Do you let your one year old help around the house?

Our daughter Evie loves joining in with the housework. She’s been helping with the chores since she was one years old. Every morning in our house, the kitchen floor gets swept and one of us loads the washing machine with the first set of clothes.

10 chores for a one year old

Evie started to learn that this is part of our morning house routine and it wasn’t long before we found her in the living room with the life size brush trying to sweep herself. 


As we needed the brush for ourselves (it’s really hard to get something back off a toddler when they decide it’s theirs!), we picked up a cute little cleaning kit from Tesco’s so that Evie could help out whenever she wanted too.

*Update…if you have an older child, check out my new post ‘10 Chores For A Three Year Old‘.

10 Chores For A One Year Old

Over the last few months she’s wanted to help out with more things so we’ve come up with 10 chores for a one year old that are easy to do and as a bonus, don’t make extra work for grown ups!

1. Picking up toys –

part of our routine is putting Evie’s toys away before bed. Every night Evie helps us to tidy away and shut the curtains before we go up to bath time. It’s become so ingrained in her routine that she sometimes starts it before us.

2. Help to wash up –

This is a new chore we’re starting to introduce. We occasionally put a soapy bowl on the floor and get Evie to help clean her own bowls and spoons. This is more of a fun messy play idea than a chore but she’s starting to recognise at the end of meal times that we wash up.

3. Wiping spills –

Evie is very messy with her water cup and daddy is sometimes very messy with food. If we give Evie a paper towel she loves to mimic us and help to wipe it up. There are lots of ‘ohhhh’ (her version of oh no) as we wipe. 

4. Watering plants –

We planted some flowers in the garden a while back and Evie helps us to water them. At first we had to encourage her to not drink the water herself and even though she drowns the plants, she loves being involved and brings us her watering can to fill up whenever she’s in the garden, which in summer is a lot. Poor plants!

5. Help to feed the cat or pets –

We don’t let Evie touch the cat food, but when the cat comes in the house, Evie’s clocked on that it’s dinner time. She always goes to the cupboard, gets out a pouch and gives it to us to feed him. 

6. Help to dust – 

Whenever we’re dusting we give Evie a little cloth too. Although she’s not quite worked out that we’re targeting dust yet, she loves to join in and dusts everything from her toys, to the floor, to Mummy.

7. Put dirty clothes in the wash basket –

At the end of the day when we get ready for her bath, Evie now helps us to put her own clothes in the wash basket.  

8. Help to vacuum –

Evie was terrified of the hoover so I started to use it more regularly and encouraged her to help push it. Now whenever I hoover, although she’s still a bit reluctant, she always comes over to help me whilst making a lot of ‘zoom zoom’ noises.

9. Sweep the floor – 

This is Evie’s favourite activity. She has her own little brush and follows us about sweeping. Although she’s too young to sweep the actual crumbs, it’s such a great start that she’s interested and enjoys helping.

10. Empty the tumble dryer –

The washing machine and tumble dryer are Evie’s favourite things in the whole wide world. Jamie uses some chemicals at work so I never let Evie help to load the washing machine in case they’re on his clothes. But when the clothes have cooled,  Evie helps us to unload the dryer into a basket and gets cross if we try and help her. She regularly checks to see if the clothes are finished throughout the day.

*please note – all of these chores are supervised! We never leave Evie unattended with any electrical items.


Shop kids cleaning kits…

Learning Responsibility

We love making cleaning fun for Evie and know in time this is going to help her to learn responsibility and to also see cleaning as part of everyday life.

Chores for a one year old

What age did you or would you start introducing chores to children? Do you think this is too young or do you think we should keep encouraging these skills?



  1. Emma Farley
    August 13, 2015 / 7:46 pm

    Such a great idea! My nephew is 14 months and loves helping my mum around the house.

