Today I want to talk about one of my favorite tools for making parenting easier: chore charts for toddlers! After working in a preschool, running a home daycare for 2 years, and having 3 kids of my own, I can definitely say that chore charts can make a huge difference.
If you have spent any time with toddlers, you know they can definitely be an adventure. They are often stubbornly trying to insist on their own independence while also constantly trying to take themselves out because they have very little concept of danger.
They are adorably cute, but also kind of exhausting. That’s why I love using chore charts with toddlers. Anything that gets them to more readily cooperate with family life and learning those important life skills at the toddler stage – I am all about it!
Today I am going to go over my favorite chore charts that make parenting a toddler a little easier.
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4 Chore Charts for Toddlers That Make Parenting Easier
In this post, I’m going to cover the 4 types of chore charts that I have found to be the most useful for toddlers. These chore charts will work great for kids ages 2 and up.
Under each type of chore chart, I will provide an example, the benefits of this type of chore chart, and how to use it. Toward the bottom of the post, I will also share the links to some of my favorite chore charts that I like to use.
Chore List for Toddlers
A chore list for toddlers is one of the most basic and common chore charts that you can use. These are usually simply a list of chores or tasks that your child will complete each day.
Included is space for them to mark off when the task is complete.
Benefits of using chore lists for toddlers…
This chore chart for toddlers is great for teaching your child the skills and habits of picking up after themselves, following directions, and independence. When our kids start venturing out into the rest of the world, we want them to know how to take care of their possessions and contribute to group environments like at school.
A lot of that begins by teaching them how to do chores at home when they are young. When we them to pick up their toys, put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket, and make their beds, we help them learn the skills they will need later in life.
Plus, you are only one person. Odds are pretty good you don’t have the time nor do you want to spend it cleaning up after your child all day. It’s important for them and for YOU that they learn how to clean up after themselves and help with household chores.
How to use chore lists…
At this age, it’s extra important that you use chore lists in a fun and engaging way. Toddlers are notoriously stubborn and you don’t want it to become a battle.
You probably already have your hands full with potty training and trying to get them to eat something other than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. (I know I sure do! 🙋)
You don’t want the chore chart to be one more battle in your day.
Make it fun!
Make using the chore charts fun for your kids. Use fun stickers or markers to fill in when they have completed a task. You could also let them color in the chore chart.
Find chore charts with cool pictures or characters that get their attention.
Make a big celebration every time they complete a task on the list. The whole goal is to create an enjoyable experience around doing their chores and filling out the chart.
This will help create a positive attitude around doing chores and will make your life a whole lot easier as they get older.
Keep it age-appropriate
Make sure that the chores you add to the list are age-appropriate for your kids. That means that the chores are tasks they can easily do depending on their age and ability.
Here are some chore examples for toddlers:
- Feed the dog/cat
- Pick up their toys
- Help with the laundry
- Put dishes in the sink
- Carry in groceries
- Water plants
- Set the table
- Put clothes away
- Clean off the table
- Make their bed
Click HERE to find more chore lists for toddlers!
Learn how chore charts help preschoolers learn to be more independent with this post: 5 Quick Tips for Teaching Independence in Preschoolers.
Potty Training Charts
The next chore chart for toddlers I want to tell you about is potty training charts! These are great for helping those reluctant potty trainers start transitioning out of diapers.
With my oldest daughter I potty trained her at home with just us, so I took the easy route and would offer a piece of candy every time she went potty. This worked well enough to get her excited about the idea.
With my second daughter, I was running a home daycare and I didn’t really want to be handing out candy and dealing with everyone wanting a piece every time she went potty. That meant I had to find something else that would help motivate her.
Potty training charts have been a great substitution. They work well in group environments and at daycares. Plus, I don’t have to worry about creating bad habits and upping our tooth brushing routine to combat all the extra candy.
Potty charts have worked especially well with my son. He has been a very reluctant potty trainer. He turned 3 last month and we are still in the early stages of potty training.
We are using the dinosaur potty chart I pictured above, and he LOVES it! He gets so excited about putting a new star on his “dinosaur chart” that he no longer runs away when I tell him it’s time to go potty.
