Children like to contribute. Even two year olds can do things to help. They often say, “Let me do it myself” so try to find ways for your child to help with chores around the house. We have to remember how challenging it is for them and use certain guidelines to make the task easier.

We forget how complicated certain skills are to them. Realize that certain activities like baking involve multiple tasks and abilities and are therefore more challenging. Having a child perfect the process of baking is like someone asking you and I to play a beautiful piece on the piano without our ever having played before.  If they are corrected a lot while doing the job, they will get discouraged. In fact, I don’t say, “That’s wrong”. I just demonstrate. If it is still too hard, wait to show them later. Take a deep breath and let go of notions of anything close to perfection. They are just learning.


Show them how to do it first.

Do more demonstrating and less talking.

Break the pieces down into small movements.

Make sure they can see your hands and fingers as you do it.

Make sure they are watching your fingers as you do it. If they make a mess, have them clean but do the real cleaning when they aren’t around.

Chores Two and Three Year Olds Can Do:

  • Water plants

  • Turn the light switches off at night
  • Wipe up their own spills
  • Feed the dog

  • Set the table (set an example place)

  • Unload utensils from dishwasher
  • Pick up toys 

The value of children doing jobs is that they learn competencies and feel good about themselves for having contributed to the family.