Is it too early to give my daughter chores?

Toddlers love to help, and there are many age-appropriate chores that your daughter can help you with. For example, picking up her toys when she is done playing with them. To make it easier for her to help, create designated spaces to put away books and toys (for example, in a basket or on a bookshelf). Baskets are great because you can put a photo of the toy on the front of basket to help her identify where the toy goes. You can make clean-up time more fun by turning it into a game and taking turns identifying the correct basket to put each toy in. Some other ideas of age-appropriate chores are helping to transfer the laundry into the dryer, dusting, taking dishes into the kitchen after eating, putting dirty clothes in the hamper, helping to feed or walk the family pet, setting the table, and making the bed. You can also buy a play broom or vacuum and “clean” together. To help her remember what chores she has to do each day, make a chore chart and have her place a sticker or magnet over each chore she completes.

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

Child Development Expert

Jennie Ito is a mother of two and a child development consultant who specializes in children’s play and toys. Before becoming a consultant for LeapFrog, she was an intern at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and later worked as a content expert for the Association of Children’s Museum’s “Playing for Keeps” Play Initiative. Jennie earned her doctorate degree in developmental psychology at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.

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