Benefits of using potty training charts…
Potty training charts make potty training so much more fun! It’s a great way to create enthusiasm about using the potty without having to resort to candy or treats.
After having used both, I definitely prefer using the potty charts. I also like the idea that I can switch between different printable potty charts to keep things fresh and interesting.
Sometimes potty training can take a while, so anything that keeps the momentum going is great!
Potty charts are also good for creating a positive experience around going potty. A lot of children can develop nervousness and fear when they feel too much pressure to use the potty before they are ready.
I have seen children develop constipation issues and anxiety from the result of getting in trouble or being punished for having accidents. These types of experiences can take a long time to resolve and often lead to even more issues later on.
I much prefer to keep things positive and enjoyable and potty charts are great for that.
How to use potty training charts…
To use a potty chart, simply tape the chart to the wall, fridge, or some other surface that the child can easily see at eye level. I like to post ours right near the potty so that my son can make an easy connection with going to the potty and getting a new start on his chart.
You can use stickers, markers, stamps, or whatever you like to fill in your potty chart. I keep a marker near our chart and just draw a star each time he goes potty.
Make sure you clearly explain how the chart works. You can fill in the chart every time they try to go potty, successfully pee in the potty, or successfully poop in the potty.
It all depends on where your child is at with their potty training. Right now my son doesn’t poop in the potty yet, so he just gets a star for when he actually goes pee.
Make sure you make a big celebration every time they get to fill in their potty chart. Remember, the whole point is to encourage them to want to go potty regularly and be excited and proud when they do it.
Click HERE to find more potty training charts for toddlers!
Morning Routine Checklist
The third type of chore chart for toddlers that I use to make parenting easier is morning routine charts. For these I like to use chore charts with pictures so my child can easily reference the chart without being able to read.
A morning routine chore chart is simply a list of tasks that your child needs to do each morning before they are ready to head out the door.
Benefits of mourning routine checklists…
Morning routine charts are great if you have more than one kid and you don’t have time to direct them on what they need to do each day before leaving the house.
This can be a lifesaver if you have several kids that you are trying to get ready for school all at once. I also really like to use these with older kids as well.
You can easily laminate a printable morning routine chart and then just use a dry erase marker for them to check them off each morning before leaving the house.
It also makes a good list for you to check before you leave the house to make sure you got everything done. I can’t tell you how many times I used to rush out the door running late somewhere just to look over and realize I had forgotten to brush my daughter’s hair.
If I had a morning routine checklist like the one above, I would have remembered to fix her hair before we left. We’d still have been late, but at least we would have looked a little more presentable lol.
How to use morning routine checklists…
To use a morning routine checklist, simply print it off and post it where your kids can easily see it. A few good spots to post it are in their room where they can see it when they wake up, in the bathroom, or near the front door where everyone will see it before they walk out the door.
You can use stickers, shapes, stamps, markers, or crayons to check out the checklist. As I mentioned before, you can even laminate them so that you can easily reuse them week after week.
As you are trying to get everyone ready in the morning, you can use the checklist to remind your child of what they need to do next. Toddlers may need some help getting through some of their morning tasks, but it helps set a great foundation for when they get older.
Older kids can work through the list independently. Then before you head out the door, you can double-check with them that they did everything on the list.
Click HERE to get a copy of this Morning Routine Checklist!
Bedtime Routine Checklist
The last chore chart for toddlers that I have found to make parenting a little easier is a bedtime routine checklist. If you don’t decide to use any other type of chore chart, I really encourage you to use this one.
In our bedtime routine checklist, we have a list of all the activities that we do before bed to help my son unwind and get settle down for bed.
Having a set bedtime routine for my son has made all the difference in our evening routines. Once I implemented a consistent bedtime routine we could both rely on, he started going to sleep easier, faster, and sleeping much better through the night!
My son (my youngest) has been a poor sleeper since day 1. He nursed nonstop, always wanted to cosleep, and generally left me sleep-deprived the first 2 years of his life.
It was a pretty big deal when we finally got our bedtime routine down to about 20 minutes and he finally started sleeping through the night. Using a bedtime routine checklist played a big part in that.