    • August 13, 2015 / 8:59 pm

      Thank you! I’m glad someone agrees, I’m hoping this won’t cause controversy because of the age. 🙂 It’s so good to encourage them to help around isn’t it. x

  2. August 13, 2015 / 8:40 pm

    Great idea! My son is 14 months and once he’s properly on his feet and walking (he currently resembles a zombie) I will definitely be using some of these ideas. He also loves the washing machine so thats a great place to start! xxx

    • August 13, 2015 / 9:05 pm

      Thank you 😀 The washing machine was the first place we started. It’s so cute watching them try and help. We try and make it really fun but you’ve got to have a lot of patience. x

  3. August 14, 2015 / 11:08 am

    What great suggestions. Is it bad that I only ask him to tidy his toys and put stuff in the bin?? OMG the penny has just dropped that I am already creating a smelly unhelpful teenager!! The other ideas are just so simple that I will be introducing them tout suite. ? #TheList

    • August 16, 2015 / 4:28 pm

      Haha thank you. Definitely teach them laundry asap! Else they’ll be bringing it home when they’ve left home and have moved in with their girlfriends haha. That’s what my partner used to do with his mum. xx

  4. August 14, 2015 / 11:50 am

    Brilliant – very like our house (except the cat) They all love to ‘help’ #TheList

    • August 16, 2015 / 4:31 pm

      It’s so good they’re showing an interest now. Hopefully they’ll make tidy teenagers. If one of them exists. x

  5. August 15, 2015 / 8:43 pm

    Great ideas! My little boy has just turned one and I am realising he can be more independent and I should let him try to do things for himself. I try to encourage him to put his toys away but often think it will be quicker if I just do it myself – think I will give him more time. It’s great to instill these values from the start so that it is normal routine to tidy up after yourself. Really good post Xx

    • August 16, 2015 / 4:39 pm

      It did take a lot of patience and routine for Evie to start helping with the toys. There were lots of nights of her unpacking it while I was packing as well but slowly it’s working. It’s so hard to take things slowly isn’t it when you’re a mum. There is so much to do! I’ve been letting Evie help me with lots of stuff and inside i’m getting really frustrated because it’s taking ages but outside I’m like ‘wooo well done Evie!’ The times I almost gave up and did it myself, she surprised me and I realised how far she’d come and how much faster she’s become 🙂 x

  6. Alison at Home
    August 16, 2015 / 8:43 pm

    Sounds like a fun idea! Helps the little ones to get involved too. I also have a one year old who loves the washing machine and tumble dryer!

    Alison At Home!

    • August 18, 2015 / 8:03 pm

      haha they all seem to love the machines! They can sit in front of them for hours can’t they! So cute! x

  7. August 17, 2015 / 6:55 am

    Z has always been obsessed with the washing machine since he could stand and press buttons so I still rope him into filling and emptying that and the dryer, it helps me no end 🙂

    • August 18, 2015 / 8:04 pm

      It’s time consuming but it’s so great teaching them these life skills now isn’t it. I will NOT be having any washing coming home when Evie has flown the nest haha. x

  8. August 17, 2015 / 9:07 am

    Great list! I’ve tried getting Emma involved when I do stuff around the house and she loves it! I’m currently trying to teach her how to tidy away her toys – although she much rather prefers to take them out of the box and play with them lol x #MaternityMondays

    • August 18, 2015 / 8:06 pm

      Haha we were at that stage with Evie for so long. 80% of the time at bedtime she helps us to put them away. The other 20% of the time she pulls them out as we’re trying to put them away. It’s so good that they enjoy helping though isn’t it! x

  9. August 17, 2015 / 2:22 pm

    Little kiddies do so love to help don’t they and I do think it’s good for them, Monkey lives sweeping too though I am nowhere near as organised as you are so his chores are nowhere near as organised either!! Xx Thanks for linking with #MaternityMondays

    • August 18, 2015 / 8:08 pm

      It’s so lovely that they are choosing to help too! 😀 And so cute watching them try and sweep with brooms twice the size of them! x

  10. August 18, 2015 / 11:16 am

    My daughter loved to help me clean and tidy but now shes nearly 4 she doesn’t find it that fun anymore. I did get her to help me make dinner last night and pancakes this morning! still working on getting her to tidy up her toys. #twinklytuesday

    • August 18, 2015 / 8:13 pm

      Oh no!! Maybe they do all grow out of it. Maybe that’s the age when people start introducing chore charts and little rewards. x

  11. August 18, 2015 / 2:22 pm

    These are great ideas! It’s so cute she starts some of them herself, though a great clue that she’s ready for bedtime! ? #twinklytuesday

    • August 18, 2015 / 8:14 pm

      A really great clue! Although I think she’s so into a routine that she gets so overwhelmed if it changes. Not good! 🙂 But hopefully this is the start of a very helpful child! Fingers crossed! x

