Chores are not a bad thing. They help to teach kids the value of work and their belongings. They prepare your child for the future and give valuable life skills.
Starting chores early also develops good habits- no more toys and dirty laundry all over the house!
Below are 17 chores for a 3 year old- and in most cases 2 year olds can do these too. Don’t forget that kids won’t do their chores as thoroughly as you, but you need to let them learn without you butting in and telling them they are doing it wrong (cause that’s no fun for anyone!)
17 Chores a 3 Year Old Can Do Alone (and Most 2 Year Olds Too!)
Empty dishwasher: Maybe not the glassware or breakable plates, but 3 year olds are capable of putting away Tupperware, pots and pans, and sorting the silverware
Put own dishes in the sink or dishwasher: Putting their own dirty dishes in the sink or loading them into the dishwasher is another chore a 2 or 3 year old can complete on their own.
Wipe down the table after dinner: Wiping down the table with a cloth or sponge after meals is a great chore for the 3 year old in the house.
Place dirty clothes in the hamper: You don’t want to be picking dirty clothes off the floors when your kids are teenagers! Train them early where to put their clothes after they take them off.
Put clothes in dryer: If you have a front loading washing machine, 3 years can help to take the clean clothes out of the wash and place them in the dryer. They’ll just need help turning the dryer on!
Put clean clothes away in drawers: 3 year olds may not be able to help fold all of the clean clothes but they can help fold towels and cloths- and put their own stack of clean laundry in their drawers.
Hang up their coat: No mom wants to find coats dropped on the floor in front of the rack! Put up a coat rack at your child’s level so they can hang up their own coats and jackets.
Pick up their toys: Now you won’t be able to say “Clean up!” and have them follow direction, but picking up after himself is a chore any 3 year old can handle. You may have to direct them in their cleaning- put the cars in the box, the dolls in the cradle, etc. But they can handle it, so don’t do it for them!
Dust low shelves or windowsills: Dusting is the perfect first cleaning chore for 3 year olds. I like to give them a baby wipe and let them clean any shelves and windowsills they can reach. They best thing is- they think it’s fun!
Feed the Pets: Got a dog or cat? Your 3 year old is fully able to give them their daily meals! Just place an appropriate sized scoop in the food. Have a fish tank? Teach them to take just a pinch! Live on a farm- feeding chickens is more fun than work!
Place books back on the bookshelf: We read a lot and stacks of books on the couch or floor isn’t my thing. Your 3 year old can re-shelve the books easily. Be sure to teach them the correct way (spine out and vertical!) or you’ll end up with stacks of books on the shelf instead.
Sweep or Mop: In this day there are so many new tools that make cleaning so much easier- especially for a 3 year old. If you have a carpet sweeper, dust mop, or swiffer sweeper- put your 3 year old in charge of cleaning a room!
Clean up Spills: 3 year olds are capable of cleaning up more than just toy messes. If they spill let them handle the clean up. A sponge or towel for wet messes. A hand broom or dust buster for dry messes. I promise you they won’t think of it as much work as you do.
The following chores may not apply to everyone, but 3 year old can do these chores too!
Collect eggs: If you have chickens, collecting eggs is a fun chore that can be handled starting around 2-3 years old.
Gather kindling: We heat with wood and often need a pile of kindling for starting the wood burning stove. This is a great chore for a 3 year old while the big kids or mom and dad are carrying in fire wood.
Pull weeds: The garden is a family affair. We all plant and we all weed. Little hands can help just as much as big ones.
Harvest from the Garden: Harvesting can be done as soon as kids can walk. 3 year olds can pick tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes, and more and bring them inside the house.
Do you have a 3 year old in the house? What chores do they do?
You may also like:
11 Gross Motor Activities for Toddlers to Build Muscles and Coordination
When to Move Your Toddler to a Big Kid Bed
6 Must-Try Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers- Plus Variations
5 Ways to Get Kids To Pick Up Their Stuff