
What can a two year old do? I often ask myself when working with a group of twos, what can they really do. How far can I push the idea of independence for which they so much strive. What is the threshold of their capabilities? Two years old is a very special age. It’s the age where they want to do everything “On my own” and “By myself.” It’s the age of the beginning of independence, self-reliance and perseverance.
Parents are sometimes surprised at how much a two year old can do. They are talented little people with a great desire to learn and grow. With a little help, a two year old can pour milk, drink from a cup, set the dinner table, use a fork and clear the table when the meal is finished. She can take her shoes off, put on a hat, and find the missing sock. With minimal assistance, a two year old can accomplish these tasks and in doing so, develop life skills and build self esteem. Yes, sometimes this can take longer, but this extra time is valuable and can afford many beneficial learning experience.
In order to help your child have these experiences, make tasks child friendly so that they can participate. Here are some 10 easy chores a two year old child can do:
- Dust: Put socks on their hands and make a game of it.
- Laundry: Match socks. Put clothes into the washer, dryer or hamper.
- Prepare Dinner: Rinse veggies. Set the table. Help pour drinks and serve food.
- Table Manners: Drink from a cup. Use a napkin and child-size silverware.
- Help put toys away: Label bins and toy areas clearly to make for easy clean-up.
- Feed and walk pets: Put food in dog or cat bowl. Walk or ride along on dog walks.
- Get dressed and undressed: Put on/off shoes. Select his outfit. Put on hat and zip her coat.
- Groceries: Help shop and help remove groceries from the bag to be put away.
- Dishes: Help rinse dishes, put soap in dishwasher and shut the door.
- After meal clean up: Wipe face and hands, clear plate, and wipe table.
By taking the time to think like a toddler, you can create day-to-day learning experiences that will increase your toddlers’ independence as well as build their self-esteem. To make these challenges toddler friendly, do things like attach a key ring to the zipper of her coat so she can zip it on her own. Lay clothes out each day in the same spot so he can find his outfit. Buy shoes that are easy for a young child to slip on and off.
Not all of these tasks will be mastered after only a few tries. The dog food won’t always land in the bowl, the table won’t be truly cleaned after your toddler wipes the spill; but they accomplished a task. You can help teach your child perseverance, and watch, as she becomes a proud and accomplished preschooler!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Candice Chouinard has worked with youth of all ages and backgrounds, creating and implementing programing for children. She revels in hand-on, long-term, messy projects that are both fun and educational. Candice comes from a background in creative writing, as well as, child development and psychology. She owns and operates a day care in Northampton, MA.
[Photo credit: (cc) Christopher Vu]