Benefits of bedtime routine checklists…
Bedtime routine checklists are great for making bedtime easier, faster, and more organized. Children thrive off of routine and consistency. When they know exactly what’s coming next it really helps calm and relax them. Exactly how you want them to be feeling when it’s time to settle down for bed.
Having a checklist makes it easy to stick to the same calming and relaxing activities before bed every night.
Just like with morning routines, I like to use chore charts with pictures for bedtime routine checklists. This way readers and nonreaders can use the checklist to easily work through their bedtime routine independently.
If you have several kids you’re trying to put to bed at night or your bedtime routine takes forever and usually feels like chaos, using a checklist to keep everyone more organized and make bedtime more peaceful can really help.
How to use bedtime routine checklists…
To use a bedtime routine checklist, simply print it off and place it where the bedtime routine usually starts. If you start bedtime with brushing teeth, then maybe post it in the bathroom. If you start by getting into pajamas, then maybe post it in your child’s room.
Then check in with the chart to make sure you’re are going through the steps of their bedtime routine. Older children can do this independently, but toddlers will probably need some guidance.
If you want to eventually encourage your child to do it on their own, reference the checklist and the picture next to each step of the routine. That way your child will learn to “read” the picture next to each step and understand what part of their bedtime routine comes next.
You can laminate the checklist and mark off each step of the routine as you go along each night, or simply use it as a reference so that you don’t miss any steps.
Stay consistent with the order of your bedtime routine
One helpful tip when it comes to making a bedtime routine work is to stay consistent with the steps of the bedtime routine and the order. Bedtime routines are the most effective when you keep the timing and order of the bedtime routine the same every single night.
This allows your child to rely on the predictability of it. Their brain will begin to associate those steps taken in that order leading to sleep every night.
After a few weeks of consistency, the routine will feel easy and fast because it will actually serve to help them unwind and relax. Then when it’s time to turn out the light and actually go to sleep, they are all settled down and ready for bed.
Click HERE to get a FREE copy of this Bedtime Routine Checklist
Want to learn how to get make bedtime easier? Check out this post on How to Create a Soothing Bedtime Routine for Toddlers.
Where to Find Chore Charts for Toddlers
My favorite places to find chore charts for toddlers are on Pinterest and Etsy. Pinterest offers lots of printable chore charts that you can get for free. Etsy has lots of unique printable and customizable chore charts.
My Favorite Chore Charts for Toddlers
This chore chart with pictures lists out everything your homeschool child needs to do throughout the day. The pictures make it easy for readers and nonreaders to keep track of their daily tasks.
Get it HERE.
This chore chart for multiple kids is simple and very customizable. You can keep everyone’s chores organized in one place. Blank spaces make it easy to list out different age-appropriate chores for each child.
Get it HERE.
This morning routine checklist can help make sure your little one is ready to go each morning. This chore chart with pictures is great for readers and nonreaders to follow along independently.
Get it HERE.
This is a great chore chart for little boys. The cars make it fun and interesting to check off their chores throughout the day. When you purchase this chore chart, you also get a copy with blank spaces if you prefer to list out your own chores.
Get it HERE.
This chore chart works well for girls and boys. When you purchase this chore chart, you also get a copy with blank spaces if you prefer to list out your own chores.
Get it HERE.
This is a great chore chart for little girls. The pretty flowers are a nice touch to keep your child engaged as they check off their chores throughout the day. When you purchase this chore chart, you also get a copy with blank spaces if you prefer to list out your own chores.
Get it HERE.
So what’s next?
So those are my favorite chore charts for toddlers that make parenting a little easier. Keeping a toddler alive, well-fed, and happy is work enough. I have found that using chore charts definitely makes getting through each day and teaching those important life skills a little easier. If you give them a try, I hope the same is true for you.
What about your family? Do you use chore charts for toddlers to help make parenting easier? Tell us below in the comments or email me at Candice@littlestepsbighappy.com. Follow me on Pinterest for more parenting tips and advice.
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I’m a busy mom of 3 turned Health and Fitness Coach and Self Defense Instructor. I help inspire other moms to reach their health, fitness, and weight loss goals. You can usually find me chasing my kiddos around, training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or sneaking away to read romance novels. About Me