  12. August 18, 2015 / 9:01 pm

    Aw Evie looks so adorable helping you with chores. Now that I have seen you little one get so involved I think it’s time to get my daughter more involved other than chasing a vacuum or popping a duster on her head! Thanks for linking up, a great post. #TwinklyTuesdays

    • August 20, 2015 / 9:57 am

      Aww thank you. haha that’s very much how we started. Lots of feet being vacuumed and dusting the baby as I went along. 😀 x

  13. August 18, 2015 / 9:45 pm

    Love the pictures, what a cutie! We try to get our 1 year old to put his dirty clothes in the washing basket too, which he loves doing so much we find all sorts of other things in there too! He’s terrified of the hoover (I clearly haven’t used it enough) so we’re trying to help him get over his fear at the moment. #TheList

    • August 20, 2015 / 10:00 am

      It took ages for Evie to get over her fear of the hoover. Oddly she’s fine with it now, but if you so much as put on a hair dryer she’s gone! That’s so cute that he’s already helping put the washing away! Do be careful though. We taught Evie how to use the bin and just about managed to save her favourite cuddly lamb from the bin men this week (we thought we’d dropped it somewhere till we spotted Evie putting other stuff in the bin, one quick check of the outside bin and poor little lamb was amongst the old tea bags! :-() x

  14. August 20, 2015 / 7:42 pm

    Great tips and ideas! I definitely don’t think that 1 is too young to start! My son WANTED to help and be involved when he was that age and he enjoyed getting to help. At 2, he still likes to help with chores. I just dread the day when he no longer wants to help. 🙂

    • August 22, 2015 / 8:42 pm

      haha i think that day will come eventually unfortunately. That’ll be the day we’ll have to start rewarding for chores. x

      • August 22, 2015 / 8:46 pm

        Haha exactly!

  15. Lisa (mummascribbles)
    August 21, 2015 / 8:40 pm

    Zach was definitely around the same age when he decided he loved helping us with sweeping and loading the washing machine! I agree though, it’s hard to get whatever they have off them when you need it hehe! Great list here, he has definitely taken part in most of those over the last couple of years! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    • August 22, 2015 / 8:57 pm

      It’s so good that they love being involved isn’t it! Hopefully it’ll last till the teen years (although I’m not holding out). x

  16. August 23, 2015 / 7:19 am

    Oh wow! She does more than my two and a half year old! I think it’s great to start a routine so early. Well done! #SundayStars

    • August 24, 2015 / 5:51 pm

      I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing haha. I am such a tidier, she tends to tidy away her toys rather than play with them. Oops! x

  17. August 23, 2015 / 8:21 am

    So cute! My little boy loved helping me with chores when he was little. Everyone always commented on how domesticated he was lol. We bought him a toy Henry hoover for his first Birthday and he absolutely loved it.

    I love the last photo you posted – those dungarees are just adorable!


    • August 24, 2015 / 5:52 pm

      Oh how cute! I didn’t know they did mini Henry’s. Haha hopefully he’ll still be domesticated as a teenager. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. x

  18. August 23, 2015 / 3:02 pm

    This is a great idea. My little man has been helping around the house since he was about one. He loves helping me load and unload the washing machine and he loves sweeping. We got him his own little broom for christmas. Leo used to hate the hoover too but now he loves it, he makes the zoom noises too!xx #Sundaystars

    • August 24, 2015 / 5:54 pm

      Aww how cute!! 😀 It’s so lovely watching them trying to help isn’t it. I bet he loves his little broom. x

  19. August 27, 2015 / 7:47 pm

    aww how cute it she sweeping up! Lottie does alot of these things as well actually I never really thought about it much but she loves helping and putting things away she always goes in and tidies up her big sisters bedrooms for them!! Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars

    • August 30, 2015 / 9:44 pm

      Aww thank you. It’s so lovely that Lottie helps out as well, especially tidying her sisters rooms, how sweet! x

  20. September 20, 2015 / 6:07 pm

    Such a great list of ideas. We have found that as Big Red has grown, helping to fold the clean laundry has really helped with her colours. She loves matching the socks too!! #TwinklyTuesday

    • September 21, 2015 / 8:32 pm

      Oh wow what a great way to learn when they’re a bit older. You could turn it into a game as well! x

  21. Jessica
    January 1, 2018 / 1:54 pm

    I love this!!! So glad you’re teaching responsibility young!!! As a preschool teacher, I love when a kid comes in responsible enough to clean up the toys and their milk when they spill it!

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