Preschoolers are messy and they love to help. Take advantage of the enthusiasm and get your kids involved in your daily household tasks. It’s never too early to give your young kids age-appropriate chores. Here’s my personal list of Chores Your Three Year Old Can Do.
My daughter does all of these chores and she thinks they are all a lot of fun. I never have to force her to do any of them. We do them together and we make it fun. Note that I don’t expect adult-level competency from her when she’s completing these tasks. I help her through them and she’ll get better with time.
11 Chores Your Three Year Old Can Do
1. Fold Laundry
Yup! My three year old loves to help me fold towels, wash cloths, and cloth diapers. She even loves to fold her own shirts and pants. Her piles don’t look perfect every time, but that’s 100% okay. She’s three and she’s learning and she LOVES to help. She’s actually gotten really good at folding washcloths and towels and putting them away!
2. Pick up Toys and Other Items
By three, your child can pick up after themselves. I try to start teaching my kids to pick up their toys way before three. I also make sure that my daughter puts her own things away. When she comes inside and takes her shoes off, she knows that they are supposed to be put into the shoe basket. I don’t need everyone in the house leaving their shoes all over the place – the mess adds up really quickly.
This task is really easy for the younger ages if you have a catch-all toy box. Or if you are picking up one type of toy at a time. Trying picking up all the puzzle pieces and put them into the puzzle box. Then pick up the dolls and put them away – even your very small kids (ages 1 or 2) can do this task.
I let her walk through the house with a dust wand or a dust mitt! I get the stuff up high and she does the stuff down at her level. My kids get the biggest kick out of helping around the house.
4. Feed the Dogs
There’s no reason my three year old can’t scoop up some dog food and fill the bowls! She knows how much the dogs are supposed to have to eat. Consider getting a scoop with the correct measurement of food your dog needs to make it easier.
5. Sort Laundry
This age is great for sorting laundry. Have your 3 yr old help you sort the whites and colors. They’ll be learning about their colors and helping you do chores.
Yup. Depending on the vacuum you own, your child can definitely vacuum. We have a light-weight cordless Dyson from Amazon and my daughter thinks it’s the biggest thrill to vacuum the living room. I wouldn’t recommend this though if your vacuum is really heavy or if they are afraid of the vacuum.
7. Clean up Spills
In our house, if you make the spill, you clean the spill. That rule even goes for our brand new two year old! We keep the cleaning rags and kitchen towels low enough that they can help themselves and clean their own mess. And then they know to put the dirty rag next to the washing machine.
8. Help with Meals
If you can, try to involve your 3 year old in your meal-time routine. Kids are great at adding ingredients, stirring, and even carefully slicing strawberries. We have some beginner, child-safe knives that the kids can use to slice strawberries and other soft fruits. Speaking of soft fruits, they like to smash bananas for banana bread. There’s a lot of way you can get them involved in cooking.
9. Setting the Table
Take out the plates, bowls, basic utensils and place them on the table. Have your three-year-old set the items at each seat.
10. Water Plants
We got adorable little gardening kits in the Target Dollar Spot this spring. Each of our kids has their own watering can now. I fill up the cans and let them water my outdoor plants and flowers.
When I have tomatoes that are ripe and ready to pick, I can ask my daughter to pick them for me. I swear this stuff doesn’t feel like a chore to her. She loves it!
11. Clean off and wipe down the table
Your child, even at just 3, is capable of basic table manners. Our kids are expected to asked to be excused nicely before getting down. They can take their plates to the sink to be washed. They also can be asked to wipe down their place at the table if they’ve made a mess. If you use a safe and natural all-purpose cleaner, you can even let them use it!
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