All things creative

When I realized my 2yo can participate in household chores.

“Never do for your child what they are capable of doing for themselves” I’m not sure who said this but seems quite right and it is something I thought I knew. Doing for your children, what they can very well do, can erode their confidence and sense of significance and assuming they can’t do something can actually be discouraging. Having them do things around the house can help develop their sense of contribution too. I used to think that letting my children wear clothes by themselves and tying their shoe laces on their own is what this was about. Until lockdown 2020 happened.

Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. And my 2-year-old too won’t be left behind. He wants to be the one putting away dishes once they dry up, cleaning up the dining table after meals, folding laundry and even shelling corn. I would never in my wildest dreams have imagined 2-year-olds to be capable of so much. So, I am putting together a list of household chores for very young children. You would have come across these lists before, but they have all been for people in countries where house help is not so common. Now with most Indians facing the same issue, I think we may have become even more inventive than our western counterparts.

18 months – 3 Years

  1. Wake up older siblings: this is my little one’s most favourite task. Since he is up a few hours before his older sibling, he eventually loses patience. Left to him, he would prefer to pull her hair until she is wildly shrieking the first thing in the morning. But I have been training him to give her a kiss and hug and be gentle. This is didi’s favourite moment too.
  2. Come and hand me my phone when it rings: It is really heart-warming; the way little ones want to be of help around the house. He just absolutely loves it when he is able to give me the phone before the ringer dies. It’s like an accomplishment for him.
  3. Turn on / off the lights and fans when asked and also as per their own whims and fancies
  4. Dress up: My little fellow loves to choose his clothes, a towel for his bath and also loves to dress up himself. He needs help with the Tees but is completely set with the lowers.
  5. Help put groceries away: especially potatoes, onions in the basket, fruits in the fruit basket and other veggies in the vegetable box in the refrigerator
  6. Wash vegetables: this is another one of his favourite tasks. He just loves to wash veggies and also put them in the right container for cooking
  7. Cleaning the table post meals
  8. Fold his own clothes like his tees and shorts and small hand towels
  9. Put the small clothes to dry. Especially now that our clothes stand is inside the house, thanks to the rains, he thoroughly enjoys this additional activity
  10. Throw trash in the trash bin – things like wrappers, diapers, pieces of paper etc.
  11. Water the plants – this one is an absolute delight as they can see the result of their effort on a growing plant
  12. Put away toys in the correct boxes. He can put away the cars on the car boxes, the blocks in their box, crayons in its box and so on
  13. Set placemats on the dining table



July 26, 2020 at 9:44 pm

2 year old comes in my mind like a dependable, running around crazy naughty baby who’s job it to spill around and mom’s job to keep cleaning the mess 🙃, it’s brilliant to connect them with so much capacities already…

    September 26, 2020 at 7:00 am

    Yes, that happens too you know 🙂 but we are learning to pick up after ourselves. You know who the inspiration is when to comes to treating children like mini adults 🙂

September 18, 2020 at 11:42 am

Very well written Veena….can already relate to a lot of activities mentioned in your list….

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