How to Entertain Toddlers While Trying to Do Chores


Toddlers require constant attention because they seem to spin through the house like mini-tornados, going from one project to the next. They also have short attention spans so keeping them entertained while you clean your home is often a challenge. Providing the little one with a pastime allows you to get your work done while supervising him.

Things You'll Need

  • CD player with age-appropriate CDs
  • Headphones and age-appropriate audio books
  • Bathtub toys
  • Old T-shirt or cloth diaper
  • Miniature broom, vacuum or iron
  • Box with inexpensive, age-appropriate toys
  • Play a CD featuring age-appropriate tunes. Invite him to dance and sing along with you while you do the dishes in the kitchen or start preparing dinner. This is a fun way to provide both of you with exercise and bonding time. Don’t be surprised if you are tempted to dance a little jig between chores.

  • Provide him with headphones and an audio book. Sit him on the couch while you vacuum the living room or another area. If you have more than one room to vacuum, make sure you stop every few minutes to peek in on him.

  • Transport the cleaning supplies to the bathroom and then run some bathwater for him. Let him play with bubbles or his bath toys while you shine the faucets and mirrors, scour the toilet and other bathroom chores. Do not leave the room even for a short time while he is in the bath. Children can drown within a few seconds in just a couple of inches of water.

  • Ask your toddler if he will help you with the chores. If you teach him to do this while he is young, it will be a natural part of his routine when he is older, according to the Organized Home website. He will feel proud that you allow him to help like a big kid. You can give him an old T-shirt or cloth diaper and ask him to dust the kitchen chair legs. Other age-appropriate chores for toddlers include picking up their toys, clothes, magazines or books, or filling the pet dish with food, as suggested by the WebMD website.

  • Instruct the toddler to use his own housecleaning toys while you are doing other chores. If he has a miniature broom, vacuum or iron, he can take care of his job while you are dusting, waxing the furniture or doing other chores in the same room.

  • Pull out a box of toys that you only let him play with while you are cleaning. These don’t have to be anything expensive. The box can contain inexpensive items from the dollar store, like picture books, puzzles, crayons and coloring books or miniature stuffed animals. The fact that these toys are only available during housecleaning makes them more enticing to him, thus they are more likely to keep him occupied.

Tips & Warnings

  • Many older toddlers are adept at doing small chores well, such as folding washcloths or putting away toys, while younger ones are not. The key is to involve them in something while you are busy with other chores. Don’t place too much emphasis on how well he does the job; just be grateful he is busy and entertained.
  • Praise your toddler for being a helper. The pride will shine in his face and he will be more likely to cooperate next time you have household chores to accomplish.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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