We all want to raise productive, responsible children. We want them to know that a family is a team. A family works together to accomplish that family’s goals, complete everyday tasks, and honor the Lord. Starting chores from a young age is a vital way to help kids learn all of these things. One year old is not too young! Here are some ideas for chores your one-year-old can help with.
Why teach children to do chores?
We teach our children to do chores because we are raising people. People who (we hope) will be responsible adults, productive members of society, and joyful servants of their families, friends, and neighbors.
Not only do we want them to be prepared for adulthood, but we also believe that they can be helpers in the home from a young age. Everyone is a part of the family team — even when they’re little. And they are so proud to be a part of it!
How to make chores fun and rewarding
Our attitudes are what will shape our kids’ attitudes about chores more than anything else. This is such a responsibility and privilege! If they get to watch mommy joyfully wash the dishes and fold the laundry each day, they’re probably going to be excited to do the same. If they see daddy cheerfully take the trash out and shovel the driveway, there’s a good chance they’ll be eager to jump in. Strive to show your kids with your attitude and actions that you love serving your family—it is truly such a joy.
Secondly, choose chores that your kids can actually do. You’d be surprised at how capable a one-year-old is. Still, don’t start by asking your toddler to do something that they barely have the dexterity to even accomplish. If it’s too physically difficult to do the job, they’ll probably just end up getting frustrated. Start with chores that they can actually do well, and then build up from there.
Chores your one-year-old can help with
Here’s a list of chores that we’ve found to work really well for our one-year-old. Not all of these get done perfectly, obviously, but she’s learning to help, and each time she actually becomes a little bit more helpful.
- Putting away clean silverware
- Helping to switch laundry
- Putting away socks
- Throwing away diapers
- Putting pajamas away each morning
- Putting dirty laundry in the hamper
- Unloading groceries
- Getting the baby’s blanket or spit rag
- Setting the table (non-fragile items like salad dressing or silverware)
- Picking up toys
- Putting boots away
- Simple cooking tasks, such as sprinkling cheese on pizza
How to give chores to a one-year-old
Some of these chores are everyday responsibilities, but most simply happen as she follows mom or dad around during everyday life.
For example, pajamas need to be put away every morning. This is a routine. But clean silverware only need to be put away whenever the dishwasher is clean. If she’s around, she will help. But if she’s happily playing in the other room, I’m not about to interrupt just so that she can put a few pieces of silverware away.
Training our children
It’s our job to train our children, and the home is where most of their training will take place. We are to teach them daily how to do these necessary tasks so that they can be prepared for life and can learn to be a part of the family.
Show them that there is joy in working and serving. Sing while you go!
What chores have you found work best for littles? Let us know in the comments!