cleaning the sink
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Chores for a 3 year old

It seems three year olds love being like their parents.  N is definitely one of this group, as he loves to be like Daddy, doing ‘jobs’ on the farm (on Sunday, he spent almost 3 hours on the farm with his dad, riding on the tractor and helping clear out barns).  And he also likes doing jobs around the house.

I can’t say that he’s particularly helpful yet when doing his jobs, but I’m all for letting him help out when he wants to.

So far the jobs that he likes to do include:

1. Cleaning the bath.  Usually while someone’s in the shower.  He uses his flannel, so it’s not particularly hygienic and cleans the outside panel and top.  My next aim is to get him cleaning the inside of the bath after he and his dad have been in it!

2. Cleaning the kitchen floor.  Since we’ve had the Dyson DC54 Cinetic to test, N quite frequently gets it out to push it around.  If it’s been plugged in already all the better as he knows how to switch it on.  I’m not convinced his technique’s up to much yet.

He’ll also get the broom out.  This is definitely not his best job.  It’s a case of sweeping the bits everywhere, and anything I’ve already swept into one spot, gets moved around and dispersed elsewhere.  The dustpan and brush technique needs some work as well.

Oh, and he loves cleaning down the sink.  Strange child.  I’m trying to get through to him that we pay on water meter so he shouldn’t be wasting water.

cleaning the sink

3. Unloading the dishwasher.  He’s not bad at this although I do start to hyperventilate when I see him grabbing several plates at once.  But so far (touch wood), he’s not smashed anything or cut himself on sharp knives.  He also puts the unloaded items away.

4. Hanging up wet washing.  One definitely to be worked on.  Obviously hanging wet clothes on a clothes horse is hard (the OH definitely struggles with flattening and straightening clothes first!), and N likes to help by removing the wet clothes from the wash basket and dropping them on the floor.  I’ve now just about got him handing them to me to put on the dryer, but he’s too quick.  Needs more training, I think.

5. Making breakfast. Sometimes in the morning N will go downstairs when his dad comes in, but it’s quite a rarity, as usually they destroy the beds by making dens with the duvets and pillows.  But this morning I went downstairs after my shower to find the living room empty (tv still on Tractor Ted).  I checked everywhere and found him sat at the table eating weetabix.  He’d pulled a chair over to the fridge, climbed up and grabbed the (what I thought was empty) box, found the last Weetabix, put it in a bowl, found his milk, pour it out without spilling any (compared with me, who spilt lots yesterday as the spout was leaking).  He was so proud of himself.

eating breakfast the toddler's made himself


I love the fact he’s got so independent, but N does continue to surprise me with how quickly he picks things up and how much he wants to be involved.

What do your children like to do?  How do they copy you? What do you think are the perfect chores for a 3 year old?

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  1. Good ideas for the little ones to help out. My kids would help with laundry and sweeping the floors. When they are that age, they love to help!


  2. Chores are definitely a work in progress in our house too. Our main success is with getting LP to put things in the washing up bowl when she’s finished with them and to grab a tea towel if she spills something.

  3. LOVE this!! Take full advantage of him wanting to help now while he is little. Cause at some point that stops 🙁

    1. I know. I’m hoping I’ll be able to tie chores in to pocket money, but I have a feeling he’ll just want to be out on the farm with his dad when he’s older!

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