Cleaning Kids

For the past few weeks my 14 month old has really begun to exhibit signs that he understands what I say. So, I’ve been trying to do something new by letting him help me clean. You may initially think 14 months is too young for a child to learn responsibility, but I think not. I’ve mentioned before that he “helps” put dishes in the dishwasher. That, of course, is more of a learning activity, but I talk it through with him and he is actually very good about certain aspects of it…like closing the door. He knows what closing the door means and he does it.

He can also obey instructions and do the following quite well:

  • Put items back in a cabinet
  • Pick up toys to put in a basket
  • Take items back where they belong (for example, he put a pillow back on the couch this morning)
  • Hold a dustpan while I sweep into it (I have to finish the job though!)

I even let him hold a small broom and dustpan to occupy the time while I sweep and mop the floors.

And, thanks to a wonderful friend, he has this cute vacuum to use on our rug!

Since my little guy has been such a great help around the house, I’ve been doing some research on age appropriate responsibilities for children that I’ll be sharing with you in the next few days. Until then, I’d love to know how you let your children help with household activities and at what age(s) they “graduate” to a new activity.


Have you tried anything new lately? If so, visit and link up to Try New Adventures at Alicia’s Homemaking!


  1. Alicia's Homemaking says

    Oh my gosh, this is too cute! And it blows my mind that in 6 months my son can be doing the same things. I’m a huge proponent of having your kids help out from the youngest age possible, so I’m looking forward to your coming posts.
    Thanks for linking up today, Christine! 😀 You’re awesome.

  2. says

    We now live in the middle east and my kids (11,9,3,1.5) have always been good at helping out but at one point we had a live-in housemaid for 6 months and we all got lazy. After our housemaid left (our choice – long story), we looked at our upside down house and knew that we had to get the kids more involved or I’d be one stressed mum!

    My 11yr old DD does all the laundry (taking it from the hamper to the washer to the dryer then folding it and back to the bedrooms)
    My 9 yr old DS does the dishwasher (loading and unloading but the 3 yr old helps by taking the plastic plates to the cupboard)
    The 1.5 yr old likes wiping, mopping and sweeping
    They both lay the table but the 3 yr old helps fill and carry the water jug to the table. They’re all laying the table as I write this and I’m a lot less stressed even than when we had a housemaid!
    Looking forward to seeing what other jobs I could give them!

  3. pita says

    My kids are older (14 and 12) but from the time they could get around on their own, they would help me with house work. Little ones like to copy what you are doing, so I let them do what ever I was doing. If I was dusting, they got a feather duster. If I was cleaning windows, they got water in a spray bottle and a rag. Picking up their toys I think was the first chore both of them had. You can make a game of it depending on how old they are. Littler ones you can work on colors by saying put the red dinosaur in the toy bucket, or something like that. Bigger tots you can make it a race to see who can get the most toys in the basket in 5 minutes.
    My 12 year old used to help with the laundry when she was little. I pulled teh wet stuff out of the washer and she pushed it into the dryer. When we moved and I had a clothes line, she could hand me clothes pins or the wet clothes to hang up. When they want to shadow you everywhere, let them help out. Mine are easier to get to do chores than my friend’s kids and I think it’s because they have always helped out. They aren’t angels about it, but they don’t fight about it.

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